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Evaluation

 

Assessment, intervention and evaluation are not separate processes; they are interconnected, overlapping and continuous (Adams, 2012). Furthermore, the nature of the service will determine what aspects of these processes social care workers are involved in. Some social care workers engage with all three components in their day to day work, whereas others are involved in assessment, intervention or evaluation only. It is important that these processes take place within a culture of reflection and learning. Too often, we receive feedback from students and placement providers on the challenges of making time for supervision, reflection, and learning.

 

Lessons from the past, such as the Roscommon Child Care and Áras Attracta inquiries, have clearly indicated the importance of organisational commitment to reflection and learning in ensuring that workers are engaged in critical reflexive practice to review and evaluation is an on-going feature of the work. Some interventions may have a formal evaluation depending on the nature of the intervention and the timeframe involved. For example, a parent participating in a parent support programme may evaluate the programme and his/her progress once all sessions have been completed. However, other interventions may not have an agreed end-date and the social care worker must ensure that when an intervention takes place, the tool can be employed to measure its effectiveness, to ascertain whether any meaningful change had occurred. 

 

Evaluations can also be used to secure funding and resources, provide evidence of need and be used in the commissioning process. If you are interested in reading more about evaluation check out some of the resources here: