Respite House evaluation report
Medlock, J., Jolaoso, F., & Taylor, B.
The Centre for Suicide Prevention received funding from Alberta Health to pilot a respite centre in Fort McMurray. Respite centres are a community-based alternative to hospital care for people in suicidal crisis. Through short-term stays in a home-like environment, guests access 24/7 crisis de-escalation services, respite activities, peer support, and connection to community resources and services.
The Centre for Suicide Prevention contracted PolicyWise for Children & Families to conduct an evaluation of the pilot centre, named Respite House.
The evaluation objectives were to:
1) Provide iterative feedback to inform pilot development and implementation.
2) Develop and provide an initial assessment of individual and system outcomes for Respite House.
3) Identify considerations for future scale and spread in Alberta.
Our evaluation approach combined elements of developmental evaluation and outcome harvesting. A developmental approach supported ongoing learning and decision-making through pilot development and implementation. An outcome harvesting approach meant we were not limited to assessing pre-determined outcomes but could broadly explore what changed for guests, staff, and communities of Respite House because of its implementation.
The main data sources for the evaluation were:
✓ Guest data: Satisfaction surveys, post-stay interviews, and administrative data (intake assessments, progress notes, and follow-up call documentation)
✓ Respite House staff: Interviews with leadership, focus groups with frontline staff
✓ Referral partners: Focus group and notes from operations team meetings
✓ Centre for Suicide Prevention staff: Interviews with staff and planning meeting notes