Exploring a measure for evaluating the effectiveness of social work intervention in adults

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1 Exploring a measure for evaluating the effectiveness of social work intervention in adults Minna Kivipelto & Paula Saikkonen & Sanna Blomgren & Pekka Karjalainen 1

2 Background Digitisation and effectiveness evaluation are slogans that many politicians are trying to impose on public services in the Western countries There is a need to know more about effective interventions There is a lack of suitable effectiveness evaluation methods How to gather evaluation data as an integral part of social work practices? Minna Kivipelto & Paula Saikkonen & Sanna Blomgren & Pekka Karjalainen 2

3 Developing the KEY-measure KEY is an online measure for determining the effectiveness of social work intervention with adults KEY has developed at THL, which is a research and development institute under the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in Finland KEY has been tested with several municipalities in Finaland (see Saikkonen et al. 2015; Kivipelto et. al. 2015; Kivipelto et al. 2013) and presented international seminars & conferences Minna Kivipelto & Paula Saikkonen & Sanna Blomgren & Pekka Karjalainen 3

4 Background & frame Realistic evaluation approach Single-case design: AB design, i.e. measuring in the beginning and at the end of the social work process Goal-oriented social work National social work classification systems were taken into account The final measure was developed together with social work professionals Minna Kivipelto & Paula Saikkonen & Sanna Blomgren & Pekka Karjalainen 4

5 The tool should offer answers to the following questions Did the client s problem/situation being addressed change? Which methods caused the positive change (improvement of the situation)? What kind of contextual factors supported and/or hampered the client in reaching the goals? Is it possible to identify mechanisms that facilitate or hamper the process? Minna Kivipelto & Paula Saikkonen & Sanna Blomgren & Pekka Karjalainen 5

6 Using the KEY The questionnaire was filled twice: firstly when the goals were set with the client ( Evaluation I ) and secondly when the goals were evaluated ( Evaluation II ) The Evaluation I phase started by recording the client s basic information Definining social work goals, methods and contextual factors Minna Kivipelto & Paula Saikkonen & Sanna Blomgren & Pekka Karjalainen 6

7 Goals set by clients Client's control over his/her financial situation Employment, finding a job Service management for the client Support for client's problem-solving capabilities Support for client's occupational capabilities Promoting the employment situation for long-term unemployed Clearing up the debt situation Access to housing; keeping it Life management Fluency of everyday life Applying for an education Awareness of the problems due to the society Self-esteem Inclusion and participation (eg. hobbies) Client's possibility to access housing Proceeding with the studies Development for the service system Mental health Client's relationships Social skills Client's substance use Rental housing situation in the area Problems caused by mental illnessess Problems caused by intoxicants and dependencies The needs of children Problems caused by physical illnessess The consequences of anti-social behaviour Leisure activities and opportunities for participation Concerns about the client s next of kin Women (%) (N=110) Men (%) (N=99) Minna Kivipelto & Paula Saikkonen & Sanna Blomgren & Pekka Karjalainen

8 Most commonly used social work methods Social assistance Decision making Assessing client's situation Supervision and quidance Supportive discussion (e.g. motivating) Solution focused work Service plan for a client Dealing with the client's problem Case management Supporting client's awareness Supporting client's participation Setting demands and limits to the client Helping client in the service system Using authority based networks (e.g. consultating) Expressing an opinion on client's activity Supporting client's family Crisis work Administrative decisions Developing new working models Supporting client's job-seeking (including internship) Supporting client applying for an education Searching for a mentor or peer support to the client Advocacy Mediation or making of legal agreements Final assessment, closing the client relationship Group work Worker's own studies or education Women (%) Men (%) Minna Kivipelto & Paula Saikkonen & Sanna Blomgren & Pekka Karjalainen 8

9 Client's attitudes towards the services Client's motivation Service provision / availability of services Living conditions Internet connections Possibilities to be heard Client's self-esteem Client's ability/motive to plan his/her economic situation Seeing solutions and alternatives Possibilities of healthcare technology Possibility to influence Awareness of the background determinants behind the problems Employment and occupational situations Client's occupation Client's lifestyle Leisure activities and opportunities for participation Satisfaction of relationships/adequacy Client's physical health Mental health and well-being Client's mental health Client's employment situation Client's cultural background Client's economical situation Factors contributing reaching of the goal Substance abuse / addictions Environmental accessibility Concern about the close people Values and attitudes in the living area The demographic structure of living area Substance abuse of family members Men (N=99) Women (N=110) Minna Kivipelto & Paula Saikkonen & Sanna Blomgren & Pekka Karjalainen

10 Results Social work was proven to be effective if several supportive methods were used Supportive methods included supporting the client s awareness, supportive discussion with the client, supporting the client s participation in society and searching for solutions with the client Social assistance alone was not very effective Structural methods were not used a lot effectiveness should be studied more Minna Kivipelto & Paula Saikkonen & Sanna Blomgren & Pekka Karjalainen 10

11 Discussions Social work needs effectiveness evaluation which takes into account its ethical and theoretical principles Evaluation should be done in concrete social work situations Evaluation measures & tools should be integrated to the client database systems Minna Kivipelto & Paula Saikkonen & Sanna Blomgren & Pekka Karjalainen 11

12 References Kivipelto, M. & Karjalainen, P. & Blomgren, S. & Saikkonen, P. (2015) Web-based tool for social work effectiveness evaluation. Social Work Review (3). Saikkonen, P. & Blomgren, S. & Karjalainen, P., & Kivipelto, M. (2015). Poistaako sosiaalityö huono-osaisuutta? Tutkimusjulkaisu 89. Helsinki, Kunnallisalan kehittämissäätiö. Kivipelto, M. & Blomgren, S. & Karjalainen, P. & Saikkonen, P. (toim.) (2013) Vaikuttavaa aikuissosiaalityötä arviointimalleista mittareihin. Tutkimus- ja kehittämishankkeen loppuraportti. THL. Raportteja 8. Helsinki Minna Kivipelto & Paula Saikkonen & Sanna Blomgren & Pekka Karjalainen 12

13 Presentations Kivipelto, M. (2013) Developing adult social work effectiveness evaluation. 9th International Conference on Evaluation for Practice May Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, NY. Plenary speaker. Kivipelto, M. (2012) Developing Effectiveness Evaluation in Adult Social Work (EEA). Paper presentation at 10th EES Biennale Conference: evaluation in the Networked Society: New Concepts, New Challenges, New Solutions. 3 rd /5 th October. Helsinki, Finland. Kivipelto, M. & Karjalainen, P. (2012) Developing Effectiveness Evaluation in Adult Social Work (EEA). Paper presentation at Evidence Informed Practice. April 22nd/25th, Cavan, Ireland. Kivipelto, M., Kotiranta, T. & Korteniemi, P. (2011) Finnish experiences of developing effectiveness evaluation in social work. Paper presentation at Inter-Centre Network for the Evaluation of Social Work Practice (INTSOCEVAL). September 26 th / 27 th, 2011, Olten, Schwizerland Minna Kivipelto & Paula Saikkonen & Sanna Blomgren & Pekka Karjalainen 13

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