Journal Article

Applying Single-Case Evaluation in Social Work


in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 26, issue 5, pages 699-717
Published in print October 1996 | ISSN: 0045-3102
e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Applying Single-Case Evaluation in Social Work

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This article reports on a research project involving the use of single-case designs on an agency-wide basis within Kirklees Metropolitan Education Social Work Service. Following a programme of training, 21 social workers (69 per cent of the service) applied the methodology in 83 cases. The extent of practitioner involvement in this project prompted Bruce Thyer (Professor at the University of Georgia, USA and editor of Research on Social Work Practice and author of Thyer, 1993) to state in a letter to the authors, ‘Please allow me to offer my congratulations on a most valuable project. To my knowledge, this is the largest agency-based study of this type which has ever been conducted. Your agency social workers are especially to be commended for their implementation of single-case designs with real life clients and families’ (6 May 1994). The project's strategy was to concentrate on the prerequisites of single-case methodology which include specifying target problems and selecting an appropriate measure to monitor progress. The type of single-case design used was determined by the course of natural practice, hence indicating the flexible nature and viability of this methodology in the evaluation of social work practice. The use of single-case designs encouraged a systematic approach in the definition of target problems, identification of goals, selection of intervention procedures and in monitoring outcomes. The practitioners found that single-case designs enabled continuous assessment of outcome data by both the clients and the practitioners, providing a model of accountability and collaborative working. A paper based on this article was presented by Mansoor Kazi at the ADSS Research Group Conference, Stafford, 17–18 November 1994.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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