The Role of Program Evaluation in Your Professional Aspirations

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Discussion Module 1 -The Role of Program Evaluation in Your Professional Aspirations

You now have a year of generalist social work courses and a generalist field practicum under your belt. In your OMSW 507 or BSW policy class, you learned about social problems that disproportionately affect urban African Americans and other marginalized groups, as well as social welfare policies and programs that have attempted to address them.

Also see: Program Evaluation Discussion Question

In your view, what are some of the most pressing social problems affecting urban African Americans?

What outcome(s) related to these problems are you planning to address as a professional MSW level social worker?

At what level(s) of practice do you envision focusing your professional practice (e.g., micro, mezzo, macro) and what role can program evaluation play in achieving the outcomes you identified given your intended level of practice? I plan to focus on the micro level of practice.

Please make sure you properly reference and cite adhering to APA standards as you support your stance by utilizing the ppt., text, outside resources, etc.

Module 3 Discussion

Suppose you were doing a needs assessment for a program in your field practicum or the social service agency in which you work. You have some data on the social problem that the program is designed to address, but you are unable to find data on the specific community that your program serves. Therefore, you have decided that you will obtain information about the characteristics of the target population for the program using key informants.

Briefly describe the agency and the program you are using for this example (e.g. state mission and purpose of agency, a brief description of the target population for the program, and the goals/desired outcome of the program identified for the example.) agency: Maryland Department of Human Services;

Mission: The mission of the Maryland Department of Human Services is to work on opportunities with the aim to improve people’s economy, provide mitigation strategies, and safeguard exposed people. The mission works with principles that help the department in achieving its goals. These include; achieving self-determination needs a person to work hard, working together between businesses and the community is important increasing customer ability to be autonomous, Assistance is given to citizens by acknowledging differences between individuals and groups, Enablement is essential for human services to be provided, Families should be the top resource for their children and other family members to provide emotional and financial support.;

Vision: We imagine a Maryland in which persons support themselves and their families exclusively and where people are protected from violence and negligence. The Maryland department vision encourages individuals to put more effort into activities that bring in income and support for their families.;

Goals: Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS) provides services to neglected and abused children. The services provided protect children and their families from continued exposure to harm and mistreatment. The goals of the department are;

  1. Protecting children and supporting parents or caregivers to provide children with proper care and attention
  2. Remedy and reduce the risk of chronic violence and neglect
  3. Provide children with an alternative treatment plan when parents or guardians are unable to show adequate and health care for them

Objectives: the department aim in providing services that help families to be financially independent. The main objective is protecting children from violence and neglect and supporting families in the process of helping to provide their children with healthy parents. Child safety is a collective duty, and at the first indication of a concern, communities must strategically respond to children that are at risk of violence or neglect and collaborate with families, and resources can be mobilized through combined efforts. The community has a responsibility to ensure that prevention, action, and the appropriate resources are available.

Describe specific ways you could identify and engage key informants to provide the information you seek regarding your agency’s program. Provide a rationale for this approach.

List specific questions you would ask of the informants to obtain the desired information.

Course Reflection Discussion

In the first module you discussed how you envisioned that program evaluation might play a role in your professional practice. Now that you have presumably gained a deeper understanding of the functions of program evaluation and specific purposes it can serve, respond to the following questions. This is your opportunity to reflect on the knowledge, values, and skills you can take from this course.

How has your view of the relevance or usefulness of evaluation for your future social work practice evolved since your response to Discussion 1? (5 points)

Which of the common purposes of evaluations (i.e., Program Improvement, Accountability, Knowledge Generation– from Module 2 “tailoring evaluations”) would be useful in your current or future practice setting. Give 2 specific examples to illustrate. (10 points)

Do you feel that you personally could implement any of the program evaluation strategies you learned about in any meaningful way in your practice setting? If not, what additional knowledge or skills would you need to refine or develop? (5 points)

What connections can you draw between this course and other courses you have taken in the MSW Program? Explain the interconnection(s). (5 points)

Last Updated on December 14, 2020