FIU Social Work Evaluation Discussions

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Florida International University


Respond to the initial posts of at least two classmates. 

Discuss a comparison of your classmate’s example and your own example.  What are the similarities and differences and how are the differences accounted for?  Discuss what the differences mean in context, so for example, would the examples work if reversed?  Why or why not?

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Discussion 1: Why do social work evaluations provide a clear rationale for improving services that we as social workers offer the clients and families we serve. If we leave everything, we once knew to that of an original thought then it would be just that. Things improve over time with more knowledge and more technology. We improve upon things constantly and the world we live in is ever changing, at times for the better, others in my opinion not so much. This is also true for evaluations. According to (Richard M. Grinnell, Gabor, & Unrau, 2019) case level and program level evaluations assist us in improving our knowledge base of literature, better ways to perform interventions and the effectiveness of which we perform in general. Social work evaluations show the social worker and the agency what is working well and what areas may need a little more work or training. Evaluations allow the social worker to continuously utilize and optimize service delivery and it aids in assisting social organization and government agencies to improve upon programs with the highest possible outcome (Portal, 2023). Evaluations prepare social workers to know exactly what to do, when to do it and how to do it (Richard M. Grinnell, Gabor, & Unrau, 2019). As social workers we want to provide the very best treatment modality, interventions and overall services to those we serve. We cannot do that if we are not self-aware of the many evidence practices that have developed, me informative on those practices and have training that guides us on how to apply those practices in a social work setting. Tools for measuring program evaluations and evaluations in general are always changing, so it is important as social workers that not only are we aware of the tools being used to assist with better outcomes, but also the research and data that has went into finding the best treatment for individuals bases on their need. As social workers we must be looking for new or better ways to deliver and provide the clients and families we serve with more responsive, efficient and effective outcomes (Richard M. Grinnell, Gabor, & Unrau, 2019). Social work evaluations do just that for us. They tell us are strengths and weaknesses and it serves as measuring tool of our individual progress. This lets us know where we are and what we need to adjust or improve upon. Evaluations are crucial to the work we do as it is ever-changing, growing, and we must be able to adapt and change with it. At my practicum site they use a formative approach to evaluating the effects the treatment program has had on clients at an intake, exit, and follow-up phase to make sure the program is meeting its objectives on client care. As for myself, as most of you know we have evaluations that are conducted by our field supervisor during practicum on how we are doing at the practicum site. We are scored on various effectiveness and levels based on competency levels in social work. This measures my effectiveness on an individual level, and I have periodic discussions with my supervisor about those evaluations. Informed supervision and evaluations are critical to effective job performance References: Portal, S. W. (2023, June 1st). The Different Types of Social Work Practice-Everything You Need to Know. Retrieved from Socia Work Portal: Richard M. Grinnell, J., Gabor, P Discussion 2: Evaluations are very important for the work we do as social workers. While for some of us, evaluations can be scary (Grinnell, pg. 7). When evaluations are done we are able to see changes happen within a company rather than if there are no evaluations, we would never know areas where we could improve, and get better. An example of this would be at my practicum, a few times a year the company does evaluations sent out to parents, teachers, and the children. We recently reviewed these and found that a lot of staff wished we would partake more in their meetings. This is an easy adjustment for us to make in which we will attend more meetings and try to have our presence known. If our company didn’t do these evaluations we would have no idea that this is something the staff at the schools we are based in want. An article on community-based research it shared the importance of using community evaluations to get a better understanding of how the community views the program is doing (Barrio, pg. 211). When we as social workers can get a better understanding of the work we are doing and how effective we are doing it, it will help us to gain funding to continue to practice as well as show us where we are excelling and where we can improve. If we are never looking to improve that is when we see programs lose funding and fall apart as the workers don’t know if what they are doing is something the community needs or likes. Barrio Minton, C. A., Gibbons, M. M., & Hightower, J. M. (2021). Community-engaged research and evaluation in counseling: building partnerships and applying program evaluation. Journal of Counseling and Development : Jcd, 99(2), 210–220. Grinnell, R., Gabor, P., & Unrau, Y. (2019). Program Evaluations for Social Workers (8th ed.). Oxford University Press. Original Article Trauma-Informed Care in the Massachusetts Child Trauma Project Child Maltreatment 1-12 ª The Author(s) 2015 Reprints and permission: DOI: 10.1177/1077559515615700 Jessica Dym Bartlett1,2, Beth Barto3, Jessica L. Griffin1, Jenifer Goldman Fraser4, Hilary Hodgdon5, and Ruth Bodian6 Abstract Child maltreatment is a serious public health concern, and its detrimental effects can be compounded by traumatic experiences associated with the child welfare (CW) system. Trauma-informed care (TIC) is a promising strategy for addressing traumatized children’s needs, but research on the impact of TIC in CW is limited. This study examines initial findings of the Massachusetts Child Trauma Project, a statewide TIC initiative in the CW system and mental health network. After 1 year of implementation, Trauma-Informed Leadership Teams in CW offices emerged as key structures for TIC systems integration, and mental health providers’ participation in evidence-based treatment (EBT) learning collaboratives was linked to improvements in traumainformed individual and agency practices. After approximately 6 months of EBT treatment, children had fewer posttraumatic symptoms and behavior problems compared to baseline. Barriers to TIC that emerged included scarce resources for traumarelated work in the CW agency and few mental providers providing EBTs to young children. Future research might explore variations in TIC across service system components as well as the potential for differential effects across EBT models disseminated through TIC. Keywords child trauma, child PTSD/trauma, child maltreatment, child welfare, evidence-based practice, evidence-based treatment Child maltreatment is a major public health problem in the United States. Approximately 3 million referrals for abuse and neglect are made to child protective services each year involving 6 million children (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2013). Increasing attention has been paid to the complex traumatic experiences of maltreated children, particularly within the context of child welfare (CW) service delivery, wherein the negative impact of maltreatment is often compounded by family disruption and multiple experiences of separation and loss. These cumulative traumatic experiences often manifest in complex symptom presentations with wide-ranging effects on children’s mental health (e.g., Kisiel, Fehrenbach, Small, & Lyons, 2009). Numerous federal, state, and local initiatives focus on building capacity to deliver trauma-informed care (TIC) across the many systems serving maltreated children (Ko et al., 2008). There is much consonance among these initiatives in how to conceptualize TIC. Most share the assumptions that TIC involves awareness of the prevalence of trauma and its impact on health and mental health; recognizes signs and symptoms of trauma in children, families, and staff; responds with evidencebased practices; and, avoids retraumatization. However, such assumptions have been operationalized differently across systems (e.g., Chadwick Trauma-Informed Systems Project, 2013; SAMHSA, 2014a), limiting generalizability of empirical data on TIC. A recent synthesis of the literature (SAMHSA, 2014b) moves the field forward by offering a definition that specifies 10 cross-cutting TIC ‘‘implementation domains’’: (1) governance and leadership; (2) policy; (3) physical environment; (4) engagement and involvement; (5) cross-sector collaboration; (6) screening, assessment, and treatment services; (7) training and workforce development; (8) progress monitoring and quality assurance; (9) financing; and (10) evaluation. Yet, further research is needed to elucidate TIC outcomes in real-world CW settings. 1 Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA 2 Brazelton Touchpoints Center, Division of Developmental Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, MA, USA 3 LUK Inc., Fitchburg, MA, USA 4 Child Witness to Violence Project, Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA 5 The Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute, Brookline, MA, USA 6 Massachusetts Department of Children & Families, Boston, MA, USA Corresponding Author: Jessica Dym Bartlett, Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01604, USA. Email: Downloaded from at TUFTS UNIV on November 17, 2015 2 Child Maltreatment Implementing TIC in the Massachusetts Child Trauma Project In Massachusetts, a multipronged TIC initiative and evaluation is currently underway, focused on improving the safety, permanency, and well-being of maltreated children, and that aligns closely with the aforementioned TIC implementation domains. The Massachusetts Child Trauma Project (MCTP) is a 5-year statewide systems-improvement initiative funded in 2011 by the Children’s Bureau (Administration for Children and Families