In social work practice and in programdevelopment, it is possible to make faulty assumptions about whatclients need and what social work activities will lead to. Consider thefollowing:
A team of social workers meets todiscuss their services to low-income young mothers. One social workerstates that what the young mothers need most is information aboutcommunity resources. She proposes that the social workers’ activitiesconsist of making referrals to programs for public assistance for incomesupport, food stamps, medical insurance, employment agencies, andeducational resources. However, another team member points out that mostclients are referred to their program from the public welfare officeand health care programs. This suggests that the clients tend to possessknowledge of these common resources and have been able to access them.
Howmight the team explore what problems bring the clients to their agency?What might the team learn from client assessments? How can the teamverify the desired outcomes of their services? Developing a logic modelwill help the team see a logical connection between problems, needs,intervention activities, and corresponding outcomes. This series oflogical connections leads to formulating a theory of change, that is, atheory about how our work leads to the outcomes for clients.
Toprepare for this Discussion, imagine that you are part of a work groupcharged with creating a logic model and generating a theory of change.Select a practitioner-level intervention for which you are interested inanalyzing connections. Consider how a logic model might be applied tothat practice.
By Day 3
Post a logic model and theoryof change for a practitioner-level intervention. Describe the types ofproblems, the client needs, and the underlying causes of problems andunmet needs. Identify the short- and long-term outcomes that you thinkwould represent an improved condition. Then describe interventions thatwould lead to a change in the presenting conditions. Be sure to searchfor and cite resources that inform your views.
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