The Islington 'Doing what counts: measuring what matters': evaluation report

LUCKOCK Barry, et al
Great Britain. Department for Education
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The report evaluates the ‘Doing What Counts (DWC) and Measuring What Matters (MWM)’ Project, which aimed to improve the impact of direct social work practice with children and families referred for a statutory assessment of need (CIN) in the London Borough of Islington. A novel Motivational Social Work (MSW) practice methodology was developed and implemented as the core offer for CIN cases. Where need and risk were complex, an enhanced offer added in-house multi-professional team support to the core MSW intervention. Practice evaluation findings were fed back to practitioners (through a coaching relationship) and managers (in practice reports for the team and service) in order to form the basis of a new model of continuous practice improvement. Key findings include: parents reported positively about the quality of practice, and the Motivational Social Work methodology was shown to improve practitioner skill and confidence – but there is as yet insufficient evidence to demonstrate improved outcomes for children; novel models of practice evaluation, improvement and performance management, which focus attention on quality and impact, benefit significantly in their design, implementation and refinement when embedded researchers work alongside local authority project and service leads; whole service re-design consumes significant amounts of time and money without the guarantee of demonstrable returns on investment in the short and medium term. The evaluation suggests that that MSW might be an effective approach to enhancing practice impact for children in their family and wider social lives. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
childrens social care, needs assessment, service development, social work approaches, intervention, evaluation, motivational interviewing;
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