and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [USDHHS]). The goal of MCTP is to implement and sustain TIC within the CW and child mental health network (see Goldman Fraser et al., 2014). The key MCTP objectives are: (a) to improve identification and assessment of children exposed to complex trauma; (b) to build service provider capacity for the delivery of trauma-specific, evidence-based treatments (EBTs) in agencies serving CW involved children; (c) to increase linkages with and referrals of children to EBTs; and (d) to increase caregivers’ understanding about and sensitivity to child trauma. MCTP focuses on three central activities: (1) training in CW; (2) EBT dissemination; and, (3) systems integration. The first set of activities most directly addresses the TIC implementation domains of training and workforce development and screening, assessment, and treatment services through basic and advanced child trauma trainings with CW staff and workshops for resource (foster) parents using the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) Child Welfare Training Toolkit and Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma: A Workshop for Resource Parents (Grillo, Lott, & Foster Care Subcommittee of the Child Welfare Committee, NCTSN, 2010). Prior research has demonstrated the effectiveness of CW training curricula in improving TIC knowledge and practice (Conners-Burrow et al., 2013). As a sustainability strategy, CW staff and resource parents receive training to facilitate or cofacilitate curricula in the future. MCTP’s second major activity addresses the TIC domain of assessment and treatment services through statewide dissemination of three trauma treatments with empirical support (e.g., Hodgdon, Kinniburgh, Gabowitz, Blaustein, & Spinazzola, 2013.; Mannarino, Cohen, Deblinger, Runyon, & Steer, 2012; Weiner, Schneider, & Lyons, 2009) via communitybased mental health organizations: attachment, self-regulation, and competency (ARC; Blaustein & Kinniburgh, 2010), child– parent psychotherapy (CPP; Lieberman & Van Horn, 2005), and trauma-focused cognitive–behavioral therapy (TF-CBT; Cohen, Mannarino, & Deblinger, 2006). MCTP’s dissemination efforts employ comprehensive training and consultation in the form of a learning collaborative (LC) model, a promising approach to implementing empirically supported treatments in mental health (DeRosa, Amaya-Jackson, & Layne, 2013; Ebert, Amaya-Jackson, Markiewicz, & Fairbank, 2012: Institute for Healthcare Improvement, 2003; Nadeem, Olin, Hill, Hoagwood, & Horwitz, 2013). The LC model brings together mental health teams that comprise an administrator with authority to make policy and programmatic decisions (‘‘senior leader’’ [SL]), clinical supervisors who monitor fidelity and provide support, clinicians who provide direct service, and a data manager. All members commit to a 1-year learning period, anchored by face-to-face learning sessions and intensive EBT consultation. MCTP also emphasizes the importance of leadership as a driver of effective implementation and sustainability, with a SL track focusing on EBT monitoring and continuous quality improvement (Fixsen, Naoom, Blasé, Friedman, & Wallace, 2005). Thus, it offers a platform for building governance and leadership in multiple TIC domains (e.g., policy, environment, and quality assurance). A third MCTP component, Trauma-Informed Leadership Teams (TILTs), focuses on installing and supporting a structure for TIC systems integration at the community level. TILTs represent a promising means of actualizing the TIC domain of cross-sector collaboration (Conradi et al., 2011). They rely on leadership by CW management and participation by social workers, consumers, mental health providers, and other community service providers and stakeholders. The team process facilitates sharing of best practices across systems to increase awareness of the impact of trauma on children, creating consistency in TIC across service systems, addressing service gaps related to TIC, and reducing obstacles to accessing evidencebased services. The Current Study To illustrate key aspects of TIC developed under MCTP, we present data drawn from a mixed methods implementation and child outcome evaluation. Our earlier work (Goldman Fraser et al., 2014) describes the major components of MCTP and its implementation, including the activities, evaluation plan, preliminary outcomes, and lessons learned during the first year. We will stress the importance of widespread exposure to TIC concepts in both mental health and CW. We place particular emphasis on the importance of cross-system collaboration toward a shared language between systems. This study reports findings from the first year, evaluating TIC installation and improvements. Our two central research questions are (a) What improvements in TIC do TILTs, SLs, and clinicians report after 1 year of involvement in the project? and (b) Are EBTs disseminated through LCs associated with reductions in trauma symptoms and improvements in behavior among CW involved children at the first follow-up assessment, approximately 6 months into the treatment process? We hypothesized that MCTP’s TIC approach would have measurable benefits by 6 to 12 months. Our study approach emphasizes the collaborative efforts of the TIC system elements. Method Sample and Procedures Data for this study were drawn from the larger evaluation of MCTP, a multisource, mixed method approach to assessing process and outcomes, as well as informing continuous quality Downloaded from at TUFTS UNIV on November 17, 2015 Bartlett et al. 3 improvement. The evaluation utilizes a combination of standardized and unstandardized surveys, key informant interviews, focus groups, CW records review, and child assessments. The design of this formative evaluation is primarily descriptive. 