In 2015 & 2016 I worked with nine children and parenting support programs in regional and rural NSW to assist them in enhancing their capacity to implement evidence-based programs and practice. It has been a wonderful opportunity to work with some great practitioners and to consider a range of issues faced by families and the services that work with them. I feel very lucky to be part of this work funded by the Department of Social Services through the Children and Families Expert Panel.
Here are some posts to start with:
- What is evidence-based practice?
- What are evidence-based programs?
- What is evidence-informed practice?
- Rethinking the roles of families and clients in evidence-based practice
- Evidence-informed practice, evidence-based programs and measuring outcomes
- Evidence-based practice and innovation
The following is a list of blog posts inspired by this work (or written before I started the project but still relevant).
- Evidence-Informed Practice and the Integration of Research, Policy, Teaching and Practice in Family Services - The text of an article Deb Hartman and I have just had published in Developing Practice on evidence-informed practice and the integration of research, policy, teaching and practice in family services Continue reading
- Evidence-informed practice, evidence-based programs and measuring outcomes -
This post is based on a workshop on evidence-informed practice, evidence-based programs and measuring outcomes that Alan Hayes, Jamin Day and I facilitated for the Combined Upper Hunter Interagencies. The slides from the workshop are above or you can download … Continue readingContinue reading
- Evidence-based programs in rural family services - In Australia and elsewhere, government and other funders increasingly require family services to adopt evidence-based programs. For example, Communities for Children—a federally funded program in 52 disadvantaged communities across Australia with a focus on improving early childhood development and wellbeing … Continue reading
- Evidence-based practice and innovation - In some ways we live in an exciting time where we are learning more and more about what works—and what doesn’t—in helping to nurturing strong families and communities. Research and research evidence play a crucial role in these discoveries and … Continue reading
- Planning and implementing evidence-based programs and practice in family services in rural and regional NSW - The following is the text of a session that Dorothée Crawley (CentaCare Wilcannia Forbes), Deborah Hartman (Family Action Centre) and I presented at the Family and Relationship Services Australia (FRSA) conference Graeme Stuart We’d like to start by acknowledging the … Continue reading
- Rethinking the roles of families and clients in evidence-based practice - The principles which underpinned our approach to supporting Children and Parenting Support programs to implement evidence-based programs and practice as part of the Children and Families Expert Panel, had a large influence on how I presented evidence-based practice in the … Continue reading
- What is evidence-informed practice? - Some authors appear to use evidence-based practice and evidence-informed practice interchangeably [e.g., 1] but other authors identify significant difference [2-5]. The main difference is in the approach to evidence. Webber & Carr  suggest that, in evidence-informed practice: Evidence is … Continue reading
- What are evidence-based programs? - While evidence-based practice is a decision-making process that incorporates the best research evidence, the best clinical experience and family and client values; evidence-based programs are programs that have been standardised, systematised and rigorously evaluated. According to Williams-Taylor , evidence-based practice … Continue reading
- What is evidence-based practice? - Although there is no universally accepted definition of evidence-based practice in social work and family work [1, 2], it is generally described as a decision-making process that incorporates: The best research evidence The best clinical experience Family and client values … Continue reading
- Weaving Parenting Partnerships into Service Delivery - Coparenting has been described as the relationship parents share in the business of raising children, and the quality of this relationship is linked to both child and parent outcomes.1,2 Children from higher quality parenting partnerships experience superior social and emotional … Continue reading
- Over 60 ideas to consider for strong supported playgroups - How supported playgroup programs deliver their services vary. There are a wide range of practices involved in providing specific program elements, activities, procedures, philosophies, and policies that effect the way each program is provided to families. Attracting parents to the … Continue reading
- An overview of literature on supported playgroups - Family services have been using supported playgroups widely for many years to work with families who may not access community playgroups and other services1. The high cost and complexity of conducting research that clearly demonstrates the effectiveness (or otherwise) of … Continue reading
- Engaging fathers: An overview of evidence-based practice - Fathers are important. Research demonstrates that close involvement of fathers from birth can support positive infant and child development. This includes boosting social, emotional and academic development. Effective co-parenting, where fathers are engaged in positive ways with the mother and … Continue reading
