This course is one of two course options designed to fulfill the advanced research elective for students across all specializations. This three-hour course is designed to teach students the knowledge, skills, and values related to evaluation methods that can be used in social work practice with individuals, families, and groups.

Throughout this course, students will develop knowledge and skills related to client-centered approaches to evaluation, including working with clients to set intervention goals, selecting appropriate measurement methods, selecting evaluation designs (including single system designs), interpreting evaluation data, and using evaluation data to improve social work practice. Because values and ethics are an integral component of practice-related evaluation, they are infused throughout the course. Issues related to populations at risk, social and cultural diversity, and oppression are integrated within the course content as they relate to selecting measurement tools, evaluation designs, and interventions.

LEARNING OUTCOMES (EPAS COMPETENCIES) Students who successfully completes this course will be able to: EPAS Practice Behaviors Indicators Describe a variety of research designs and criteria for their use in evaluation of social work practice with single systems (e.g., individuals, families, and groups). 2.1.3 distinguish, appraise, and integrate multiple sources of knowledge, including research based knowledge, and practice wisdom; analyze models of assessment, prevention, intervention, and evaluation Competency assessments: SSD designs Single System Design Proposals Identify and operationalize client goals, and select appropriate measurement approaches to assess those goals. 2.1.6 use practice experience to inform scientific inquiry 2.1.10(a) develop a mutually agreed-on focus of work and desired outcomes Two single system design proposals Competency assessments Plan an evaluation in partnership with a client system which reflects sensitivity to social and cultural diversity. 2.1.3 distinguish, appraise, and integrate multiple sources of knowledge, including research based knowledge, and practice wisdom; 2.1.4 view themselves as learners and engage those with whom they work as informants 2.1.6 use practice experience to inform scientific inquiry 2.1.10(b) assess client strengths and limitations; develop mutually agreed-on intervention goals and objectives Two single system design proposals
Conduct an evaluation in partnership with the client system which reflects sensitivity to social and cultural diversity. 2.1.3 analyze models of assessment, prevention, intervention, and evaluation 2.1.6 use practice experience to inform scientific inquiry; use research evidence to inform practice 2.1.10(b) collect, organize, and interpret client data Becoming a Better Practitioner Assignment Competency assessments Articulate the value and importance of evaluation for social work practice. 2.1.2 apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice Becoming a Better Practitioner Assignment Two single system design proposals Utilize evaluation results to improve social work practice. 2.1.1 practice personal reflection and self-correction to assure continual professional development; engage in career-long learning 2.1.7 critique and apply knowledge to understand person and environment 2.1.10(d) critically analyze, monitor, and evaluate interventions Becoming a Better Practitioner Assignment
Communicate evaluation findings effectively to client systems. 2.1.1 demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior, appearance, and communication 2.1.3 demonstrate effective oral and written communication in working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and colleagues Becoming a Better Practitioner Assignment

Lecture, discussion, and applied small-group activities will be the primary instructional methods utilized in this course. Other techniques may also be employed, such as quizzes and presentations. Students are expected to actively participate in this course and all class exercises. Instructors may also support students to use computers and statistical software for entering and analyzing data.

INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS & RESOURCES Required Textbooks Orme, J.G. & Combs-Orme, T. (2012). Outcome-Informed Evidence-Based Practice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. Required Readings In addition to the required textbook, almost every class will be assigned journal articles that will supplement the required book chapters. These will be made available to you by your instructor. GRADING POLICIES Performance will be evaluated on the following assignments and class participation:

1. Class participation (10%) 2. Competency Assessments (20%) 3. Two single system design proposals (30%) 4. Becoming a Better Practitioner Assignment (40%)

Semester grades will be awarded on the following scale: 93-100 ​A ​70-77 ​C ​88-92 ​B+ ​67-69 ​D+ ​ ​80-87 ​B ​60-66 ​D ​78-79 ​C+ ​Below 60 ​F

Grade of “I” (incomplete): It is the student’s responsibility to stay in contact with the instructor and to complete the missing assignments or exams by the date negotiated. It is the instructor’s prerogative to change the grade to an “F” if work is not completed as agreed. Per USC Graduate School policy, a grade of “I” converts automatically to an “F” after 12 months.

