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Title: Studies of the effectiveness of social work, with special reference to services for psychologically disturbed children and their families
Author: Sheldon, Brian
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 1989
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This thesis consists of three main parts: first, an examination of the special problems experienced by the discipline of social work in responding constructively to its mixed legacy of experimental and client-opinion research. An explanation is sought for these difficulties in the literature of the philosophy of science. Second, there is an extensive critical review of these effectiveness research findings covering the range of problems experienced by clients, but concentrating on services for psychologically disturbed children and their families. These findings broadly show that early studies of psychoanalytically-based casework were notable for their failure to show above- control-group-rates of improvement. Later studies investigating techniques based upon task-centred and behavioural principles show substantially better results. The implications of this for policy, practice and training are explored. The third part of the thesis consists of an empirical study (conducted by the author) of 156 families receiving help from a specialist child guidance clinic. This consists of i) a diagnostic stage in which case records are analysed, staff interviewed and clients followed-up for their opinions on assessment, satisfaction, and perceived outcome; ii) a middle phase of consultation with staff on the implications of these findings; iii) a repeat exercise to see if earlier scores and patterns of testimony could be improved upon. The results of this study are that the great majority of respondents were satisfied with the service received and could point to valuable outcomes. Even so, the training and consultation phase resulted in further improvements in certain key areas of case-planning and service delivery.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available