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ISBN: 978-0-87101-520-4. 2017. Item #5204. 224 pages.
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.
Chapter 1: Using Evidence in the Human Services
Chapter 2: The Evidence-Informed Practice Landscape
Chapter 3: Organizational Groundwork for Evidence-Informed Practice
Chapter 4: Phase 1: Defining Practice Questions
Chapter 5: Phase 2: Gathering Evidence
Chapter 6: Phase 3: Critically Appraising the Evidence
Chapter 7: Phase 4: Integrating Knowledge into Practice Decisions and Interventions
Chapter 8: Phase 5: Monitoring and Evaluating Client Outcomes
Chapter 9: Are We Ready?
Cardiff University, Wales
"This book offers a thought-provoking and practical guide to evidence-informed practice. Debbie Plath outlines how human services leaders, managers, and practitioners can effectively use evidence to inform their practice to produce best outcomes with and for the people who use human services. A well-written book that demonstrates the integration of theory, knowledge, and research at its finest. It will become a classic."
Karen Healy, AM
University of Queensland, Australia
President, Australian Association of Social Workers
"This book is a welcome addition to the human services literature on evidence-informed organizational practice. The pragmatic approach taken by Debbie Plath has produced an immensely practical resource for managers, leaders, and practitioners in human services organizations. Building on her considerable research and experience, Plath highlights the importance of a team approach in developing an organizational culture conducive to evidence-informed practice. An organizational environment committed to the best available evidence, reflective thinking, and sound relationships with service users is, Debbie Plath argues, the ideal mix to respond to, and withstand, the pressures of contemporary human services provision."
University of Newcastle, Australia
"Debbie Plath provides a searching but comprehensive account of the uses of evidence-informed approaches in the human services. It is the foremost practice guide for human services professionals currently available. Her deep understanding helps carefully unpick for the reader the advantages of an organizational model for practice."
Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland