Forum Comments

Theory of Change
In MEETING MATERIALS
alynn
Aug 11, 2018
** On Behalf of Lisa Lunghofer (8/10/18 Comments)** Co-Sheltering Collaborative: Theory of Change Initial Thoughts Scope of the problem: It would be helpful to clarify the scope of the problem and its dimensions, though I realize there are limited data. I think that’s okay because it gives us a starting point to help define a baseline and justifies the need for more/better data to understand the problem. Some questions to consider include: How many people who are homeless (e.g., in X city/county, over Y period) have companion animals? What related data/studies can we cite? What are the strengths and shortcomings of these studies/data? What do we know about the issues facing people who are homeless (e.g., trauma, domestic violence, mental illness) that may impact their relationship with companion animals? What related data/studies can we cite? Absent data/studies, how do we theorize these issues may positively or negatively affect relationships? What other dimensions of the problem are within our scope? For example, to what extent does/should the initial logic model address general housing policies regarding pets (including property managers/landlords)? Pet-friendly housing is obviously an important issue, but does it make sense to include it as a focus of the Co-Sheltering Collaborative or is the initial focus more specifically on accommodating animals in temporary (e.g., shelters) and transitional housing? What about domestic violence shelters, given the programs some offer (SAF-T)? To what extent are other service providers (outside of services for homeless people) within scope? For example, to what extent are mental health providers a focus of the Collaborative’s work? Who are the key partners that are within scope (animal welfare groups, health care providers, therapists, domestic violence service providers)? Who are the key partners that are out of scope, at least for now? With respect to the animals that are within scope, it might be helpful to more clearly distinguish pets from emotional support animals from service animals, acknowledging the differences in protections afforded to and other providers/professionals that may be relevant to each. Logic model conceptualization: It might be helpful to think of the logic model in terms of individual vs. system-level interventions and outcomes. Individual Level At the individual level, it seems we have three categories: Individuals (clients) who are homeless or seeking shelter/housing with their animals Providers of services to these people and animals Which service providers are our focus (e.g., homeless service providers, ancillary service providers such as health and mental heal professionals, domestic violence advocates, animal welfare professionals)? Animals of people who are homeless or seeking shelter/housing (further broken down by pet versus emotional support animal versus service animal) Individual-level outcomes can be categorized for each. Individuals/clients: Knowledge (e.g., animals’ needs, shelter policies, laws) Behavior (e.g., responsible pet care, regular veterinary care, adherence to housing policies/rules) Well-being (e.g., addressing physical and mental health needs that may impact their ability to care for animal, including safety) Service providers: Knowledge (e.g., human-animal bond, animals’ needs, laws) Skills/behavior (e.g, ability to interact appropriately with animals, use of consistent assessment strategies/protocols, provision of supplies/resources to help people and their animals) Attitudes (e.g., openness to accommodation of people’s animals, respect for the human-animal bond, openness to accommodation of people’s needs) Animals: Physical well-being (e.g., veterinary care, including preventive treatments) Behavioral/emotional well-being (e.g., socialization, training, daily routines that include physical and mental exercise) System Level At the system level, I would suggest starting with three broad categories that can be broken down further: Infrastructure to accommodate animals Space, equipment/supplies Policies (e.g., “pets allowed”, complaint/grievance protocols) Procedures (e.g., initial screening, protocols for working with people and their animals) Collaborative relationships (e.g., formal and informal relationships among homeless service providers and animal welfare groups, mental health providers, animal behaviorists, etc.) Training and oversight (e.g., formal policies and protocols need to be established and resources allocated to ensure service providers have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to work successfully with people who are homeless and who have companion animals)
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alynn

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