This is a cooperative project between the Center for Social Work Research and Austin Recovery. The project is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the “Aftercare Solutions” project, an innovative program that provides extended aftercare services to clients who complete residential or outpatient treatment and three months of aftercare.
The major goals include training 24 alumni “peer support” volunteers to facilitate peer-led aftercare groups. The plan also includes development of 12 groups and involvement of 300 participants by the end of the first year of the program. It was hoped that 50% of the clients would attend on a regular basis for three months and that a satisfaction survey would report at least an 80% satisfaction rate.
An initial evaluation found that 24 alumni volunteers were trained an 19 continued to participate at the end of the first year of the project. By the beginning of the second year nine groups had been developed, however, the number of groups has been reduced to four as participants indicated a strong preference for participation in groups with a larger number of participants. Frequency data of attendance at each group has been collected as well as information on the numbers of participants who have attended groups at multiple sites and times.
A second component of the evaluation will focus on efforts to increase regular participation in the groups.