Evaluation in Child and Family Services: Comparative Client and Program Perspectives

As child and family interventions assume greater international application, it will be helpful to examine the various ways in which service innovations are being evaluated. As demonstrated in the seminar from which these chapters resulted, only by sharing our specific professional interests, our too frequent problems in measurement, our despair in implementing complicated studies, and our successes can we advance the evaluation of human services and their outcomes. This volume considers a variety of programs and issues in the field of child and family services. While different perspectives are evident among the authors in terms of their focus and/or emphasis, there is common concern about the value of examining each program or service so as to maximize its impact as well as its potential for dissemination. Intervention research should spur and motivate cross-national efforts not only among researchers but also among social workers and other practitioners from diverse professions engaged in the delivery of human services. Such collaboration would contribute to the ultimate goals of achieving greater clarity about the specifics of best practices in child and family services, protocols for assessing outcomes, and ways of improving service delivery. How then can researchers and policymakers in diverse settings within diverse countries improve practice and service delivery on behalf of children and families? What particular program findings can be generalized to improve services? How can we share and implement new solutions? The contributions to this volume address such questions from varying international perspectives. Contributors provide answers and generate discussion points for consideration by practitioners as well as researchers. The book is a must for social work parishioners in areas involving the delivery of goods as well as services. Tiziano Vecchiato is scientific director of the Fondazione Emanuela Zancan, Padua, Italy. Anthony N. Maluccio is professor of social work at Boston College, Graduate School of Social Work, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Cinzia Canali is research associate at the Fondazione Emanuela Zancan, Padua, Italy.