Read New Special Issue on Evidence-Based Practice

Families in Society, the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities’ social work journal, recently released a special focus issue with articles on evidence-based practice that identify emerging challenges and successful strategies in systems change and research efforts that will improve the lives of children, youth, and families.

This issue is a collaboration with the Child & Family Evidence-Based Practice Consortium, whose members collaborate in technical assistance and research dissemination, and promote networks of learning about evidence-based practice, workforce capacity, and implementation science.

Members of the Alliance receive access to Families in Society for free, and nonmembers may purchase individual articles or a subscription.

The social sector recognizes the importance of bringing key stakeholders together to foster collaborative, community-based systems, and the special collection offers multiple points of intersection with evidence-based practice in child welfare and family programs including research and development, education and workforce training, and implementation best practices in service delivery.

Featured Articles

Transforming a State’s Child Welfare System: Community Conversations, Organizational Assessment and University Partnership
By Rosalyn M. Bertram, Tim Decker, Megan E. Gillies, and Soo-Whan Choi
Gillies is a foster care case manager specialist II at Alliance member Cornerstones of Care

A statewide community-based participatory evaluation and a National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI) organizational health assessment provided context for selection of new philosophy and practice models by the Missouri Children's Division. Amid the hope and inspiration generated by these changes, program installation steps unfolded nearly simultaneously with initial implementation in the Kansas City area transformation zone. Policy to-practice and practice-to-policy feedback loops in the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Social Work's NCWWI university partnership grant identified implementation challenges and supported development of tools for improvement.

A Model for Sustaining Evidence-Based Practices in a Statewide System
By Jason M. Lang, Kellie G. Randall, Michelle Delaney, and Jeffrey J. Vanderploeg

Over the past 20 years, efforts have been made to broadly disseminate evidence-based practices. However, the public health impact has yet to be realized and most evidence-based practices are not sustained. Few structured models exist for disseminating and sustaining evidence-based practices across large systems. This article describes the evidence-based practices Dissemination and Support Center (DSC) model and how it was used to sustain trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) across Connecticut. More than 600 clinicians at 35 agencies have been trained and nearly all agencies have sustained TF-CBT for up to nine years. More than 6,200 children have received TF-CBT and have shown improvements in outcomes and quality indicators. Recommendations are made for using or adapting the DSC model.

Building Field Agencies’ Capacity to Prepare Staff and Social Work Students for Evidence-Based Trauma Treatments
Virginia C. Strand, Marciana Popescu, Ineke Way, & Annette Semanchin Jones

Preparing students earning master’s in social work to use an evidence-based approach to practice and implement empirically supported treatment protocols is imperative. Both classroom education and field experience are needed. Six schools of social work collaborated with field agencies to assist them in developing the capacity to implement evidence-based trauma treatments and train social work students in these models. The study used a multisite, interrupted-time series design to assess organizational readiness to implement evidence-based trauma treatments at an agency. Faculty used the National Implementation Research Network implementation framework in their consultation with agencies. Findings from three agencies are used to explore the tasks in each implementation stage. Implications include the possibility of leveraging the motivation of field agencies to collaborate with schools of social work to implement evidence-based practice. Results also point to the relevance of using an implementation framework to guide capacity building.

Access all the articles in the special issue and download a supplement with excerpts online.

Date Posted: 
Tue, 16 May 2017

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