Use research designs to gauge the effectiveness of social service programs.
Throughout your career as a social worker, you will rely on evaluation to see if what you are doing with clients is working well, needs to be changed, or has resulted in meeting the original goal. In SOWK 6347 Evaluation of Social Work Practice with Hispanic Children and Families, you will examine theories about and methods for assessing program success with your clients.
While evaluation is a valuable tool in gauging client progress and needs, funding sources and other stakeholders also want evidence that social service agency work is effective and efficient. Thorough evaluation can provide that proof. In this course, you will focus on writing measurable program goals and objectives that can be evaluated once put into place. There are a variety of evaluation designs, types of measurement, measurement instruments and data analysis tools. You will focus on research designs, when to use different models, methods of sampling, finding appropriate measurement instruments and developing a data collection plan. You will perform an actual program evaluation, beginning with a needs assessment and measurable program objectives, a skill that will help you evaluate non-profit organizations’ services during your career. You will also explore outcome evaluations—to gauge if interventions or programs are effective—and efficiency evaluations of implementation methods. Having data to support what you’re doing or to suggest changes is powerful. In fact, a main purpose of evaluation is to collect data to use for decision making. You will practice using data management systems and develop a system of your own that illustrates how evaluation is accomplished.
Sample Learning Exercise
In a role-playing activity, you will imagine that you are a program evaluator who has conducted a needs assessment and process evaluation. How will you score or code the data you collected? How will you analyze this data? How you will communicate the results to different stakeholders? You will answer these questions in a video presentation.
Choose a social service agency with a program targeted at Hispanic clients. Write a mock proposal for an outcome evaluation focused on programs and interventions serving Hispanic children and families.
Throughout each week of the course, you will focus on a core topic or theme. Sample topics are listed below and are subject to change based on the instructor.
- Introduction and Preparing for Evaluations: Accountability and the Evaluation Process
- Preparing for Evaluations: The Program, Ethics, and Cultural Competence
- Toolkit for Evaluating Hispanic-Serving Programs
- Doing Evaluations: Needs Assessment and Process Evaluations
- Self-Care and Catch-Up
- Doing Evaluations of Hispanic-Serving Programs: Outcomes Evaluations and Efficiency Evaluations
- Making Decisions with Data in Hispanic-Serving Programs
- Integration and Evaluation Full Proposal
Through SOWK 6347, you will gain a better understanding of topics specific to professional social work identity, values and ethics, diversity, human rights, social and economic justice, and cultural competence with emphasis on Hispanic families and children.
- Understand methods useful in planning, conducting, and reporting evaluation research.
- Conceptualize, design and deliver both a practice evaluation and a program evaluation.
- Demonstrate sensitivity for ethical and cultural issues in designing, implementing and use of social work research, including research with Hispanic children and families.
Learn More About Helping Others
In SOWK 6347, you will gain a foundation in evaluation design. To learn more about this course or any other course in the online Master of Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University, call 855-275-1082 to speak with an admissions advisor right away, or you can request more information.
The content presented on this page is representative information for example purposes and is subject to change as course and student needs change over time.