Last updated October 11, 2017
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Foundations of Social Work Practice

Engaging Human Services with Evidence-Informed Practice

Debbie Plath

ISBN: 978-0-87101-520-4. 2017. Item #5204. 224 pages.

Paperback $42.99   ePub $39.99

Human services organizations often need to demonstrate how research evidence supports their programs and practices to secure financing and maintain public trust. This mandate can lead organizations to consider prepackaged interventions that may not be the best solutions for the clients that they serve. How can organizations develop structures and strategies that facilitate the implementation of evidence-informed practice (EIP) while satisfying stakeholders and prioritizing the interests of their client base?

In Engaging Human Services with Evidence-Informed Practice, Debbie Plath outlines five phases of an organizational approach to implementing EIP. She guides readers through the development of practice questions; the gathering, critical appraisal, and integration of evidence; and client outcome monitoring and evaluation. Plath emphasizes that implementing EIP is a nonlinear process that unfolds in complex organizational landscapes and cultures. Throughout the process, special attention should be paid to relationship building, strong leadership, and stakeholder engagement. Plath’s model is adaptable to a wide variety of human services organizations and can work in conjunction with clinical decision-making models, empirically supported standardized interventions, practice research methodology, and the development of best practice guidelines.

Throughout the text, a recurring case example illustrates the application of the book’s principles in an organizational setting. At each stage of the implementation process, Plath discusses obstacles and difficulties that many human services organizations must confront—and how to avoid them. This book is a must-read for executives, managers, and practitioners who want to take a reflective and efficacious approach to implementing EIP.