Late assignments and missed tests: If due to emergency, unforeseeable or special situations that make students miss the quizzes, presentations, or turn in the final paper late, please inform and discuss with the instructor immediately. These situations may include: • Participation in legal proceedings • Death or major illness in a student’s immediate family • Severe or contagious illness • Weather-related emergencies (class cancelled, hazardous travel) • Religious holy days (see • Military service

Students are expected to be familiar with, and abide by, the guidelines in the Carolinian Creed and the Rules of Academic Responsibility found in the Carolina Community: Student Handbook & Policy Guide. Evidence of cheating or plagiarism (or helping another student cheat) will result in an “F” for the assignment or test. If appropriate, the student’s mentor, other instructors, and the Dean will be notified, and a letter will be placed in the students’ permanent file.


Class attendance at all class sessions is expected. There is a penalty for late attendance. Three or more unexcused absences will result in a lower grade, possibly an F. Students are expected not to talk on the phone, check emails or the Internet during class time. They are also expected to carry themselves in professional manner. When discussing their clients in classroom, students must follow the social work code of ethics regarding protecting clients’ confidentiality.

Reflecting the world in which social workers practice, we are likely to cover controversial issues in the course. Our mutual responsibility is to engage in respectful, constructive discussion, in a safe—if not necessarily comfortable—classroom environment. If a particular discussion and/or content from assigned course reading, videos, or other sources raises questions or concerns, students are encouraged to raise the issue in class and/or with the instructor.”

INDIVIDUAL CONSULTATION The instructor is available to meet with students for individual consultation throughout the course of the semester. The instructor of this course will answer questions before assignments are turned in. The instructor does not allow “rewrites” of unacceptable papers. Per College policy, no “extra credit” opportunities can be offered to individual students. Students who experience personal or family emergencies that interfere with class attendance or completion of assignments are expected to notify the instructor and make arrangements to meet course requirements. Students who have difficulty with the course material, tests, or assignments should schedule an appointment to see the instructor as soon as possible so that additional assistance can be offered as appropriate. Students who have questions about how their scores were calculated should meet with the instructor as soon as possible to discuss the issue.

Students with Disabilities: Students with disabilities are strongly encouraged to register with the Student Disability Resource Center (phone 803 777-6142; email; ource_center/) as early as possible. The office of Disability Services provides an array of services to meet the needs of students with disabilities, according to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. See information and guidelines provided in the College’s student handbook and The Carolina Community: Student Handbook and Policy Guide. Instructors cannot make any retrospective accommodations for student disabilities, so be sure to register with this office in a timely fashion if you need any such accommodations. Instructors cannot give you any accommodations based on disability unless you have registered with this office; they work with you and your instructors to accommodate your disability as needed. It is your responsibility as a student to register with this office if you wish your disability to be considered in this class, including regarding your ability to complete the assignments.

ASSIGNMENT DESCRIPTIONS Competency Assessments (20 points) The aim of this class is for you to learn practical skills that can be applied to diverse social work settings. To assess this, students will complete a series of competency assessments in which you will demonstrate a core evaluation skill (e.g. writing a goal statement, selecting a measure, collecting data, analyzing data, etc.). These assessments will take place on a weekly or biweekly basis and will be administered in-class or on Blackboard. Becoming a Better Practitioner (BBP) Assignment (40 points) (REQUIRED BY ALL INSTRUCTORS) Monitoring clients’ perceptions of the change process and their own improvement is central to client-centered social work practice. It is also a key ingredient in improving the skills and expertise of the social worker. The purpose of this assignment is for you to monitor your work with clients and use the feedback to improve your social work practice skills. The term “client” here refers broadly to the individuals or groups that you are serving or engaging in change efforts with. Specifically, you will use the Outcomes Rating Scale (ORS) and the Session Rating Scale (SRS) (Duncan, 2010) on a regular basis (5-9 weeks) with 2 or more clients this semester. Administering the scales over time is critical to observing client progress and your own skill development. Administering the scales to more than one client is necessary in order for you to consider the impact of client characteristics on your effectiveness. Using the ORS/SRS Recording Form, you will record data from these two instruments and takes notes about clients’ feedback in relation to their scores (including quotes when possible). You will also record the changes you make in your practice in response to this feedback. Your descriptions of these changes should be specific and concrete. You will then integrate the numerical data, client feedback, and your practice changes in a final report. Modifications can be made to adapt the scales to diverse practice settings (see below). The main body of the final report should be no more than 6,000 words and should include the following: Part 1 (5 points) Due Week 5 1. Introduction to field setting and your role (2 paragraphs). 2. Client Case Summaries (client demographic information, presenting concern, primary goal(s) of your work) (1 paragraph each). For students reporting on single contact roles and groups, please provide an overall summary across clients or distinct groups of clients. 3. Completed SRS/ORS Recording Form (at least once for your clients). Only the form needs to be submitted and not the SRS/ORS scales themselves. It can either be handwritten or typed. 4. Optional: Include a thorough description of all modifications that you intend to make to the measurement tools or evaluation process.

