Southern New Hampshire University Social Science Discussion

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Discussion: Use of Group Designs in Program Evaluation

Group programs are common in social work. Just as with other types of programs, social workers must understand the options available to them and know how to select the appropriate research design.

For this Discussion, you evaluate group research design methods that can be used for an outcome evaluation of a foster parent training program. You also generate criteria to be measured in the program.

To prepare for this Discussion, review the “Social Work Research: Planning a Program Evaluation” case study in this week’s resources, Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., & Brocksen S. (Eds.). (2014b). Social work case studies: Concentration year. Retrieved from http://www.vitalsource.com , and the section of “Basic Guide to Outcomes-Based Evaluation for Nonprofit Organizations with Very Limited Resources”, titled “Overview of Methods to Collect Information.” (Basic Guide to Outcomes-Based Evaluation for Nonprofit Organizations with Very Limited Resources – Free Management Library (managementhelp.org)

By Day 3

Post your explanation of which group research design and data collection method from those outlined in the Resources you selected as appropriate for the “Social Work Research: “Planning a Program Evaluation” case study and why.

Then, generate criteria to be measured using the research design by identifying a specific outcome and a method for measuring that outcome. Specify who will collect the data and how the data will be collected.

By Day 5

Respond to at least two colleagues from the perspective of an interested stakeholder for the program by doing the following:

  • Provide a brief description of the role that you are taking.
  • Provide an evaluation of the group research design that they have chosen, and criteria that your colleagues have generated (choice of outcome and method of evaluation) from the perspective of the stakeholder whom you have chosen.
  • Provide support based on your evaluation
  • Ask questions about the plan for research design and the questions that the evaluation plan will address from your chosen perspective.

Colleague 1: Katherine

Post your explanation of which group research design and data collection method from those outlined in the Resources you selected as appropriate for the “Social Work Research: “Planning a Program Evaluation” case study and why.

The group design that I feel best represents the case study is the time-series design. This is because it is a design that has multiple measures of clients and in the case study there are 7 different program centers in the one agency that will be implementing this model. “Time-series design: multiple measures of client outcome before and after the intervention provided to the intervention group” (Dudley, p 230).

The data collection method that I would choose for this case study would be testing hypotheses. This is because there is already a determine outcome that this program is aiming for, therefore collecting the data to see if that outcome was accomplished would be the most appropriate thing to do.

Then, generate criteria to be measured using the research design by identifying a specific outcome and a method for measuring that outcome. Specify who will collect the data and how the data will be collected.

“The primary goals of this new training program include reducing foster placement disruptions, improving the quality of services delivered, and increasing child well-being through better trained and skilled foster families” (Plummer et al., p 66). The specific outcome that will be measure is improving quality of services. Using the time-series design, information would be collected from foster parents of their thoughts on the quality of the training before the new training was implemented and then after they received the new training. This data would be collected by using a questionnaire given to the foster families before and after training and then analyzed by a focus group or team assigned to the analysis of the data. The desired outcome is that the new training will be better quality than that of the previous training.

References

Dudley, J. R. (2020). Social Work Evaluation (3rd Edition). Oxford University Press Academic US.

https://mbsdirect.vitalsource.com/books/9780190916671

Plummer, S. -B., Makris, S., & Brocksen S. (Eds.). (2014b). Social work case studies: Concentration year.

Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. https://content.waldenu.edu/content/dam/laureate/l…

Colleague 2: Brandon

Post your explanation of which group research design and data collection method from those outlined in the Resources you selected as appropriate for the “Social Work Research: “Planning a Program Evaluation” case study and why.

Then, generate criteria to be measured using the research design by identifying a specific outcome and a method for measuring that outcome. Specify who will collect the data and how the data will be collected.

Dr. Casiano and Class,

The group research design and data collection method chosen for the program evaluation was observation. Observation includes viewing the program as it is actually occurring (McNamara, 2006). In the case study, the program has had no research done (Plummer, Makris, & Brocksen, 2014). However, many agencies are adopting the program (Plummer, Makris, & Brocksen, 2014). By participating in the observation, the student can get firsthand knowledge as the program is being implemented. If it is available and with permission the student could also visit and observe a site that has already been using the program and has more experience and get information for her research, there as well. Later, follow-up would be suggested to obtain more information.

“The primary goals of this new training program include reducing foster placement disruptions, improving the quality of services delivered, and increasing child well-being through better trained and skilled foster families (Plummer, Makris, & Brocksen, 2014 pg.1, para. 3).” The criteria to be measured would be just that. As a comparison from previous families and the families being staggered in throughout the year as training is completed. The data would be collected by the agency by the use of interviews, questionnaires, and observable outcomes. An example of an observable outcome would be the foster child remaining within a home longer rather than being removed and placed elsewhere.

McNamara, C. (2006a). Contents of an evaluation plan. In Basic guide to program evaluation (including outcomes evaluation). Retrieved from http://managementhelp.org/evaluation/program-evaluation-guide.htm#anchor1586742

Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., & Brocksen S. (Eds.). (2014b). Social Work Research: Planning a Program Evaluation. Social work case studies: Concentration year. Laureate International Universities Publishing.

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