Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work




Social work education -- Oregon



Physical Description

1 online resource (3, iv, 69 leaves)


A study done in 1968-1969 by students at Portland State University School of Social Work at the request of the Oregon State Public Welfare Commission Staff Development Division sought to devise an instrument for assessing the effectiveness of teaching the casework principles of Felix P. Biestek to casework trainees :in the public welfare's orientation program. The test instrument developed was found to have low, but acceptable, internal reliability. Building en the previous year's work, this 1969-1970 study sought to determine the validity of the test instrument by relating test scores to two measures of job performance, namely the latest supervisory civil service rating and a self-rating. Data was collected on thirty of the original test group. The test instrument was determined to be invalid on the basis of these assessments which used measures of total job performance as validating criteria. The study group concluded that the instrument should not be used by itself to determine the effectiveness of teaching casework principles to caseworkers in a public welfare orientation program. While the instrument was being tested, it was recognized that orientation training covers more than just Biestek’s casework principles. Other types of knowledge are also needed for caseworkers to perform effectively on their jobs. Consequently, the scope of the project was enlarged to include an exploration of other factors in caseworker development during orientation. To explore other factors, two instruments were used. One was a questionnaire developed by the group to obtain background information and to measure some attitudes of the caseworker toward his job and the welfare agency. The second was an instrument borrowed from the Oregon State Fish Commission for determining job satisfaction attitudes. The findings of the questionnaire indicated that informal training and supervision were important in caseworker development. The importance of supervision was reinforced by responses given to the survey of job satisfaction attitudes. The survey elicited complaints about bureaucratic agencies, i.e., the red tape, little use or trying of innovative methods, and poor communications within the agency and to the public. In view of the findings, the study group made six recommendations to the Oregon State Public Welfare Division regarding their orientation and staff development program. The study conclusions state that further research is needed (1) to define the casework job and then develop a test to measure a worker’s competency; (2) to develop tools to determine the social work attitudes, knowledge, and skills of the bachelor level service worker; and (3) to investigate use of the structured versus unstructured situation for teaching new caseworkers.


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Portland State University. School of Social Work

Persistent Identifier