Judi’s House is committed to conducting evaluation of its programs, as well as developmental research on the impact and course of childhood bereavement—ensuring that all assessments and evaluations benefit the direct clinical services as well as the larger field of research.

Judi’s House has a well-established record of effectively serving our target population, while continually refining the assessment process and program curricula as we identify the types of emotional, social and educational support bereaved children need. The program design allows for a continual feedback loop that creates dynamic and high quality grief support services.

How We Conduct Our Evaluation and Research

Judi’s House utilizes a multi-measure, multi-method approach to evaluation. Children and their adult caregivers have been assessed at various points throughout the grieving process:

  • Initial intake interview
  • Follow-up after the Pathfinders program
  • One year after intake

Evaluation includes both adult and child self-reports about experiences, symptoms, psychosocial adjustment, and benefits they are receiving from the grief support services. The steps we take include:

  • We track the number of children and caregivers served each year, including economic and social factors, to ensure we are serving a diverse constituency in need of services
  • We evaluate our impact by analyzing outcomes for both children and caregivers upon completion of programs, and one year or more after the initial intake
  • We track indicators of traumatic and complicated grief, depression, anxiety, anger, and post traumatic stress symptoms

Our research explores which types of social, emotional and behavioral support bereaved children need to remain on track. The de-identified data are used to:

  • Identify ongoing intervention needs
  • Test effectiveness of programs and services being offered
  • Refine and improve the services offered

Additionally, our research examines behavioral and social-emotional aspects of adjustment as measured by the Adjustment to Trauma and Loss Scale (ATLAS), a bereavement-specific assessment tool developed at Judi’s House. We also administer the widely utilized Child Behavior Checklist to assess youth’s symptoms and difficulties, as well as several other standardized psychosocial assessments.

The Adjustment to Trauma, Loss, and Adversity Scale (ATLAS) is one of the tools developed at Judi’s House to assess and track children’s adjustment after a death.  It examines the impact of bereavement and the effect of grief interventions on emotional, cognitive, behavioral, physical, academic, and social adjustment, with higher scores indicating more adjustment difficulties. Research findings indicate that children’s grief-related difficulties improve substantially after attending just ten weeks of Pathfinders. Most importantly, scores continue to decrease even a year later.