Center Initiates Practice Development Studies Program

One of the primary goals of the Center for the Study of Social Work Practice is to develop an ongoing program of clinical and practice research within the agency setting. An important step in this direction is the formation of the Practice Development Studies Program. Coordinated by Linda Bernstein and Mark Mattaini, both of CUSSW, the Practice Development Studies Program will involve JBFCS practitioners in the design and implementation of small scale contextually based research studies. Unlike traditional theoretical studies, contextually based research stems directly from practice and is geared to the development of specific practice knowledge and skills. It includes the use of new and innovative research methodologies, such as single-case design, sequential eco-mapping, and computer graphic visualization.

During the coming year the Practice Development Studies Program will begin two projects. First, an applied training seminar in the use of single case designs will be offered to interested agency staff, as part of the program of the Educational Institute, directed by Harry Blumenfled. The seminar will focus on single case research studies for agency workers, based on their own practice.

The second project is the Practice Knowledge Study, which will look at current clinical practice in one or more agency programs. New models of practice are often done through trial and error. Using a series of single case designs, the Practice Knowledge Project will attempt to articulate, conceptualize, and empirically test informal practice principles. This study will be directed by Linda Bernstein, CUSSW.