Data Collection, Research, Analysis and Quality Control

WJCS is committed to providing the highest quality of evidence-based care; therefore, program evaluation and research activities are conducted regularly in WJCS programs and clinics to facilitate quality improvement and assessment of outcomes.

The director of research work with program and clinic directors, a team of psychology fellows and research interns, and program and clinic staff  to design and implement program evaluation studies and  to collect and analyze data related to processes and outcomes.

Program Evaluation

WJCS conducts several types of program evaluation, which is the systematic investigation of the processes and/or outcomes of a program, with the purpose of program development and improvement. 

How is Program Evaluation Different than Research?

Program evaluation uses the same systematic, scientific methodology to collect data as traditional, social research. However, the primary purpose of evaluation is to provide practical, constructive feedback that will inform the management and improvement of specific programs, not to achieve generalizable knowledge that can be extended to other populations. Therefore, program evaluators work closely with program staff and other stakeholders to design and implement an evaluation that addresses the unique needs of the program and can be feasibly executed.

Types of Program Evaluation

  • Needs Assessment—A needs assessment assesses the need for program services, and can be used to determine appropriate resource allocation and program development.
  • Formative Evaluation—A formative evaluation is most appropriate during the early stages of a program’s development, yielding valuable information regarding the optimal program conceptualization and design. 
  • Process Evaluation—A process evaluation provides an assessment of operations and services delivery, providing information on variables such as implementation fidelity, client engagement, client satisfaction, and effective program components.
  • Outcome Evaluation—An outcome, or summative, evaluation assesses the effectiveness of a program in producing specific, target outcomes.

To view examples of two program evaluations recently conducted: the Young People Achieve program for pregnant and parenting teens, and the Early Step Forward/Building Better Beginnings program that provides early childhood mental health and intervention services.

Research Interns

There are limited research internship opportunities at WJCS, for graduate and undergraduate students who demonstrate interest and skill in the area of research. If you are interested in learning more about research internship opportunities for academic credit, please send a cover letter and resume to [email protected]. If you would like to volunteer as a research assistant, please send a cover letter and resume to Rebecca Sigman at

Research Committee

WJCS requires that any research conducted at the agency, involving human subjects and/or their health related information, be approved before the research is begun. The Research Committee at WJCS reviews applications concerning research on human subjects or their protected health information when the subjects are WJCS clients and when the research is proposed by, affiliated with, conducted at the request of, or involves a WJCS department or program.

To guide you through the application process, we have developed the following screening tools and forms:

  1. Research or Program Evaluation/Quality Improvement?
    To determine whether your proposed project falls into the category of program evaluation (which does not require research committee review)
    or research (which does require research committee review), please download Screening Tool A and submit to [email protected] for approval.
  2. Appropriate Level of Review for Research Proposals
    To determine whether your proposed project meets criteria for a Basic Review or Full Review, please download and complete Screening Tool B.
  3. Basic Review Procedures
    If your responses on Screening Tool B support a Request for Exempt Status, please download and complete the Request for Exempt Status and Basic Review Form and submit to [email protected] for approval.
  4. Full Review Procedures
    If your responses on Screening Tool B do not support a request for exempt status, please download and complete the Application for Review by the WJCS Research Committee and submit, with all requested documentation, to [email protected].

Contact Elana G. Spira, PhD, director of research
914-761-0600 x2234; [email protected]

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