Dean Jack Richman and Professor Mark Testa presented in Sweden on June 14 at Mälardalen University’s School of Health, Care and Social Welfare. In attendance were about 40 faculty and doctoral students from Mälardalen’s two campuses in Eskilstuna and Västerås, and Örebro University.
Richman spoke on “Intervention Research: Responding to the Gap Between Knowledge Building and Social Work Practice.” He described the creative core processes in conducting intervention research as a collaborative process between researcher and practitioners. Five steps in the design and development of social and health programs were outlined: Specifying program theory, creating program materials, refining program components, assessing effectiveness, and disseminating findings. He also provided information on developing interventions from initial conceptualization through community implementation and testing to widespread publication; and intervention research described as both an evaluative process, which uses data to assess program theory and outcomes, and an inventive process, which requires vision and practice knowledge in constructing innovative program activities. Photo gallery
Testa spoke on “Evaluating Child Welfare Interventions: President Obama’s Permanency Innovations Initiative.” He discussed this initiative that will invest $100 million over the next five years in testing new approaches for reducing the time children spend in foster care and removing the most serious barriers to their finding safe and stable homes with parents, relatives, legal guardians or adoptive families. The design of the evaluation of the initiative builds on the approach outlined in his recent book, “Fostering accountability: Using Evidence to Guide and Improve Child Welfare Policy” (Oxford University Press, 2010).