5.9% (n ¼ 9) spoke other languages; and 79.1% (n ¼ 121) of clinicians were White, 9.1% (n ¼ 14) were Hispanic/Latino, 5.9% (n ¼ 9) were African American, and 7.8% (n ¼ 12) indicated other. TILT sample and data collection. During the first year of implementation (October 2012 to September 2013), 16 of 17 area offices in the northern and western regions of the state developed TILTs. Most teams met monthly with a summer hiatus, and some held additional planning meetings. They had representation from CW workers, supervisors, and managers; community service providers (e.g., mental health workers, school staff, pediatricians, and court personnel); consumers (e.g., parents and youth); and resource parents. Evaluators conducted key informant interviews (October to December, 2014) with 32 TILT leaders from 14 (87.5%) of 16 teams. Two teams did not respond. Leaders held a variety of roles: director of areas (n ¼ 2), area clinical managers (n ¼ 10), area program managers (n ¼ 6), managers (n ¼ 4), supervisors (n ¼ 6), social workers (n ¼ 3), and an adoption worker. Most leaders (81.3%) were female. Child sample and data collection. Children in the first-year cohort (n ¼ 326) and their parents, caregivers, or legal guardians who were enrolled in the evaluation received one of the three EBTs: 136 (57.63%) received TF-CBT, 108 (45.76%) received ARC, and 82 (34.75%) received CPP. Children’s mean age was 9.09 years (SD ¼ 4.68; range ¼ 0–18) at enrollment. Over half (56.0%; n ¼ 183) of children were female and 44.0% (n ¼ 143) were male. According to caregivers, just under one third (31.0%, n ¼ 101) of children in the sample were Hispanic; the majority of children were White (73.3%, n ¼ 239), 14.4% (n ¼ 47) were African American, 1.5% (n ¼ 5) were American Indian/Alaskan Native, 0.9% (n ¼ 3) were Asian, and 11.0% (n ¼ 36) did not respond (caregivers could select multiple race categories if applicable). Over one third (39.6%; n ¼ 129) of children resided with their parents, 19.3% (n ¼ 63) with other family members, 18.1% (n ¼ 59) in regular foster care, 8.0% (n ¼ 26) in treatment foster care, and 8.9% (n ¼ 29) in another residence (residential treatment, shelter, and other). Less than half of children (44.8%; n ¼ 146) were in state custody, 40.5% (n ¼ 132) were in their parents’ custody, and 9.2% (n ¼ 30) were in the custody of other family members at study entry. Two fifths of children (40.2%; n ¼ 131) were on psychotropic medication. Clinicians identified eligible children, obtained consent from their caregivers, and enrolled children in the evaluation. Eligibility criteria included (a) referral for treatment related to trauma and (b) current open CW case. Clinicians administered assessments at baseline (i.e., at study enrollment, typically within the first two sessions), 6, 12, and 18 months, or until treatment was complete or the family terminated treatment. This study utilizes data from baseline and the first follow-up at 6 months or an earlier discharge, if the child left treatment for any reason prior to 6 months. SL sample and data collection. Twenty-seven SLs from 20 community mental health agencies participated in the LCs in the first year of implementation. The majority of SLs (70.4%; n ¼ 19) were female. Nearly all were in a management role at their agency, and seven were responsible for overseeing multiple teams. In total, 40 teams participated in LCs. Agencies had one to four teams each, with half enrolling multiple teams. SLs participated in bimonthly online meetings with the MCTP project coordinator. Several agencies substituted supervisors. The project coordinator conducted key informant interviews with 25 SLs representing all 40 teams in 20 agencies 6 months after the LC began, in March 2013. In October 2012, leaders from 39 of the 40 teams participated in an online survey on trauma screening implementation, referral processes, and collaboration with CW. In October 2014, the nine agencies that continued with SL calls beyond the LC year (in a sustainability track) participated in an online questionnaire on TIC priorities. Clinician sample and data collection. In 2012, prior to EBT training, clinicians and clinical supervisors (n ¼ 190) completed an online survey assessing individual and agency TIC policies and practices, which they repeated 1 year later. Clinicians who completed the survey (n ¼ 153; 80.5%) represented 20 mental health agencies and several disciplines: 45.4% (n ¼ 69) psychology, 39.5% (n ¼ 60) social work, 1.3% psychiatric nursing (n ¼ 2), and 13.8% (n ¼ 21) other. Less than half (46.1%) had up to 5 years of experience; 23.0% had 6–10 years; 19.7% had 11–20 years; 9.9% had 21–30 years; and 1.3% (n ¼ 2) had 31 or more years. Over three quarters (77.1%; n ¼ 118) had a master’s degree and 9.8% (n ¼ 15) held a doctorate. Most were female (90.1%; n ¼ 137). About 35.3% (n ¼ 54) were 20–30 years old, 24.7% (n ¼ 37) were 31–40 years, 20.7% (n ¼ 32) were 41–50 years, and 4.0% (n ¼ 6) were 61 years or older. All clinicians spoke English, 11.1% (n ¼ 17) spoke Spanish, and Measures TILT measures. To assess functioning and implementation of TIC in TILTs, we reviewed meeting documentation (team membership, attendance, frequency and duration of meetings, and meeting content) and conducted key informant interviews on first-year implementation (recruitment, retention, activities, supports and challenges, and sustainability). SL measures. SLs completed measures assessing trauma screening, referral, and outreach to CW; TIC priorities; and MCTP implementation. They also participated in key informant interviews. Trauma screening, referral, and outreach to CW. We administered an online questionnaire to assess agency trauma screening and referral practices including (1) how CW referrals were triaged; (2) use of any type of trauma screening tool; (3) type of trauma Downloaded from at TUFTS UNIV on November 17, 2015 4 Child Maltreatment screening tools; (4) process for assignment of referrals; (5) referral process for clients when an EBT clinician was not available; (6) clinician concerns about the flow of referrals and agency capacity to meet demand for EBTs; and, (7) outreach to local CW offices. We also assessed use of trauma screening during key informant interviews with SLs 6 months into the 1-year LC. TIC priorities. SLs completed a brief online poll on their TIC priority domains. They ranked 7 items (lowest ¼ 1; highest ¼ 7): training and education in child trauma, availability and accessibility of trauma-focused treatment, parent/caregiver trauma, system integration/service coordination with child serving entities, screening and referral, understanding the impact of vicarious trauma on the workforce, and updating written policies. MCTP implementation. Evaluators conducted semistructured key informant telephone interviews using prepared questions with SLs on their perceptions of the first 6 months of MCTP implementation. We focus here on the referral process and agency links with TILTs. Clinician measure: Trauma-informed policy and practice. To evaluate TIC implementation among clinicians, we used the Trauma Informed System Change Instrument (TISCI; Richardson, Coryn, Henry, Black-Pond, & Unrau, 2012). The TISCI has 19 items answered on a 5-point scale (1 ¼ not at all true; 5 ¼ completely true). Higher scores represent more traumainformed policies and practices. The three subscales, agency policy, agency practice, and individual practice have weighted scores (20–100). Agency policy refers to local, state, and federal policy that shape professional focus and action and assesses cooperation between and within agencies. Agency practice pertains to treatments or resources available to TIC and day-to-day agency practices that are trauma informed. Individual practice assesses the extent that individuals practice consistently in a trauma-informed manner. The TISCI’s internal consistency is adequate (Cronbach’s a ¼ .53; Richardson et al., 2012). Child measures. To evaluate child outcomes associated with receipt of any of the three EBTs, we used quantitative measures of posttraumatic stress symptoms and child behavior. Posttraumatic stress symptoms in young children. To assess posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in young children (aged 1–6), we used the Young Child PTSD Checklist (YCPC; Scheeringa, 2010). The YCPC is a 24-item caregiver report measure assessing traumatic events, trauma symptoms, and functional impairment in their children. Frequency of each symptom in the past 2 weeks is rated on a Likert-type scale (0 ¼ not at all and 4 ¼ everyday), with 19 items evaluating Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition; DSM-IV) PTSD symptoms. Caregivers indicated how often each symptom in the child bothered them (startle response, intrusive memories, nightmares, physical distress, persistent negative emotions, withdrawal, clinginess, aggression, sleep problems, and lost skills). Item scores are summed with a ‘‘probable diagnosis’’ cutoff of >26. For functional impairment, caregivers indicate the extent to which symptoms ‘‘get in the way’’ of child functioning. Items are summed and the cutoff for functional impairment is >4. The instrument is relatively new, and no psychometric data were available, but it addressed relevant constructs in children as young as one 1 and was available at no cost, whereas the majority of existing measures that assess posttraumatic symptoms in young children are not appropriate for infants and toddlers and impose a financial burden. Posttraumatic stress symptoms in older children. To assess trauma among older children (aged 7–18), we used the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Reaction Index (UCLA PTSD-RI; Pynoos, Rodriguez, Steinberg, Stuber, & Frederick, 1998). The PTSD-RI is a 48-item semistructured interview assessing child exposure to 26 types of traumatic events and DSM-IV PTSD diagnostic criteria, including