Self-Evaluation: Using Data to Guide Policy and Practice in Public Child Welfare Agencies
Self-evaluation provides a method for child welfare agencies to structure and implement programs and practice. Today, self-evaluation is not simply a reflective exercise but a practiced methodology for assessment, planning, and operation. This chapter discusses some of the challenges and successes encountered by university technical assistants, child welfare agency administrators, frontline workers, and community partners as they have worked together toward using data to improve their social work practices. It discusses the basic aspects of self-evaluation, including review of the organizational culture, attitude adjustment, intra-agency cooperation, and the recasting of personal opinions. It also discusses computer software that can assist in mapping and geographic study and some new possibilities for gathering and analyzing data. A team concept for agency organization and the consequent improvement of delivery of services by using neighborhood targeting and better assignment of case workers is presented.
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