The article “Using a Child Development Model to Assess the Outcomes of Social Work Interventions with Families” explains why there is a need to develop a powerful model capable of assessing the effectiveness and outcomes of different social work interventions targeting children. The article’s purpose was to fuel a debate aimed at developing a powerful model for assessing the effectiveness of different children-based social intervention programs (Ward, 1998). The author, Harriet Wart, is a researcher of social issues and understands the issue well.
The author indicates that critical children’s services are delivered by healthcare institutions, government organizations, social service departments, and education authorities. However, it has been hard to assess the effectiveness of most of the services. That being the case, a powerful model for assessing the outcomes of such services is something critical. The first approach to developing a good model is identifying the purpose of each service (Ward, 1998). Issues of accountability and collaboration should be taken seriously by social workers. These professionals should focus on issues such as school performance, the development of self-care skills, health care outcomes, and the “relationship between public and private responsibilities for children” (Ward, 1998, p. 211). The article outlines unique considerations that should be taken seriously to ensure the services targeting children deliver positive results.
A powerful conceptual framework can be used to come up with superior tools for assessing the effectiveness of various programs (Ward, 1998). Analyses should be done to understand when new improvements are needed to support the needs of more children. The ultimate goal should be to ensure every service delivery model provides eminent care to more people. Service quality and the “outcomes of the targeted children should be covered by every Assessment Action Record” (Ward, 1998, p. 210).
The article goes further to indicate that the initiatives undertaken to come up with better strategies for assessing the effectiveness of public services targeting children are characterized by a number of issues. Most of these challenges are theoretical and ethical in nature. For instance, the roles of different authorities and the responsibilities of parents are critical issues surrounding these assessment methods. The level of accountability can dictate the outcomes for many children (Ward, 1998). That being the case, social workers should monitor the parenting standards used by parents. The practice can present new ideas in an attempt to support more children. The educational and health needs of every child should be informed by a wide range of practical frameworks.
Some of the responsibilities aimed at supporting children’s self-care goals have not been considered when analyzing the effectiveness of different services (Ward, 1998). This is the case because some of these responsibilities are undertaken by parents independently. These questions should therefore be considered whenever analyzing the effectiveness of the above programs.
It is agreeable that the article presents evidence-based ideas that have the potential to support the goals of many services supporting the needs of children. The ultimate message obtained from this article is that such services should be monitored and assessed in order to make them sustainable (Ward, 1998). A powerful model should therefore be developed to ensure every implemented program delivers positive results.
Ward, H. (1998) Using a child development model to assess the outcomes of social work interventions with families. Children & Society, 12, (3), p 202-212.