reexperiencing, avoidance/numbing, and arousal symptoms. The Parent Version was used for children under age 8, and both the Child and the Parent Versions were used for children aged 8–18 years. The PTSD-RI has good psychometric properties (Steinberg, Brymer, Decker, & Pynoos, 2004). Child behavior. We used the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL; Achenbach, 1992) for age 6–18 years (113 items) and 1.5–5 years (99 items). The CBCL is a standardized caregiver report measure of children’s emotional and behavioral problems. Subscales include internalizing (anxious, depressive and overcontrolled), externalizing (aggressive, hyperactive, noncompliant, and undercontrolled), and total problem behaviors. Items are rated on a 3-point Likert-type scale (0 ¼ absent, 1 ¼ occurs sometimes, and 2 ¼ occurs often) for the past 6 months. Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA) calculates T-scores using a clinical cutoff of 63. The CBCL has high internal consistency (Cronbach’s a ¼ .63–.97) and test–retest reliability (Pearson’s r ¼ .80–.94; Thorvaldsen, 2005). Data Analysis Descriptive analysis of TILT data. Key informant interviews with TILT leaders were audio-recorded, hand-coded, and analyzed for themes. TILT meeting minutes were coded and analyzed thematically to generate descriptive statistics. Descriptive analysis of SL and clinician data. To analyze data on SLs, we reviewed online survey results and analyzed key informant interviews on domains of TIC. We analyzed clinician data using t tests to assess changes in trauma-informed policies and practices prior to EBT training and 1 year later. Multivariate analysis of child outcome data. We used a mixed effects approach to analyze data on the EBT’s impact on child Downloaded from at TUFTS UNIV on November 17, 2015 Bartlett et al. 5 outcomes (posttraumatic symptoms and problem behavior) by fitting a series of linear multilevel regression models to assess differences across study time points (baseline to first follow-up at 6 months or earlier discharge) separately for each outcome. To account for nonindependence of repeated observations on children, we allowed intercepts to vary across children, and to account for nesting of children with clinicians and clinicians within mental health agencies, we allowed intercepts to vary across clinicians and agencies. We used likelihood ratio tests to determine specification of random effects for each outcome. Covariates were child age, sex, number of trauma types, psychotropic medication, and custody (parent, other adult, state, and other). We excluded child race as a covariate due to missing data, as many caregivers chose not to provide this information. Controlling for child age and agency (each agency used a single EBT) largely accounted for variation by EBT, as we were not focused on differences in outcomes by EBT at this time, given the relatively small sample size. To address missingness, we fit multivariate models using maximum likelihood (ML) estimation, maximizing sample size by using all available data to compute ML estimates of model parameters. ML has nearly optimal statistical properties under the assumption of ignorability, allowing missingness of observations to depend on observed data (Allison, 2003). Results TILTs TILTs engaged in a wide range of activities that reached a variety of audiences such as conducting a self-assessment; developing resources about child traumatic stress; organizing in-person trainings and group viewing of webinars about trauma for CW staff; developing webinars clarifying CW and mental health roles for the purpose of improved collaboration; conducting trainings about trauma for resource parents, local school systems, and community providers; creating a welcoming space for children and families; and holding wellness classes to address secondary stress among staff. Overall, findings from interviews with TILT leaders fell into five categories of TIC: (a) team membership recruitment and retention, (b) self-assessment, (c) communication and collaboration, (d) secondary traumatic stress, and (e) sustainability. Team membership recruitment and retention. TILT leaders were able to recruit a wide range of professionals to join their teams, including mental health providers (n ¼ 14), CW social workers (n ¼ 14), supervisors (n ¼ 13), managers (n ¼ 13), alumni/ youth consumers (n ¼ 7), resource parents (n ¼ 5), school personnel (n ¼ 5), court personnel (n ¼ 5), and others (e.g., court appointed special advocate, police, substance abuse provider, domestic violence representative, medical staff, immigrant center worker, child care staff, and state behavioral health representative). Member recruitment was one of the most challenging aspects of the first year. Several TILTs reported advantages of training in child trauma (e.g., Child Trauma Toolkit Training through MCTP; trauma certificate program at a local graduate school). According to six leaders from different TILTs, a major success was developing and enhancing connections with the mental health community. All of the teams highlighted active participation by clinicians from local mental health agencies. Each of the teams sought participation from alumni consumers (youth, caregivers, and resource