Part 2 (35 points) Due Week 14 5. Summary of Data a. Combined SRS and ORS graphs for each client. For single-contact roles, compare scores across two or more “types” of clients over time (e.g. children vs. adults, cancer patients vs. mothers in ICU, men vs. women). b. Visual interpretation of graphs (2-3 sentences). c. Interpretation of clinical cutoff scores and Reliable Change Indices (RCI). Alternative cutoff’s and change indices must be developed and described if scales are modified. (2-3 sentences) 6. Practice Decision: For each client, state whether you feel the client has deteriorated, remained the same, improved only slightly, improved a great deal, or achieved all treatment goals. Draw your conclusions based on the pattern of the clients’ ORS scores and comments. Further, state your recommendation for continued services. How do you think services should proceed? If the scales are modified, alternative criteria for determining client change will need to be developed and described. (1 paragraph) 7. Please describe three occasions in which you allowed client feedback to guide your intervention (Refer to specific sessions or dates). For each occasion, please describe: 1) What feedback the client gave you. 2) How you replied in that moment. And 3) What changes you made to treatment/services as a result of their feedback. Be VERY SPECIFIC here about what was said and what you changed. I need to be able to “see” what you changed. Global phrases such as “I became more sensitive” will not work here. (3 paragraphs) 8. Discuss the role of each of the following in your clients’ outcomes: a. Client characteristics (Choose specific characteristics from those discussed in class such as stages of change and coping style). (1 paragraph) b. Treatment alliance (draw heavily from the readings in your discussion here). (1 paragraph) 9. Conclusions regarding the evaluation processes a. Barriers: What factors made the evaluation process difficult (e.g., client, agency, personal)? (1 paragraph) b. Process: How did using these tools impact your relationship with your clients? Include both positive and negative impacts. (1 paragraph) 10. Briefly, discuss your observations of your own practice during this semester. Consider the following (1-2 paragraphs): a. Your ability to ‘read’ your clients b. Your ability to make changes to your approach c. What skills and abilities have you developed this semester? Be very specific and concrete.

Assignment Modifications Often times, MSW students are not placed in field practice settings where they have ongoing contact with multiple client systems. Yet the skills of soliciting feedback from “clients” about their social work practice and making efforts to alter their approach in response to this feedback are critical, regardless of a social workers’ practice setting. The following modifications may be used to address some common challenges that arise in field. All modifications must be discussed and approved by your instructor. In addition, your justification for these modifications must be described in parts I and II of your BBP Assignment. Potential modifications to the BBP Assignment: • Reducing the number of items on the SRS and ORS • Altering the language of the items to suit the practice setting (including administrative and community practice settings) • Administering the group SRS and ORS • Administering the child or youth versions of the SRS and ORS • Asking the questions verbally, rather than administering a paper scale (in settings where administering paper forms is prohibited) • Administering the scales only once to all single contact clients over a period of time • If no clients are available, the student may initiate alternative change-oriented relationships through a volunteer or community organization (e.g. church) or with fellow students or friends. The student must submit a plan outlining the purpose, setting, and structure (frequency and length of contacts) of these relationships to the instructor prior to beginning the assignment.

Please Note: These modifications must remain consistent with the fundamental purpose of the SRS and ORS. It is also important for you to carefully consider how one modification may influence other aspects of the assignment. For example, most modifications will require some adaptation of sections 5 and 6 of the assignment. You will need to discuss these and obtain approval from your instructor.

ORS/SRS Recording Form
Social Worker: Client (use pseudonym for class): Session(Date)ORSSRSClient Descriptions: You will follow up on scores that improve or decline from week to week. Please record clients’ clarifications and explanations here.
Social Worker Response: Describe the changes you made (or plan to make) to your approach in response to the client’s feedback. Be very specific!
5 (8-10-14) 35 32 ORS Father was ill-lot’s of care giving burden. Difficulty sleeping. Cutting more. Feels that even though things are difficult, they are much better than they have been. Writing in diary helped her get her thoughts straight-feels more in-control.

