Employment and Community First CHOICES Workforce QuILTSS Initiative Survey 2019: Year Two Report

Year Two Methodology

Year Two Survey Development & Administration

The year 2 survey (calendar 2019 data) was reformatted and revised from year 1 (calendar 2018 data) based on feedback from year 1 participants and project staff.  New items were added to the year 2 survey, including seven items related to staffing and wages of frontline supervisors who support DSPs on the job, five items related to DSPs, and additional items related to DSP incentives and bonuses.  The definition of a DSP was updated to include family model providers and more clearly distinguish the role of DSPs from other positions.  The survey was also shortened, as detailed information regarding the delivery of service types was removed because some organizations were unable to separate their information by service type and/or were unable to provide the specific detailed information at the service type level, which resulted in too few responses to analyze the data for each service type.  TennCare reviewed and offered feedback that was incorporated into the survey.  The updated year 2 survey was developed and piloted internally at ICI and revisions incorporated; then it was piloted externally in January 2020 with ten provider organizations.  Feedback from the organizations was used to finalize the survey.  The year 2 survey was launched on March 2, 2020.  A webinar was delivered on March 9, 2020 for all organizations invited to complete the year 2 survey.  The purpose of the webinar was to provide an introduction to the survey, clarify issues that were identified by pilot participants, and answer questions.  It was recorded and made available on demand to organizations who were unable to attend and to be used for future reference.  The original survey deadline was April 10, 2020; this was extended to May 13, due to a number of extenuating circumstances (e.g., a tornado in the Nashville, COVID-19 pandemic, and related state of emergency and “Safer at Home” orders).  The survey closed on May 13, 2020.  During the data cleaning phase, follow-up was done with all organizations that provided data that were inconsistent and/or had questions that needed to be clarified.  Clean-up and analyses were conducted from May 13, 2020 to May 29, 2020.


Recruitment, Sample, and Response Rate

TennCare provided a list of organizations that employ DSPs and participate in ECF Employment and Community First CHOICES.  The initial list included 10 organizations that participated in the pilot study and an additional 114 organizations for a total of 124 organizations located within the three regions of Tennessee.  Of those 124 organizations, 17 (14%) either dropped or opted out of the year 2 survey and did not receive a survey link. Some of the organizations did not have DSPs, did not provide ECF CHOICES at this time, were duplicate contacts, merged with another organization, or did not have staff to complete the survey at this time. This left a sample of 107 organizations who were sent an invitation letter by email with links to participate in the year 2 survey.

75 organizations completed the survey and reported on calendar year 2019. 47 organizations completed the survey and reported on calendar year 2018.

TennCare verified each organization’s address, primary contact person, and that person’s contact information.  The UMN Data Collection Team also verified the contact information.  ICI drafted an invitation letter to the organizations in the sample, and TennCare reviewed and distributed the letter.  The letter introduced the survey to the organizations by communicating its purpose, how the data would be used, and how it would be helpful to them, and it encouraged participation.

For year 1, of the 96 organizations in the sample, 47 (49%) submitted a survey.  Of the 107 organizations in the year 2 sample, 75 (70%) submitted a survey, 12 (11%) opened/started the survey but did not complete it, and 20 (19%) did not respond.  Of the 75 organizations who submitted a survey, 40 (53%) had also participated in the year 1 survey and 35 (47%) were new participants.  Only the 75 organizations who submitted a survey were included in the year 2 analysis.  Organizations were grouped into three regions for the regional analysis.  Regional analyses were conducted based on the organization’s highest percent region of services which may differ from the location of their administrative/corporate/central office.  Of the 75 organizations, 20 (27%) provided their highest service percentage in the East region, 33 (44%) provided their highest service percentage in the Middle region, and 22 (29%) provided their highest service percentage in the West region.  There was one organization that provided 50% of their services in the East region and 50% in the West region.  Their home office was located in the West region; therefore, they were assigned to West.  There was one organization that did not fill in the percent of services provided in each of the regions.  That organization was assigned the region of their home office (Middle).