Assessment and Evaluation of SW Macro Practice Skills: Practice Wisdom From the Field #MacroSW Twitter Chat 9-24-2015

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Join in on this week’s #MacroSW Twitter chat as Rachel West and Sunya Folayan co-host this chat hosted at the beginning of the academic year as new learning agreements are developed in schools of social work around the country.

Today’s increasingly evidence- based climate reflects a shift in social work education that is driven by many complex sociopolitical factors affecting the profession. Field education for Macro practice competencies are defined as complex behaviors that reflect student’s integration and analysis of knowledge, values and practice skills (CSWE). Scholarly literature in social work has focused mostly on clinical (micro) practice among most professions including social work (Reheher, Bogo, Donovan, Anstice, & Lim, 2012). Fewer articles address the competencies necessary for community organization, advocacy, legislative and management practice: the historical underpinnings of social work. (Netting, Kettner, & McMurtry, 2008). While the Network for Social Work Managers has developed a…

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#MacroSW Chat 2/12 9PM EST – Everything You Wanted to Know About Macro Social Work But Were Afraid to Ask

Update 2/12/15: Chat archive available!

Well, everything about Macro Social Work that can fit into an hour of respectful dialogue and synchronous Twitter conversation.

We will cover:

  • What is macro social work?
  • How can I learn about macro social work practice?
  • How can I connect with others doing macro social work?
  • What inspires you about macro social work?
  • What do you wish others knew about macro social work practice?

Resources:

#MacroSW Chats is collaboration Between the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA), University at Buffalo School of Social Work, the Network for Social Work Management (NSWM), and Karen Zgoda (Instructor at Bridgewater State University). The chats are held on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month at 9:00 PM EST/ 6:00 PM PST. For more info check out: https://macrosw.wordpress.com

Understanding the Process of Interagency Collaboration and Its Long-Term Effectiveness

Folks, here is my presentation from the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) conference held in New Orleans, January 2015.

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Understanding the Process of Interagency Collaboration and Its Long-Term Effectiveness

Abstract: Background and Purpose: Charlestown Connects was an interagency collaboration in the neighborhood of Charlestown, Massachusetts. The Charlestown Connects program was an ongoing, formalized partnership between the City of Boston, neighborhood agencies, and other community agencies to improve community outcomes via interagency collaboration. In response to a request from the Office of the Mayor of Boston, the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work (BCGSSW) agreed to provide guidance on the evaluation of the program. This Phase I evaluation documented the structure, process, and implementation of Charlestown Connects. Phase I data collection was completed in 2008 and the evaluation itself was completed in 2010.

While limited social work research has explored interagency collaborations, there remains a persistent gap in the literature in terms of assessing interagency collaboration processes, outcomes and long-term effects. Building on the Phase I evaluation, this poster on the Phase II evaluation helps address these research gaps by expanding our understanding of interagency collaboration in terms of inputs, processes, and long-term community outcomes. This study informs social workers and others who contribute to community well-being infrastructure of the benefits, if any, of developing interagency collaborations. In addition, given the current economic climate, this research may provide important and timely interagency collaboration guidelines for social work practitioners.

Methods: Interviews with the original eight Charlestown Connects program stakeholders were conducted and observations of community meetings sponsored by Charlestown Connects were observed. Interviews explored stakeholder relationships to Charlestown Connects, program success and areas to improve, and program impact. Meeting observations tallied interagency collaboration processes in accordance with the study’s theoretical framework. Both interviews and meeting observations were transcribed and coded using HyperRESEARCH qualitative software using theoretical clustering framed by the study’s theoretical framework, thematic analysis, recurring themes from the first evaluation, and long-term factors that have emerged from the current evaluation..

Findings: This study has shown that Charlestown Connects enhanced communication infrastructure for community agencies while positively impacting perceptions of quality of life among Charlestown residents who were aware of Charlestown Connects. In the short-term, Charlestown Connects made noticeable, positive changes in service delivery issues with the City of Boston. In the long-term, it helped rebuild the communication infrastructure among participating agencies in Charlestown.

Conclusion and Implications: This study provides guidance on improving interagency collaborations for social workers and others engaging in community work. Evidence from the previous evaluation and the current study suggest that the program coordinator took on functions and responsibilities of a community social worker in his role coordinating Charlestown Connects, thus reasserting the important role macro social work may play in leading community infrastructure rebuilding efforts in the future.