What Is A Logic Model?
Logic Models are very useful tools used as a visualization models by programs, companies, or service managers to outline business or service objectives. These models seek to visually organize targets and goals to better communicate to the workforce or public. Mental and behavioral health fields and services can benefit by utilizing this tool to revise and convey what drives the level of care toward their patients. By describing and illustrating program basics that summarizes program resources, goals, and outcomes, human service providers can better understand and communicate their program’s vision.

How Does A Logic Model Work?
In order to fully utilize a logic model, you must understand what the components of the model is asking. Depending on how in depth you want to be, there is a range of four to six modules you may complete.

Figure 1 Logic Model Frame

To continue from the example above, activities a program or staff may complete for wraparound services can be daily/weekly check-ins with their clients, biweekly sobriety tests, job search assistance, or anything related to accomplishing the listed inputs/resources.

Process & Practices: This module is similar to the activities module above, but differs in that it focuses on elaborating the details of the activities. This module may be used interchangeably with the activities module if the items do not vary too much.

For example, in the activities module we can look at job search assistance and illustrate the details. Job search assistance may indicate meeting weekly with the client for two hours searching the internet and applying for jobs, it can indicate assistance in resume building, or it indicate helping the client network in order to find employment.

Outputs: The outputs describe the immediate effects you would see once the previous modules are fulfilled.

This may include the number of days a client is sober, a client becoming employed, or any other immediate results expected from the modules above.

Outcomes: In this module you will describe the desired benefits of completing the previous modules above. You may elaborate on short-term or long-term benefits, or outcomes, if desired.

In our example, clients who are no longer incarcerated join the program and are offered wraparound services aimed to walk them through their transition into society. Some outcomes might be having positive staff and client relationships or successful early exits from the program.

Impact: The impact module takes a step back and looks at the bigger picture. This module focuses on what the impact of the outcomes will result in. How this can benefit everyone.

Figure 2 above displays a generic program logic model that can be applied to any human service program. As you may notice it does not include ‘Activities’. This is because the ‘Processes & Practice’ module was used to describe the actions required to complete the items in the Inputs module. You can see in Figure 3 below a more general day-to-day use of a logic model used to plan a family trip.

For example, the impact of having a positive staff and client relationship can be creating a successful assisted transition for the clients. Another impact of enforcing the previous modules could be guiding a client to become a positive member of the community.

Logic models are a useful tool in many regards. They offer a clear strategy allowing individuals to visually map and organize their plans or programs for a better understanding of the overall goals and items required to fulfill those goals.

How Can A Logic Model Benefit Human Service Programs?
Recently, there has been a major “paradigm shift” occurring within the health and human services field. Organizations providing care are now driven to reassess the dynamics behind their programs and the people they are supporting. This is mainly due to evolving social standards that are more focused towards an individuals’ personalized level of care and how mental health, physical health, and the data of these programs addresses those concerns.

Programs are now driven to take a step back, reassess, and communicate the services they are offering, and to whom, in an effective socially-conscious way. This can begin by utilizing a logic model that involves participation from many aspects of their business and community they service. Mario Hernandez from the Department of Child and Family Studies Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute states, “Service delivery strategies and program evaluation strategies are often developed and implemented independently,” therefore he argues producing a logic model that correctly depicts program aims, can promote effective program management. By re-evaluating their resources and goals, human services programs and personnel can engage community and staff member feedback to create a program that better addresses the clients and the issues they aim to resolve. This not only produces revised and refreshed program aims, but allows human service programs to stay relevant and up-to-date with growing social concerns and rapidly changing norms.

Reassessing program aims and goals can directly impact the level of care provided to each client. Logic models depict a clear pathway at showing how a program should benefit both staff and clients, leading to better program placement and a level of care that is geared specifically toward the individuals’ or familys’ needs. By correctly placing clients into programs specific to their needs, human service organizations can connect and understand each case, leading them to produce a higher percentage of positive client outcomes. When a logic model outlines clear service and program strategies, this can also promote an accurate collection of the data produced by the staff and client assessments and can be utilized to further improve services and performance.

Overall logic models are a simple yet effective tool that can be created for any aspect of life. When designed to reassess and improve human service organizations, logic models can lead to a refreshed more specialized level of care that might have previously been outdated or ineffective. Logic models are a great way for organization to listen to staff and community feedback, promoting positive social involvement and specialized care.

Hernandez, Mario (2000). Using logic models and program theory to build outcome accountability. The Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation. Vol 12. 167-174.

W.K. Kellog Foundation (2004). Using logic models to bring together planning, evaluation, and action: logic model development guide.