Our evaluation research explores the social, emotional, and behavioral support necessary to address the needs of bereaved children. By working closely with our team of clinicians, the Evaluation & Research Team identifies critical questions, tests the effectiveness of our clinical programs, and uses data to help refine and improve the services we offer.
Every Judi’s House client receives a thorough assessment that provides the foundation for the healing journey ahead by exploring how the individual is doing in the following areas:
Supporting bereaved children and families requires listening. Through our structured developmental interview, each client begins to share their individual story of love and loss. The narrative unfolds as our team members skillfully walk children and adults through questions, curiosity, and play.
Grief is universal, unique, and natural. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Each person’s grief experience is affected by their relationship to the deceased, the circumstances surrounding the loss, and other complicating factors. To understand the intensity of each client’s experience, we administer the Inventory of Complicated Grief to adults and the Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder Checklist to children.
Trauma is an emotional response to a distressing situation. Experiencing the death of someone important in your life is distressing. Feelings of shock, disbelief, numbness, and confusion are natural and normal responses for children. When these feelings persist without rest or restoration, we assess for trauma using the Children’s Revised Impact of Events Scale (CRIES-13).
Sadness is a natural response to the death of a family member or friend. Sometimes, sadness can lead to feelings of hopelessness, guilt, and fatigue. Using the adult and adolescent versions of the Patient Health Questionnaire 9, we explore client’s symptoms of depression and make recommendations that recognize their most pressing needs.
Anxiety and grief are difficult to separate. For youth who have experienced the death of a friend or family member, fears and worries are common. Using the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7 questionnaire, we screen clients for symptoms of anxiety to ensure they receive the services and care they need to continue learning and growing.
Knowing about a child’s strengths and difficulties at home, school, and with peers helps our team build a picture of the everyday world they navigate. A world that is complicated by bereavement. We enlist the support of caregivers and teachers to share their reflections of each child’s behavior using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire.
The Adjustment to Trauma, Loss, and Adversity Scale (ATLAS) is a tool we developed to assess and track how children adapt after a death. The ATLAS helps our team learn about the effect of the death and how our services support emotional, social, and academic adjustment. We are validating the measure and hope to share more in 2021.