On the Right Track
Christopher T. King
Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources
Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs
The University of Texas at Austin
3001 Lake Austin Blvd. Suite 3.200 Austin, Texas 78705 (512) 471-7891
The first three years of the On the Right Track implementation have not been a complete success in terms of its three major (non-Evaluation) goals and associated objectives. There have been continuing contracting and staff turnover problems at all levels, shifts in project focus, and difficulties with securing the required IRB approvals, among others. The Science goal has been the most problematical. While the BRFSS data analysis conducted by Southwest Texas State University researchers proceeded largely on schedule, none of the other component efforts, including the Houston/telemedicine and Bell County family-centered planning projects, had succeeded as Science projects by the end of Year 3. However, many important accomplishments have been logged in this time. Activities under the Service and Leadership goals were carried out with greater success.
Under the Service goal, the On the Right Track website was operational and highly accessible by year’s end, and most of the related promotional activities had occurred as well. Project staff also made substantial progress in bolstering the agency’s leadership position in the disability policy area. TDH accomplished these goals working closely with and through key On the Right Track partners, especially the Southwest Texas State University research team in San Marcos. It also enjoyed a boost of energy and expertise with the addition of the Central Texas Network for Children with Special Needs located in Bell County. On the Right Track has now largely been reoriented as a capacity- and systems-building project as CDC had originally intended and has begun to focus on integrating its CDC-funded activities within TDH and the larger disability prevention umbrella as part of the post-grant transition.
In Year 4, the Ray Marshall Center will work closely with TDH and its partner staff to evaluate the effectiveness of family-centered planning training in Temple for trainers, family members, educators and health care providers and to develop an evaluation approach that can capture and measure progress on the important systems- and capacity-building dimensions of the project.