- Program fidelity and baking a cake - Program fidelity is an important concept in evidence-based programs. It is the “extent to which an enacted program is consistent with the intended program model” [1, p. 202]. In other words, it’s about ensuring we stay true to the original … Continue reading
- The Parent Empowerment and Efficacy Measure (PEEM) - [Updated 21 June 2018 to correct broken links.] I recently met with Kathryn Di Nicola (a Collective Impact Facilitator from Griffith Criminology Institute, Griffith University) and a team of family and community workers to discuss the Parent Empowerment and Efficacy … Continue reading
- Research evidence for family (and community) workers - [Updated 2 June 2017] There are a range of reasons we might want to use research evidence as family workers or community workers. A quite inadequate reason, but potentially a motivating one, is that funding bodies are increasingly expecting the … Continue reading
- Finding literature on working with families - The following are some websites which have research publications and other literature about working with families. The list is associated with the post on research evidence for family (and community) workers. Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) including: Publications on … Continue reading
- A literature review on supported playgroups - Do supported playgroups actually make a difference? A recent literature review of research on supported playgroups  found that, while they are very popular, there is not a strong research evidence base demonstrating their effectiveness. The lack of research evidence … Continue reading
- What works in connecting families, communities and schools? - What works in strengthening connections between families, communities and schools? This is the subject of a report by the J R McKenzie Trust, “Connecting Education and Communities.” The J R McKenzie Trust, a New Zealand charitable trust, currently focuses on … Continue reading
- What are program logic models? - [Updated 13 July 2017 to add a new resource.] Program logic models are like “road maps” which show how your initiative will work and why you believe that if you do certain things, you will get the results you are … Continue reading
- Mutual self-help parent groups - Mutual self-help groups for parents are widely used as a means of providing support to parents. In 2006 Mary Kay Flaconer from the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida wrote a paper looking at the rationale for these types of … Continue reading
- Some good articles/links – mutual self-help parent support groups - I’m getting ready to meet with some family workers who want to explore peer support / mutual self-help groups for parents, so that’s the focus of this week’s articles. There isn’t much research evidence but the following articles all draw … Continue reading
- Some good articles/links – evidence-based programs and practice - [Links check and updated, 18 September 2019] Four weeks ago I posted some articles about evidence-based programs and practice. As I’ve continued looking, I’ve found many more useful resources and thus decided to include some more. This time, most of … Continue reading
- Some good articles/links – strengths-based practice - My most popular post, is on strengths-based practice and the strengths perspective so this weeks collections of readings are about strengths-based approaches to working with individuals and families. Strengths-based practices: The evidence. A discussion paper by Natalie Scerra from UnitingCare … Continue reading
- Some good articles/links – evidence-based practice - Each Friday I post six useful or interesting articles. Last week I focused on engaging ‘hard to reach’ families because of the work my colleagues and I will be doing over the coming 12 months with organisations who provide children and … Continue reading
- Some good articles/links – engaging ‘hard to reach’ families - Over the next 12 months I will be working with a number of organisations in regional and rural New South Wales who provide child and parenting support. One of the challenging issues they face is how to engage ‘hard to … Continue reading
- 9 principles for supporting families and communities - In 2006 I helped facilitate a national forum for family and community workers supporting permanent residents of caravan parks. Through the forum we identified nine principles of promising practice for working with permanent residents of caravan parks. These principles, however, … Continue reading
- The still face experiment - Imagine growing up in an environment where you were neglected, abused or ignored. Unfortunately this is the experience of far too many people (including, I’m sure, some readers of this blog). As the videos I recently posted show, “serve and … Continue reading
- Childhood trauma and brain development - Research is increasingly showing the huge impact trauma can have on the development of children. The following three short videos (under 2 minutes each) from the Center on the Developing Child help to explain the impact of trauma on brain … Continue reading
- A resilience practice framework by the Benevolent Society - The Benevolent Society, in partnership with the Parenting Research Centre, recently released a Resilience Practice Framework that will form the basis for their work with children and families from disadvantaged communities. It’s a great resource that many family and community … Continue reading