آموزش مددکاری اجتماعی و مشارکت در برنامه عنوان IV-E بعنوان پیش بینی کننده دانش سطح ورود در میان کارکنان بهزیستی کودکان عمومی
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Children and Youth Services Review, Volume 34, Issue 9, September 2012, Pages 1590–1597
Given the resources expended in promoting social work education and specialized training in child welfare as a means to increase the knowledge and competency of public child welfare (PCW) workers, research in this area is important to evaluate the outcomes of such efforts. The current study adds to the literature in this area by examining the performance of newly-hired PCW workers on objective tests of child welfare-related knowledge. Workers with Master of Social Work (MSW) degrees were compared to those with other degrees to examine whether there were differences in performance by social work education on an overall test of knowledge and two tests assessing for specific knowledge areas. The study also examined whether participation in Title IV-E stipend-based programs was a factor in test performance among only those workers who had MSW degrees. The findings supported the hypothesis that workers with MSW degrees would score higher on all measures when compared to those with other degrees. The results also supported the hypothesis that workers with MSW degrees who participated in Title IV-E programs would score higher than those with MSW degrees who did not participate in such programs. Implications for the PCW field and future research in this area are discussed.
The field of child welfare is always evolving in response to changes in both policy mandates and the presenting problems of families referred to public child welfare (PCW) agencies, yet one constant is that a qualified and well-trained workforce is necessary in order to successfully navigate the ever-changing system and provide effective services to vulnerable clients (Gleeson, Smith, & Dubois, 1993). Social work education and training specifically in the area of child welfare have historically been relied upon to ensure that PCW workers are indeed qualified and well-trained. For example, federal funding through Title IV-B, Section 426 and Title IV-E provides states with resources for training programs for prospective and current child welfare workers in order to ensure a qualified and competent PCW workforce. One way that Title IV-E funds are used is to provide stipends to students in social work degree programs along with specialized PCW experience and training (e.g., internships at PCW agencies and child welfare-related courses) in exchange for a commitment to working at a PCW agency upon graduation. Although there is literature suggesting the effectiveness of social work education in increasing the knowledge and skills of child welfare workers (Albers et al., 1993, Booz-Allen and Hamilton, Inc., 1987, Dhooper et al., 1990, Franke, Bagdasaryan and Furman, 2009, Gleeson and Dubois, 1990, Lieberman et al., 1988 and Olsen and Holmes, 1982), there are also conflicting findings (Dhooper et al., 1990, Gleeson and Dubois, 1990 and Perry, 2006). There is less literature regarding the impact of specialized training, especially through stipend-based programs, on such knowledge and skills, but the findings are clearer and suggest a positive relationship (Franke, Bagdasaryan and Furman, 2009, Gansle and Ellett, 2002, Huebner, 2003 and Jones and Okumura, 2000). Given that funds and other resources have been expended in promoting social work education and specialized training in child welfare in order to increase the knowledge and competency of PCW workers, further empirical work is needed to evaluate the outcomes of such efforts. The current study adds to the growing knowledge base in this area by examining the performance of a large sample of newly-hired PCW workers on three separate objective measures of knowledge prior to the start of pre-service training. One of the tests assessed for overall child welfare-related knowledge, while the remaining two involved more specific areas: permanency planning and case planning/case management. The first set of multivariate analyses examined whether there were differences in performance on these tests by education, when controlling for other factors such as length of time working in the field of child welfare and demographics. The hypothesis was that workers with Master of Social Work (MSW) degrees would score higher on all three of the measures, on average, compared to those with other degrees. The second set of multivariate analyses focused only on workers with MSW degrees to determine whether or not participation in Title IV-E stipend-based programs was a determinant of performance on the three tests, when controlling for other factors. The hypothesis was that the workers who participated in Title IV-E programs would score higher, on average, on all three tests when compared to those without such participation.