FDS Support Group Evaluation 2013-14 - page 3

FDS Support Groups Evaluation 2014.
This evaluation
FDS runs facilitated support groups for the families and friends of people affected by
another’s problematic drug or alcohol use. The groups are run on a weekly or
fortnightly basis, and are offered in 17 locations across 5 Australia states, in both city
and regional locations. An evaluation was commissioned by FDS to obtain feedback
from current support group users. This was conducted by independent evaluator:
Argyle Research. A standardised survey instrument was used to obtain feedback, and
was completed by 138 participants. Interviews were also conducted with 5 families to
obtain qualitative feedback about the ways in which attending an FDS Support Group
had helped them deal with drug use in their family.
FDS Support Groups: background
Families find out about FDS Support Groups most often after calling the FDS Phone
Helpline; others find the groups through a brochure or are referred through friends, a
treatment service or health professionals. The groups are open to anyone who is
concerned about another’s drug or alcohol use, and whilst the great majority of
participants are parents (mainly mothers), other relatives and friends of drug users
also attend. The groups are facilitated and the leader starts each session by asking
people how things have been going for them, with each person given the opportunity
to speak, albeit with no obligation to do so. Information is also provided about drugs,
treatment options and outcomes, other support services, the Stepping Stones program,
legal and medical issues, with guest speakers attending a number of the groups on a
regular basis.
The methodology involved a participant survey (n=138) and in depth interviews (n=5).
Survey data
A standardised survey, the CSQ-8, was used to obtain participant ratings on the
quality and the usefulness of the support groups. The CSQ-8 survey contains 8
questions about the quality of a service, including questions about how well the
service met a person’s needs, and whether they would recommend it to others.
Answers are rated on a 4 point scale (See Attachment 1). This survey provides a
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