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Problem Identification and Model Planning

The first step of the data analytics lifecycle is to identify the problem. For this assignment, you, along with your project group, will identify a specific issue to look at for your course project and plan how you will use data to examine it.

Return to the scenario of the Homeless Teen Program run by the Riverbend City Community Action Center (CAC), presented in the course project overview. The main goal of the Homeless Teen Program is to help the teens find stable and secure housing (whether that is with their families or in the child welfare system). The program is successful: 83 percent of the teens have stable housing in less than one year of coming to the program. However, the director and staff of the Homeless Teen Program feel their success lies in their approach of addressing the underlying problems that led to homelessness in the first place, especially family problems.

The family intervention programs are expensive, so it is important to justify their expense (while they consider expanding them). The CAC would like the teens who cannot be reunited with their families to have their own residential program rather than rely on Riverbend Citys overburdened foster care system, but that is also expensive. There is no question the CAC would like to receive another grant from Helping Hands, so they want to demonstrate that their focus on family intervention is important, but also consider funding their own residence for homeless teens. This means they need to provide more information than just establishing the percentage of teens who find stable housing.

The Homeless Teen Program staff has collected various types of data on the teen clients, including:

Demographic data (such as race, gender, and sexual orientation).
Problems they are experiencing (including family conflict, academic problems, juvenile justice involvement, sex trafficking involvement, mental health problems, and substance use problems).
Services offered (for example, family counseling, individual mental health counseling, and legal support).
The outcome of the services offered after six months (such as rated levels of family conflict and scores on mental health evaluations) as well as housing status (for example, stable with family, stable with child welfare, or homeless).
Note that this data is provided within the Riverbend City multimedia presentation.

Problem and Data Selection
The main problem that the Homeless Teen Program is addressing is homelessness, but your focus should be more specific. For example, you might choose to look at housing rates for a specific group of teens (such as LGBT teens, teens who have been victimized in sex trafficking, or suicidal teens) or look at the housing rates for teens who participate in specific programs (for example, family reunification programs, mental health treatment programs, or substance abuse treatment programs).

With your group, select one of the problem areas listed below to examine for your course project: My group chose to focus on the following problem: Is there a relationship between participation in individual mental health treatment and family tension?

After you and your group have identified the problem and the data that you will utilize, each of you must write your assignment individually. The assignment should be presented in three sections: 1.) Identification of the Problem:
Identify your problem, explain it, and provide a rationale for why it is important to learn more about, in light of the scenario. Why would Helping Hands want to know about this issue?
Describe how the data analytics lifecycle can be applied to the selected problem.
2.) Identification of Data Needed:
Identify the quantitative data. What variables will you use? Why are those variables appropriate? What type of statistical analysis will you conduct, and why is that analysis appropriate?
Identify the qualitative data. Why is that data appropriate? Explain how you will conduct a content analysis and why a content analysis is appropriate.
3.) Group Collaboration:
Briefly describe your group collaboration process and how it contributed to your understanding of the problem as well as the data needed.