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RFP: Strengthening Families Program – Project Delivery and Outcomes Evaluation

July 9 - July 26

AGENCY OVERVIEW

MRCSSI is a not-for-profit, charitable, anti-violence and social support agency promoting family safety and wellbeing within London’s diverse Muslim communities. Our mission is to provide culturally integrative services that build capacity to help individuals, families and communities to overcome challenges, manage conflict and ensure safety and wellbeing.

 

STRENGTHENING FAMILIES PROGRAM OVERVIEW

This project scales-up the delivery of the culturally adapted version of Strengthening Families (SFP), an evidence-based program which has been customized for collectivist cultures by MRCSSI, predominantly Muslim families in London who are challenged with poor social integration and are disproportionately high users of the mental health and criminal justice systems. This new project will utilize lessons learned from the implementation of Journey Home Project for the past 5 years to the local Arabic speaking population.

The primary beneficiaries are parents who are lacking skills of communication, conflict resolution, emotional management and group empathy within their family; secondarily, the youth/children. Additionally, professionals working at the mesosystem level benefit from enhanced communication and increased program compliance e.g., teachers, healthcare, child protection and other social service workers.

Project Goals

·     Parents, caregivers, adult allies have the skills to support children and youth facing  barriers

·     More children and youth have emotional and social strengths

Desired Outcomes

·     Reduce youths’ behaviour problems

·     Decrease the use and temptation to use drugs, alcohol, and tobacco

·     Enhanced children’s social and life skills

·     Improve parenting skills

·     Increase family cohesion, communication and organization

·     Decrease family conflict, child maltreatment, and out-of-home placements

Key Program Components

·     Outreach – This will enable greater numbers of suitable recruits as well as scale up to more diverse organizations for referrals, education and to ensure sustainability.

·     Delivery – There are 14 weekly 2-hour sessions, each beginning with a shared meal, followed by separate parent and child/youth classes culminating with a family experience of bonding, attachment, skill building, communication and effective discipline. Booster sessions for skills maintenance occur at 6 and 12 months. Minor adaptations to this project will address the increasing the diversity of participants.

Due to the pandemic situation; the program structure has been modified to be delivered virtually. 120 parents/caregivers and 216 children and youth are expected to complete the program. 

·     Evaluation – Qualitative and quantitative methods are used in keeping with OTF requirements and SFP methodology to maintain program fidelity. Evaluation findings will be presented to stakeholder partners at the MRC, who in turn will help to interpret the findings and situate them within the unique cultural context of Muslim families in London, Ontario. An evaluation report will be shared with the program creation team (Kumpfer et al.) at the Alta Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah. We anticipate publication in a peer-reviewed Canadian or American Journal (e.g., Evaluation and the Health Professions) and at professional conferences specific to community prevention and intervention practices in Ontario.

·     Knowledge Exchange and Dissemination- End of year 2 hold an event to share knowledge on program outcomes to date, OTF recognition and to garner continued support.

Duration of Program

·     3 years; March 2021 to end of February 2024

RFP SCOPE OF WORK

MRCSSI is now accepting bidders in response to this Request for Proposal to ensure that we are on track with the goals for the project which include ensuring that parents, caregivers and adult allies have the skills to support children and youth who are facing barriers, and that children and youth have improved emotional and social strengths. Qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods are used in keeping with OTF requirements and SFP methodology to maintain program fidelity.

Desired outcomes include: a reduction in youths’ behaviour problems; a decrease in the use and temptation to use drugs, alcohol, and tobacco; enhanced children’s social and life skills; improved parenting skills; increased family cohesion, communication and organization; decreased family conflict, child maltreatment, and out-of-home placements.

The program has had extremely positive outcomes for Arabic-speaking immigrant families. We will determine its effectiveness for English-speaking Muslim families. We will gather preliminary data to suggest if there are moderator variables (e.g., gender, number of sessions (dose effect), risk level at baseline) that influence the strength or direction of outcomes.

The evaluation design established by Kumpfer (2017) provides necessary information and demonstrated high reliability and validity compared to group leader observations. Continued monitoring during sessions 13 & 14 will ensure understanding of questions and that all measures are completed including OTF survey.

The following scales will be used:

·     Parent Change Objectives – SFP Parenting Skills, Alabama Parenting Scale, CSAP30-day use rates, NIDA Radloff CES-D

·     Child Change Objectives – Social Skills Rating Scale (responsibility and self-control), POCA Child Rating Scale (aggression, ADD, depression scales)

·     Family Change Objectives – Moos FES (cohesion, family conflict, family organization, communication), Kumpfer & Dunst. Family Strengths and Resilience Scale)

Evaluation findings will be presented to stakeholder partners at the MRC, who in turn will help to interpret the findings and situate them within the unique cultural context of Muslim families in London, Ontario. An evaluation report will be shared with the program creation team (Kumpfer et al.) at the Alta Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah. We anticipate publication in a peer-reviewed Canadian or American Journal (e.g., Evaluation and the Health Professions) and at professional conferences specific to community prevention and intervention practices in Ontario.

Timeframe and milestones

Evaluation for this program will be ongoing for the duration of the program, from March 2021 to February 28, 2024. However, there is an expectation that data will be collated and reported every six months in line with our reporting schedule to the funder. We anticipate two reports each year – an interim 6-month report and a year-end report.

Evaluation Metrics and Criteria

MRCSSI will evaluate bidders and proposals based on the following criteria:

·     Previous experience/past performance history.

·     Samples and/or case studies from previous projects.

·     Projected costs.

·     Experience and technical expertise.

Submission Requirements

Bidders must adhere to the following guidelines to be considered:

·     Only bidders who meet all 4 metrics in the evaluation section should submit a proposal.

·     Proposals must be sent in by July 26, 2021 to Zan Saleemi at zsaleemi@mrcssi.com.

·     Include samples and references with your proposal.

·     Proposals should not be more than 2 pages. Failure to comply to this guideline will result in an automatic rejection.

·     A proposed schedule must also be included and clearly expressed.

 

Details

Start:
July 9
End:
July 26