Social Work Faculty Publications


Use of Data to Assess Performance and Promote Outcome Achievement by Public and Private Child Welfare Agency Staff


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Despite the emphasis on evidence-based practice in the literature, little is known about the extent to which child welfare workers routinely use data to assess the effectiveness of their practice, or consider an array of evidence informed practices such as peer record review, supervisory sessions or program evaluation as useful in improving their performance. This study, conducted as a part of the planning phase for a larger research and demonstration project measured frontline staff perceptions in both the public and private sectors in one state regarding these and other outcome-focused activities. Statistically significant differences were noted between public and private agency staff. In addition, the relationship between staff's use of data and their assessment of their own skill and the support provided by their agency for an array of out-of-home care practice activities are described. Implications for building the use of evidence-informed practice in child welfare are discussed.


Child Psychology | Health Policy | Psychology | Social Welfare | Social Work