REA Offers Integrated Evaluation In Diverse Study Areas
We have successfully completed projects in the following areas:
  • Specialty courts
  • Criminal justice
  • Public health (mental health and SUD)
  • Youth development
  • Economic Mobility

Our team is composed of professionals with expertise in all facets of grant writing, project management, program evaluation, and data analytics. We draw on the diverse experiences of our staff as well as the collaborative expertise of our partners. REA's high level of commitment ensures that projects have the direction and resources to compete for federal and state grant funding, manage grant-funded projects, develop systems to gather and manage data, and use REA-generated reports to improve services for your clients. 

Healthy Marriages

Bethany Christian Services partnered with REA for a 5-year evaluation of their Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education program, aligning with their commitment to fortifying families through quality social services. This initiative targeted relationship enhancement, basic needs fulfillment, job training, and employment opportunities, fostering upward economic mobility and successful transition to adulthood. REA enhanced their outcome tracking system with existing data, allowing for more precise evaluation. Through this, we identified areas where participants were learning about healthy relationships. Our improvements included:

  • Implementing an SEL scale to monitor social and emotional learning in youth.
  • Adapting the Love Notes survey for better participant engagement and notable changes.
  • Creating comprehensive data dashboards for efficient survey management and result tracking.
  • Achieving a 95% dataset match, up from less than 50%, enhancing accuracy and reliability.
  • Empowering data-informed decision-making, filling previous gaps due to limited data availability.

Key Findings:

  • Love Notes sessions is associated with higher Love Notes post-test scores. Additionally:
  • After the program, there was a 3% increase in conflict management skills (p = 0.05) and a 3% increase in self-regulation (p = 0.025).
  • In the follow-up period, there was a 3% increase in self-efficacy (p = 0.025).
  • Improved behaviors in conflict resolution, reduced risky behaviors, and enhanced self-esteem among program participants compared to baseline (William & Walter, 2023).
Public Health
Behavioral Health Home

Network180, in partnership with REA, launched a model of team-based, integrated care for mentally ill individuals in Kent County.  The program utilizes team-based care, evidence-based therapies, continuous enrollment through illness and wellness, and minimizes outside referrals or duplication of paperwork to provide an enhanced patient experience of care.  The program seeks to increase treatment effectiveness to enhance symptom management and reduce long-term health care costs.

Key Outcomes of Public Health
  • Patients in the Behavioral Health Home reduce costs by 71%, while matched nonparticipants increase costs by 15%
  • Reduction in costs is consistent across different mental health diagnoses
  • Participants reduce intensive service and case management costs, while therapy and psychological evaluation costs increase, demonstrating a shift from emergency treatment to symptom maintenance
  • Patients in the Behavioral Health Home show significant decline in both anxiety and depression, indicating reduced costs are paired with effective symptom control
Drug Courts/SUD
Grand Rapids Adult Drug and Sobriety Treatment Court

REA partnered with the 61st District Drug and Sobriety Treatment Court to conduct a comprehensive analysis of their services over the past 6 years.  

The Court provides enhanced treatment for individuals with co-occurring substance use and mental illness at risk of incarceration.

Participants receive wrap-around services, incuding:

  • case management
  • cognitive behavioral therapy
  • peer recovery coaching
  • trauma-informed treatment
Key Outcomes of Drug Courts/SUD
  • Over 60% of participants successfully graduate
  • Program graduates report a decline in felony convictions by 71% compared to a 23% increase among comparison nonparticipants
  • Graduates significantly increase housing and employment rates
  • Program graduation continues to impact recidivism even 3 years after drug court participation
  • Program components of 12-step group attendance, incentives, and moderate sanctions all significantly reduce future recidivism
Mental Health
Mental Health Transformation Grant

Network180 partnered with REA to provide comprehensive trauma-related treatment across Kent County.  The project seeks to enhance trauma-informed care across the 9 partnering agencies, as well as to provide ongoing treatment for trauma-afflicted persons in the form of Seeking Safety groups.

Key Accomplishments and Outcomes of Mental Health
  • A total of 552 individuals completed Seeking Safety services over 5 years  
  • Over 700 staff received training in trauma-informed care and Seeking Safety services
  • Seven partnering agencies offer Seeking Safety Services on site
  • Agencies report implementation of key trauma-informed criteria, with significant improvements observed over time
  • Participants in Seeking Safety services report significant declines in both symptoms of trauma, as well as the level of interference of these symptoms with daily functioning
Improving Health Outcomes, Reducing Recidivism

Learn more about the evaluation design and data analysis created for partner organization Arbor Circle's RE-LINK program. RE-LINK helps to navigate the transition from incarceration to community.

Read the Case Study