Evaluation, Research & Implementation
Bridging Research and Practice
Evaluation and research have been integral to CalSWEC since its inception, particularly as they relate to improving California's child welfare social work practice. CalSWEC's ongoing evaluation efforts, aligned with its Mission and Goals, were developed to assess the impact of its training on California's child welfare workforce.
CalSWEC's evaluation, research, and implementation activities fall within two areas:
- Ecological Model for Workforce Development, and
- Other Child Welfare Services-Related Evaluation activities
Previously covered under CalSWEC's Evaluation Framework, research and evaluation of social work workforce development is now subsumed in CalSWEC's recently developed longitudinal Ecological Model for Workforce Development (below).
The model depicts the contributions of education, in-service training, and organizational supports, among such other factors as student and worker characteristics, to guide understanding of the effectiveness of the child welfare social work workforce in providing high-quality service to children and families.
The ecological model for workforce development includes evaluation of:
- the Title IV-E Child Welfare Stipend Program, which result in workforce study reports and data briefs; the statewide pre-service MSW curriculum; and the career path study, and
- the Child Welfare In-Service Training (California Common Core Curricula), which has yielded a number of statewide and national evaluative activities
In addition to conducting workforce development research and evaluation, CalSWEC is engaged in a number of child welfare services-related evaluation activities, including:
- Research and Training Network (RTN) and Implementation Toolkits: These help CalSWEC partners to support evidence-based practice and effective implementation.
- Grants and awards: These support MSW students, faculty, and practice partners in their empirically based curriculum development projects and research/practice partnerships that evaluate emerging practices to inform the development of curriculum training products. The Research Award for MSW Students and the research/practice partnerships are supported by CalSWEC's Research Development (R&D) Committee and the California Association of Deans and Directors.
- Child Welfare In-Service Training Evaluation: This includes hosting and co-sponsoring statewide and national evaluation symposia, such as the National Human Services Training Evaluation Symposium and the Leadership Symposia on Evidence-Based Practice.
- Assessment: This includes appraisal and analysis of how well social work schools prepare students for the child social welfare profession, factors affecting the retention of these specially trained graduates in the workforce, and graduates’ views of their classroom and field preparation.
- CalSWEC's datasets on the human services workforce: Access to these is promoted to allow interested researcher partners and faculty to use them in their research.
Integrated Behavioral Health and Aging Initiatives
Additionally, CalSWEC's Integrated Behavioral Health Program (formerly the Mental Health Program, whose name change took effect July 1, 2016) reports on graduation rates, characteristics of students, and curriculum evaluation, which have resulted in several evaluation reports. Similarly, its newest initiative in Aging will generate evaluation reports in the future.
Publications from Evaluation and Research
Publications, reports, and presentations resulting from CalSWEC's evaluation data and activities are posted to the Publications from CalSWEC's Evaluation & Research page.
For more information
Contact: Sandhya Rao Hermón, Director, Research and Evaluation