parents), agreeing that they were an important ‘‘voice,’’ but most leaders concurred that these were the most difficult roles to fill. Moreover, TILTs that were able to recruit consumers often found it challenging to retain them as members, citing the timing of the monthly meetings (during the work/school day) as a barrier. Some leaders reported that interest in TILTs was high in the beginning but waned over the course of the year. While the majority of teams reported 10–12 members early in the year, one team had only 3 to 4 core members by the year’s end. Leaders attributed low retention rates to factors including high rates of turnover among community professionals, increasing caseload demands, and turnover among CW agency staff due to organizational unrest—they felt that a high profile child death that year precipitated major changes in staff, leadership, policies, and practices within the agency, increased pressure on workers, and introduced competing commitments in the agency. One area program manager commented, ‘‘Some people’s attention needed to go other places – not because they didn’t think it was a good idea.’’ Another leader alluded to these shifts in organizational climate: ‘‘Staff dropped off, and I do attribute that to the changes going on in the agency at that time.’’ Nevertheless, several TILTs retained their members and developed a consistent core team. Most brought on new members as needed, though one team chose not to: ‘‘We used the group to do the group assessment and closed membership at that point. We desired to create a cohesive group.’’ Self-assessment. TILT teams conducted an annual selfassessment using a tool designed to assist teams with taking stock of the systems and processes they currently have with respect to TIC. One TILT leader described the benefits: ‘‘The self-assessment was great because it gave us kind of a ‘strengths-and-needs’ look at our office.’’ Other leaders noted that self-assessment led to connections between CW workers and community providers. Communication and collaboration. A number of TILTs developed strategies for improved communication about TIC and collaboration within the agency as well as with community providers. This work often began with finding a common language between CW workers and clinicians who were providing EBTs. According to one leader, ‘‘It was identified very early on that the language the Department speaks and the language the clinician speaks are completely not in the same world.’’ However, even within the CW agency, there was much work to be done in developing a shared understanding of child trauma. One leader highlighted the TILTs’ success in this endeavor, reporting that Downloaded from at TUFTS UNIV on November 17, 2015 6 Child Maltreatment staff spoke much more often with each other and with families about TIC after their first year: ‘‘That’s a regular part of our vocabulary now . . . the trauma of parents and experience of children is more readily part of the conversation when talking to families.’’ In addition, TILTs focused their efforts in the first year on forming and strengthening partnerships with community providers in the school and juvenile justice systems. Training and educational materials. A number of TILTs developed trainings and educational materials for professionals in the community (e.g., educators, court personnel, and resource parents). Each TILT took a unique approach to improving community responsiveness to child trauma. TILT efforts tended to focus on increasing awareness of the impact of trauma on children, improving professional’s sensitivity and responsiveness to trauma-impacted children, and providing information about their emotional needs. Leaders from six TILTs stated that resource parents were a priority in their work. They used a variety of methods for reaching out to them, including information packets and a ‘‘welcome book’’ for foster children and a lunch for social workers and resource parents to promote relationship building. Referrals for child trauma treatment. Leaders cited an increase in appropriate EBT referrals as a direct result of TILT activities through word of mouth and staff training, practices that then spread throughout the CW agency. One leader explained, ‘‘It’s something that’s embedded in how we think . . . it’s always in our clinical discussions now.’’ The majority of leaders reported greater awareness of the impact of child trauma and the importance of EBTs, which facilitated referrals. In some instances, TILTs generated referrals during TILT meetings. However, they also identified circumstances in which referrals were problematic, such as a limited number of clinicians who work in certain regions or with young children. Secondary traumatic stress. Another common theme raised by TILT leaders was secondary traumatic stress of staff and resource parents. As one TILT member said, the CW system itself is ‘‘systemic trauma.’’ Moreover, some TILT leaders felt that staff exposure to adversity had increased in recent years. One area clinical manager echoed this concern, emphasizing its impact on resource parents: ‘‘Secondary trauma for staff and resource parent’s trauma is a problem as well. We have a debriefing every other week now and we are reaching out individually if necessary.’’ Overall, TILTs developed many creative approaches to addressing secondary trauma, including wellness classes (e.g., mediation and yoga), support groups, a self-care committee, a ‘‘wellness room,’’ and a survey to screen workers for secondary trauma. Sustainability. Leaders from the majority of teams expressed a desire to continue the TILT model of TIC. As one leader puts it, ‘‘I absolutely think it’s something worth sustaining!’’ Concurrently, they indicated a need for additional supports to sustain this mechanism of TIC beyond the life of MCTP. Nearly every leader identified the need for additional time to dedicate to trauma work on the TILT. Several leaders also felt that a stronger commitment from CW agency leadership would be critical to continuing their efforts, which would require higher prioritization of TILT work, additional allocation of resources for trauma-related work, and the development of internal policies to support statewide collaboration and the spread of TIC in CW practice across the state ‘‘to get everyone working with the same population on the same page.’’ Despite challenges, most leaders expressed a belief that TILTs serve an important function in CW and offered benefits to multiple stakeholders: People feel like this is a valuable learning experience that they’ve gotten—that they’ve seen the benefits of being trauma-informed when they’re working with their clients; that the agencies we work with are seeing that they’re getting referrals from us; that the work that they’re doing with our clients is beneficial. Many leaders emphasized that TILT members would need designated time to attend meetings and to engage in related work in the agency and community if their efforts were going to be successful in the long term, as they were already struggling with the existing demands of their jobs. They also expressed the need for a small amount of funding to develop and distribute TIC materials within the agency and community as well as to purchase food for monthly meetings. Taken together, TILT leaders considered several achievements among their most successful in TIC implementation: the development and provision of trainings on TIC practices in CW and with outside systems partners, increased referrals for EBTs, and progress toward a shared language for child trauma among various providers. They also recognized value in MCTP support, including on-site visits from the project manager, free child trauma training and certification in EBTs, and events that brought TILTs together to share innovative practices. One challenge they encountered was the need for additional support, such as explicit guidance on how to develop and carry out TIC aims. However, two managers with expertise in child trauma expressed a preference to maintain freedom to pursue their own interests and to realize their vision of TIC. A significant challenge for TILTs was upheaval in the CW agency due to a highly publicized child death. Leaders felt that the ensuing turnover, high caseloads, shifting policies, and heightened stress led to problems maintaining participation in TILTs. SLs in Mental Health LCs Screening, referral, and outreach to DCF. SLs (n ¼ 27) representing 44 of the 45 teams completed the survey on trauma screening, referral, and outreach to CW after the first month of the LC. When a SL represented more than one team, he or she responded to the survey separately for each team. The majority (64%; n ¼ 28) reported using trauma screening in their agency. When their agency was unable to serve a family, 39% (n ¼ 17) of SLs reported that they placed a family on their waitlist, 30% (n ¼ 13) referred the client to another MCTP agency with EBT Downloaded from at TUFTS UNIV on November 17, 2015 Bartlett et al. 7 Table 1. Regression Models Examining Change in Trauma Symptomology and Child Behavior From Baseline to First Follow-up. Measure UCLA PTSD Index Child Version UCLA PTSD Index Parent Version Young Child PTSD Checklist (YCPC) Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) Re-experiencing Avoidance/numbing Arousal Total severity Re-experiencing Avoidance/numbing Arousal Total severity Re-experiencing Avoidance/numbing Arousal Functional impairment Total severity Internalizing Externalizing Total problems B SE df p 3.25 2.06 1.07 6.56 0.55 1.58 0.52 2.82 0.43 0.73 1.39 2.42 2.44 4.22 2.85 4.09 0.48 0.63 0.44 1.30 0.55 0.58 0.45 1.26 0.68 0.78 0.74 0.93 1.96 0.93 0.97 0.98 170 166 165 161 165 161 165 160 136 130 133 135 126 282 278 278
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Social Work Evaluation
Evaluation is a vital function in social work, helping to drive the continuous improvement
of our services. Evaluation helps achieve program improvement by helping social workers
identify whether an intervention works and areas where client services can be improved. As
Grinnell et al. (2019) point out, one of the professional responsibilities we hold as social workers
is to improve the services we offer to ensure that they benefit clients. Therefore, evaluation is
one of the vital tools that social workers use to achieve this improvement and ensure that services
achieve positive client ...

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