Social Work Research and Evaluation

The role of research and evaluation in the field of social work has changed significantly since the 1970s. Practicing social workers are increasingly expected to be able to evaluate a client's progress and to research established methods for dealing with particular issues. moreover, groundbreaking research is no longer the exclusive preserve of academics or professional researchers. Practicing social workers are increasingly depended upon to develop, evaluate, and disseminate new methods and information. This text shows how research issues come about, and are resolved, in the course of daily practice. Reamer uses a single extended example of the fictional Mt. Washington Family Service Agency. The chapters draw on the many issues dealt with by the agency with extensive use of real-life examples, such as drug and alcohol abuse, depression, community organizing and reports to the board of directors. He demonstrates how case-workers, counsellors and administrators evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, conduct needs assessments, draw on empirically-based literature and findings to inform their practice, and finally create and disseminate information for use by other professionals. Clearly written and including humorous anecdotes and cartoon drawing to engage students, this book also provides a picture of the relevance of research and evaluation to any social work practice.