SRS Didn’t like when I gave parenting advice, thought I was judging. Doesn’t think this is helping, still unemployed. Pissed off because I talked to his probation officer. Feels like change is hopeless. Ashamed that she cried in front of me last week.
Re-examined goals. Asked client which parts of our work together seem disconnected from what she wants. Reflected my own feeling of connection and lack of focus in session. Asked client for his ideas about what is causing and maintaining his problem. Discussed possibility of seeing a new therapist. Plan to back up and spend more time focusing on immediate feelings about therapy and fear of change. Will become more directive-develop task list for employment.
Single-System Design Proposals (30 points) SSD Proposal 1 is due on Week 11 (12 points) SSD Proposal 2 is due on Week 13 (18 points) Designing evaluation plans is a clinical skill that requires practice. These assignments will allow you to practice designing an evaluation plan in ‘real-time’ with an actual “client” (actor). Your group of 4 or 5 students will interview two “clients” during class. You will designate one or more members of your group to act as the social worker and conduct an initial assessment interview with the client. The purpose of this interview is for you to collect enough information about the client’s situation and goals to allow you to design an evaluation plan. This will require you to be focused during your interview. Because multiple groups will be interviewing the same client, your interview will take place in phases. During the first phase, you will have 10 to 15 minutes to greet the client and begin to assess their concerns. Only the assigned social worker will speak directly to the client, while the rest of the group observes. However, any group member may “pause” the interview to give instructions to the interviewer about what to ask next. When your time is up, the interview will be “paused” (other groups will then begin their interviews with the client) and your group will take time to discuss what you have learned so far and what additional information you will need to collect during the next phase. When it is time for your group to return to the client for the next phase of the interview, you will begin where you left off. You can return to the client as many times as you need, within the time allotted. After the interview is completed, your group will have one week to draft a Single System Design Proposal. Each evaluation team will use an existing SSD template (see below) to construct a detailed evaluation plan and turn it in before the next class period. You will also submit the measurement instruments and data collection tools you propose to use in your evaluation plan. SSD Proposal 1 and 2 will give students the opportunity to use the same process and methods with two different client systems. Single System Design Proposal Group Members (Please print)

Intervention (Describe Briefly): What forces, other than the intervention, could cause change in the client system’s goal? 1. 2. 3. 4.

Single System Design: Please provide a visual of your study design using notation and time intervals.

What are the limitations of your design? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Participation (10 points) This class is heavily dependent on a supportive and safe classroom environment where individuals are able to take risks and practice new skills. Therefore, each student’s participation is necessary and valued. Participation will include behaviors such as engaging in role plays, speaking during class discussions, posting a photo to the course page, and otherwise adding to the learning experience of other students. Peers’ ratings of your group participation in the SSD Proposal assignments will also be included in these points.

University of South Carolina

1 Aug. 26
Roadmap to Becoming a Better Social Worker
Orme & Combs-Orme Chapter 1: OutcomeInformed Practice in Practice: Two Case Examples

Orme & Combs-Orme Chapter 2: Introduction to Outcome-Informed Practice
Class Introductions Review Syllabus

2 Sept. 9
Nuts and Bolts of Evaluating Practice

Orme & Combs-Orme Chapter 3: Why Measure, Monitor, and Modify?

Duncan, B. L. (2012). The Partners for Change Outcome Management System (PCOMS): The Heart and Soul of Change Project. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie canadienne, 53(2), 93. Miller, S. D., Duncan, B. L., Brown, J., Sorrell, R., & Chalk, M. B. (2006). Using formal client feedback to improve retention and outcomes: Making ongoing, real-time assessment feasible. Journal of Brief Therapy, 5(1), 5-22.
Download and bring printed SRS and ORS scales to class.

