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TRAINING PROGRAMS FOR SOCIAL SERVICE WORKERS - A QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE EVALUATION

NCJ Number
56663
Author(s)
M E GEBHARDT
Date Published
1978
Length
230 pages
Annotation
THE EFFECTIVENESS OF INSERVICE TRAINING FOR INCOME MAINTENANCE WORKERS EMPLOYED BY NINE COUNTY DEPARTMENTS OF SOCIAL SERVICE AGENCIES IN THE CENTRAL PART OF NEW YORK STATE WAS EVALUATED.
Abstract
THE RESEARCH DESIGN INCORPORATED TRADITIONAL PRETEST AND POSTTEST MEASURES, AS WELL AS INCOME MAINTENANCE WORKER TRAINING PROGRAMS IN TWO OF THE NINE COUNTIES SELECTED FOR AN INDEPTH ETHNOGRAPHIC EXAMINATION. THE ENTIRE WORKER POPULATION OF ALL NINE COUNTIES CONSTITUTED THE STUDY SAMPLE. INSTRUMENTS USED IN PRETEST AND POSTTEST MEASURES WERE A COVER LETTER, A STANDARDIZED JOB SATISFACTION FORM, A DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SHEET, AND A FIVE-PAGE CONTENT SECTION. KEY ISSUES IN THE COLLECTION OF QUALITATIVE DATA WERE RELIABILITY VERSUS VALIDITY, SUBJECTIVITY VERSUS OBJECTIVITY, INVESTIGATOR BIAS, AND CONFIDENTIALITY. COMPLETE QUANTITATIVE DATA SETS WERE AVAILABLE FOR 83 TO 133 INCOME MAINTENANCE WORKERS INVOLVED IN THE INSERVICE TRAINING PROGRAM. DEMOGRAPHIC, JOB SATISFACTION, AND END-OF-PROGRAM EVALUATION DATA WERE ANALYZED. QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE DATA WERE SUBSEQUENTLY COMPARED. FINDINGS REVEALED THAT TRAINING WAS EFFECTIVE, THAT IT IMPROVED INTERVIEWING SKILLS OF INCOME MAINTENANCE WORKERS, AND THAT OTHER DESIRABLE INFORMATION AND/OR SKILLS WERE INTERNALIZED BY WORKERS. SPECIFIC CONCLUSIONS INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING: (1) INCOME WORKERS AS A GROUP WERE MORE SATISFIED WITH THEIR WORK AFTER TRAINING; (2) WORKERS IN THREE COUNTIES WERE LESS SATISFIED WITH TRAINING THAN THEIR COUNTERPARTS IN THE OTHER SIX COUNTIES; (3) DEMOGRAPHIC VARIABLES OF SEX, AGE, LENGTH OF EMPLOYMENT, SALARY, AND EDUCATIONAL LEVEL HAD NO DISCERNIBLE RELATION TO WORKER SCORES ON THE INTERVIEWING SKILLS QUESTIONNAIRE OR THE JOB SATISFACTION INSTRUMENT; (4) WORKER EVALUATION OF THE TRAINING PROGRAM WAS ABOVE AVERAGE; (5) HOSTILITIES AMONG WORKERS HAD A NEGATIVE EFFECT ON TRAINING AND IN SOME CASES, BECAME BARRIERS TO LEARNING; AND (6) EXTRANEOUS FACTORS IMPINGING ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE INSERVICE TRAINING PROGRAM WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN DETECTED WITHOUT THE USE OF QUALITATIVE DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES. A HISTORICAL REVIEW OF EVALUATION RESEARCH IS PRESENTED. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTHER STUDY OF INSERVICE TRAINING PROGRAMS ARE OFFERED. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THE EVALUATION STUDY AND RELATED FORMS ARE APPENDED, AND SUPPORTING DATA AND A BIBLIOGRAPHY ARE PROVIDED. (DEP)