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Research at Work: Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses

This article overviews the systematic review and the meta-analysis. These tools provide a comprehensive picture of current research. What follows is an abridged explanation of each of these techniques. This approach is intended to provide a fundamental overview for social work practitioners, so that they may more readily access important research while minimizing the time spent doing so.

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Cultural competence and social work education: Moving toward assessment of practice behaviors

Social work educators are responsible for ensuring that future practitioners are culturally competent and have the ability to work effectively with people from different backgrounds. The purpose of this article is to address the current limitations in measuring cultural competence and to report the results of a qualitative study examining stakeholders’ conceptualizations of the definition, educational process, and evaluation of cultural competence in social work education. Findings support long-standing assumptions in the literature regarding the need for social workers to develop certain knowledge and attitudes as prerequisites of becoming culturally competent, and emphasize the need for further exploration of the way social workers define cultural competence, translate it into discrete practice behaviors, and assess how students demonstrate these behaviors.

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Evaluation of a continuing education training on client financial capability

The researchers conducted an evaluation study assessing outcomes among 37 social workers who completed a continuing education course on financial capability and working with clients. Key constructs assessed included participants’ attitudes about financial capability, self-efficacy to provide services, organizational barriers, and basic financial knowledge. Social work participants reported that financial problems among their clients were almost unanimous as a reason for seeking services.

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Developing and validating measures for child welfare agencies to self-monitor fidelity to a child safety intervention

Building evidence of effective practice in child welfare requires practitioners and researchers to know the extent to which programs are implemented in order to understand evaluation results. Fidelity monitoring is a critical strategy for ensuring that evidence-based and promising practices are implemented as intended and can be studied in real-world contexts. This paper addresses challenges to measuring fidelity in child welfare systems and presents an approach taken with one state to define fidelity criteria and measure fidelity to a child safety intervention.

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Last Updated: 9/9/19