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FamilySource Network: Impact Study Results, Year 6
Funds for social programs have declined steadily in recent years, while the problems that confront social service providers have grown. Funds for the FamilySource Network have been cut over 33% during the six years studied in this report. This shrinking support base pushes policymakers to focus more intensely on getting the maximum benefit from their programmatic dollars. Efficient and effective management of these resources requires measuring the impacts of their current programs and then moving support resources in ways that enhance the programs' effectiveness. Two recent books explore the progress and problems in measuring the impact of the social programs: Show Me the Evidence: Obama's Fight for Rigor and Results in Social Policy by Ron Haskins and Greg Margolis of the Brookings Institute and Moneyball for Government by Jim Nussle and Peter Orszag. Both books conclude that effective measurement of program performance is possible and must be done if we expect policymakers and the public to support social programs in the future. The City of Los Angeles has been leader in measuring the impact of local programs. Over the last six years the City of Los Angeles has contracted with California State University Northridge to evaluate the impact of the FamilySource Program. This report presents the results of our analysis of the program's impact in the 2015-16 program year with comparisons to its performance over the previous five years. This report provides program operators, policy makers and the public with the information they need to assess the effectiveness of the FamilySource Program and to find ways to make it even more effective.