3 Sept. 16
Assessing Client Problems and Setting Goals

Orme & Combs-Orme Chapter 4: Assessment: The Early Stages of OutcomeInformed Practice

Goal-Setting Excercise
Competency Assessment: Goal Statements
4 Sept. 23
Critically assessing measurement approaches for SW practice
Orme & Combs-Orme Chapter 8: Foundations of Evidence-Based Outcome Measurement

Competency Assessment: Measurement Reliability and Validity Quiz on Blackboard
5 Sept. 30
Selecting Measurement Methods
Orme & Combs-Orme Chapter 9: Standardized Scales Orme & Combs-Orme Chapter 10: Individualized Rating Scales Orme & Combs-Orme Chapter 11: Behavioral Observation Orme & Combs-Orme Chapter 12 SelfMonitoring

BBP Part 1 Due

Competency Assessment: Create an IRS in class
6 Oct. 7

Creating/Selecting measures
Orme & Combs-Orme Chapter 9: Standardized Scales Orme & Combs-Orme Chapter 10: Individualized Rating Scales Orme & Combs-Orme Chapter 11: Behavioral Observation Orme & Combs-Orme Chapter 12 SelfMonitoring

Competency Assessment: Behavior tracking
7 Oct. 14

Monitoring Client Progress

Who Measures What? Developing Measurement Plans that Make Sense
Orme & Combs-Orme Chapter 5: Charting your Client’s Progress

Miller, S. D., Duncan, B. L., Brown, J., Sorrell, R., & Chalk, M. B. (2006). Using formal client feedback to improve retention and outcomes: Making ongoing, real-time assessment feasible. Journal of Brief Therapy, 5(1), 5-22. Rock, B. D., & Cooper, M. (2000). Social work in primary care: A demonstration student unit utilizing practice research. Social Work in Health Care, 31, 1-17.

Creating Graphs with Excel-Bring your laptops
Competency Assessment: Charting data (completed in class)
8 Oct. 21
Single-System Designs Part 1

Orme & Combs-Orme Chapter 6: Visually Interpreting Your Client’s Progress

Orme & Combs-Orme Chapter 7: SingleCase Designs

Clinical Decision Game

9 Oct. 28
Single-System Designs Part 2
Both must be downloaded from the library. Collins, P. M., Kayser, K., & Platt, S. (1994). Conjoint marital therapy: A practitioner’s approach to singlesystem evaluation. Families in Society, 75, 131-141. Bates, A., & Clark, D. M. (1998). A new cognitive treatment for social phobia: A single-case study. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy: An International Quarterly, 12, 289-302.

Competency Assessment: Creating a SSD plan
10 Oct. 31 SSD Assignment 1
In class interview for SSD Proposal (see assignment description)

11 Nov. 4
Innovative technologies for data collection and monitoring
Blackboard resource list.
SSD 1 Due before class
12 Nov. 11 SSD Assignment 2
In class interview for SSD Proposal (see assignment description)

13 / 14
Nov. 18 Nov. 25
Understanding and Accommodating Client Factors In Social Work Practice
Bohart, A. C., & Tallman, K. (2010). Clients: The neglected common factor in psychotherapy. In B. L. Duncan, S. D. Miller, B. E. Wampold, & M. A. Hubble (Eds.), The heart & soul of change: Delivering what works in therapy (2nd ed.; pp. 23-46). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Norcross, J. C. (Ed.). (2010). Evidence-based therapy relationships [Module on SAMHSA’s website]. Retrieved August 12, 2011, from​ evidence-based_therapy_relationships.pdf

As assigned throughout the semester, read and report on one of the following articles: Download from Library Beutler, L. E., Harwood, T. M., Michelson, A., Song, X., & Holman, J. (2011). Resistance/reactance level. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 67(2), 133-142. Norcross, J. C., Krebs, P. M., Prochaska, J. O. (2011). Stages of change. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 67(2), 143-154. Swift, J. K., Callahan, J. L., & Vollmer, B. M. (2011). Preferences. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 67(2), 155-165. Smith, T. B., Rodríguez, M. D., & Bernal, G. (2011). Culture. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 67(2), 166-175. Beutler, L. E., Harwood, T. M., Kimpara, S., Verdirame, D., & Blau, K. (2011). Coping style. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 67(2), 176-183. Constantino, M. J., Arnkoff, D. B., Glass, C. R., Ametrano, R. M., & Smith, J. Z. (2011). Expectations. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 67(2), 184-192. Levy, K. N., Ellison, W. D., Scott, L. N., & Bernecker, S. L. (2011). Attachment style. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 67(2), 193203. Worthington, E. L., Hook, J. N., Davis, D. E., & McDaniel, M. A. (2011). Religion and spirituality. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 67(2), 204-214.

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