Dudley (2009) points out that social work practice is usually embedded in programs. While you looked at practice evaluation using single-subject design in Week 3, this week, you shift focus to program evaluation. Program evaluation serves many purposes, including accountability to funders and to the public. Often, funding sources such as government agencies or private foundations requires periodic program evaluations. These evaluations can help provide answers to many different questions, and can contribute to improvement of services. There are a variety of program evaluation models that are appropriate for addressing different questions as well as facilitating the collection and analysis of many different types of data.
To prepare for this Discussion, identify a program within an agency with which you are familiar, which could benefit from process evaluation and outcome evaluation. You do not need to identify the agency in your post. Also, review the different evaluation models highlighted in this week’s resources (needs assessment, program monitoring, client satisfaction study, outcome evaluation, or cost benefit study).
By Day 3
Post a brief summary of the program that you selected. Recommend a program evaluation model that would answer a question relevant to the program. Explain the potential benefits of the program evaluation that you proposed (both process and outcome). Identify 2–3 concerns that stakeholders might have about your proposed evaluation and how you would address those concerns. Then explain 2–3 concerns that stakeholders may have about your proposed program evaluation and how you would address those concerns.
Dudley, J. R. (2014). Social work evaluation: Enhancing what we do. (2nd ed.) Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books.
- Chapter 1, “Evaluation and Social Work: Making the Connection” (pp. 1–26)
- Chapter 4, “Common Types of Evaluations” (pp. 71-89)
- Chapter 5, “Focusing an Evaluation” (pp. 90-105)