The previous steps of project planning, the review of literature and needs assessment, helped to delve into the nature of challenges that young adults with ASD face after graduating from school. The identified tendencies are extremely important when it comes to the stage of logic model development. This paper is devoted to the logic model created for the New Beginnings Program, its key elements, the process of development, and the ways to evaluate outcomes.
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Logic Model Assumptions
The assignments completed earlier inform the selection of the basic assumptions on which the presented model is built. According to the first assumption, the post-school experiences of autistic young adults in South Florida do not involve countless employment options. Next, their chances to get steady jobs or engage in volunteering activities should be improved due to the provision of vocational training services and professional assistance in job search. Finally, the use of financial, material, and human resources or inputs for organizational and training activities will help to produce outputs and increase the target population’s independence from caregivers.
Logic Model and Its Basic Elements
Resources or inputs are presented by tangible and intangible assets to be used for the organization of activities leading to the fulfillment of objectives. When it comes to the New Beginnings Program, potential assets can be subdivided into three groups. Material resources are facilities in Miami-Dade County that are in a good condition and large enough to accommodate all trainers and school graduates participating in the program. As for the next subgroup, it includes different opportunities to get funding to be spent on the planned activities. Among them are local or state grants, state funds, and Florida’s Developmental Disabilities Medicaid Waiver (Agency for Persons with Disabilities, n.d.). Finally, there are people who will facilitate the program’s implementation and produce or receive benefits. This subgroup is comprised of staff members, participants who need assistance, the families of young adults with ASD, and the representatives of local businesses ready to hire people with developmental disorders.
Program activities include any efforts or interventions central to the provision of intended services. The activities to be organized prior to the start of the program’s operation require the proper application of all resources (Jones et al., 2019). To begin with, it will be pivotal to approve a facility in Miami-Dade County, conduct facility renovation, obtain funding, form a non-profit organization, and get certified as a service provider. Other activities will be hiring and training vocational education specialists and encouraging the ASD individuals’ and their families’ participation in the program. Finally, the team will make efforts to provide all participants with training and employment opportunities through collaboration with community businesses.
Such element as outputs is linked to activities logically and describes their products. In the logic model being discussed, the examples of outputs are being able to open well-operating training stations, schedule activities, and develop individualized training plans for participants with ASD based on their needs. Besides that, the outputs will include employment agreements between people with ASD and local businesses, as well as specialists’ success in training participants for particular jobs.
Short- and Long-Term Outcomes
Program outcomes are the desired short- and long-term effects of activities that have been conducted. The New Beginnings Program will be aimed at achieving various short-term results, including participants’ ability to receive training adjusted to their interests and personal characteristics and staff members’ compliance with performance standards. Moreover, the effects of particular interventions will be participants’ exposure to training options/jobs and their embarking on the path of independence. Among the anticipated long-lasting effects of the program are increases in participants’ quality of life and an ability to function as independent individuals. Also, the results to herald the long-term success of the New Beginnings Program are the ASD individuals’ chances to get the expected job offers, achieve financial independence, and become active contributors to society.
As for the impact of programs, this element of logic models refers to broad implications of interventions’ effects. Figure 1 indicates that the impact of the New Beginnings Program will be presented by positive changes affecting the entire population of Miami-Dade County. In particular, the program in question will further support the county government’s efforts aimed at reducing unemployment rates (Miami-Dade County Department, 2018). Consequently, it will increase the amount of social good produced by people with developmental disorders residing in Miami-Dade County.
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Logic Model Development, Resources, and Outcome Data Generation
The development of the logic model for the New Beginnings Program was a process that involved a few steps. To begin with, the results of the needs assessment and the literature review allowed formulating a set of assumptions that would problematize the ASD individuals’ unmet needs. At that point, deductive logic was used to proceed from the general perceptions of participants’ well-being to its specific components.
The anticipated outcomes were assessed and analyzed in order to identify a number of activities that could be helpful in achieving them. For instance, information peculiar to similar training programs was used to inform the selection and proper formulation of the activities. Then, data on the key interventions related to the fulfillment of the objectives was evaluated to retrieve potential resources that could be required. The preliminary answers were assessed to exclude any resources that would be unavailable or disadvantageous to the final goals (Crisan & Pop, 2016). For instance, to consider available resources, such ways of getting money as borrowing funds from organizations or individuals were ignored due to the associated losses.
To produce reliable outcome data, the success of the listed activities will need to be measured. Conclusions concerning the first two activities related to facility resources will be made with reference to the condition of buildings, their accommodation capacity, rental costs, the presence of break areas, restrooms, etc. For the next one, the amount of received funds will be compared to the planned expenses per one participant. Success in obtaining the status of a non-profit organization and necessary certification will help to measure the next two interventions. Then, for the activities involving recruiting and training, the proportion of highly qualified professionals and their learning outcomes will be measured with the help of knowledge tests. As for the stage of participant recruitment, it will be possible to deduce an inference about success by calculating the percentage of unemployed young adults with ASD in Miami-Dade County willing to enroll in the program. Speaking about the last activity, it will be measured by calculating the average number of job opportunities offered to participants.
To sum up, the logic model designed for the New Beginnings Program is based on the use of financial, material, and human assets to reduce unemployment among people with developmental disorders. It is also expected to help them to sustain themselves and find outlets for their energy and talents. To ensure the completion of short- and long-term goals, it is proposed to measure the planned activities in different ways, including knowledge evaluations and statistical analysis.
Agency for Persons with Disabilities. (n.d.). The agency supports persons with developmental disabilities in living, learning, and working in their communities. Web.
Crisan, E., & Pop, M. (2016). Developing a logic model for a local community program. Managerial Challenges of the Contemporary Society, 9(2), 22-26.
Jones, N. D., Azzam, T., Wanzer, D. L., Skousen, D., Knight, C., & Sabarre, N. (2019). Enhancing the effectiveness of logic models. American Journal of Evaluation, 1-19. Web.
Miami-Dade County Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources. (2018). Labor market report. 2018: Q3. Web.