Frontline Worker Perceptions of Organizational Supports to Promote Evidence Use in Private Child Welfare Agencies

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Child Welfare

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Child Welfare -- Social Work


While there has been a call for the increased use of evidence to inform child welfare practice, and some studies suggest frontline workers are unlikely to do so (e.g., Chagnon, Puoliot, Malo, Gervais, & Pigeon, 2010), less is known about the organizational supports that agencies may put in place to promote it. This study draws on survey and focus group data collected from frontline workers in eleven private child and family-serving agencies to examine how workers utilize evidence in their day-to-day work, and their perceptions of organizational supports for evidence use present in their agencies. Results suggest that although workers report they highly value the use of evidence in their work, the type of data and information they use, and how they use it, varies. Organizational supports for evidence use also varied, although participants were able to describe technical and knowledge management infrastructure, linkage with external entities to promote it, and forms of strategic alignment (including leadership behaviors and organizational processes). Implications for practice, policy and research are discussed.


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