Research Methods in Child Welfare

Amy J. L. Baker and Benjamin J. Charvat

Columbia University Press

Research Methods in Child Welfare

Pub Date: August 2016

ISBN: 9780231141314

464 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $40.00£34.00

Pub Date: June 2008

ISBN: 9780231141307

464 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $80.00£66.00

Pub Date: June 2008

ISBN: 9780231512145

464 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $39.99£34.00

Research Methods in Child Welfare

Amy J. L. Baker and Benjamin J. Charvat

Columbia University Press

Social service agencies are facing the same expectations in quality management and outcomes as private companies, compelling staff members and researchers to provide and interpret valid and useful research to stakeholders at all levels in the field. Child welfare agencies are particularly scrutinized. In this textbook, two highly experienced researchers offer the best techniques for conducting sound research in the field. Covering not only the methodological challenges but also the real-life constraints of research in child welfare settings, Amy J. L. Baker and Benjamin J. Charvat present a volume that can be used both for general research methods and as a practical guide for conducting research in the field of child welfare.

Baker and Charvat devote an entire chapter to ethical issues involved in researching children and their families and the limits of confidentiality within this population. They weave a discussion of ethics throughout the book, and each chapter begins with a scenario that presents a question or problem to work through, enabling readers to fully grasp the methods in the context of a specific setting or area of concern. Special sections concentrate on the value of continuous quality-improvement activities, which enable the collection and analysis of data outside of the strictures of publishable research, and the implementation of program evaluations, which can be helpful in obtaining further research and programmatic funding.
List of Figures
List of Tables
Foreword, by Christine James-Brown
Acknowledgments
1. Introduction to Child Welfare Research
Part 1. Planning and Developing Research Studies
2. The Philosophy and Logic of Research
3. Ethical Considerations
4. Problem Formulation
5. Sampling Theory
Part 2. Design Strategies
6. Single-System Design
7. Group Designs
8. Using Existing Data
Part 3. Measurement Strategies
9. Measurement Theory and Measure Selection
10. Surveys
11. Case Studies
12. Focus Groups
13. In-Depth Interviews
Part 4. Data Analysis and Writing Up and Sharing Research Results
14. Data Analysis Techniques
15. Dissemination of Research Findings
Part 5. Special Topics in Agency Practice
16. Continuous Quality Improvement in Agency Practice
17. Agency-Based Program Evaluation
18. Final Thoughts
Classroom Discussion and Activities
Glossary 1. Social Science Research Methods Terms
Glossary 2. Child Welfare Practice and Policy Terms
References
Index

About the Author

Amy J. L. Baker is director of research at the Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection at the New York Foundling and the author of Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome: Breaking the Ties That Bind (2007), which was featured in the New York Times. She is the author or coauthor of more than seventy peer-reviewed publications and five other books. Her website is www.amyjlbaker.com.

Benjamin S. Charvat is a senior program manager at the New York City Department of Education and adjunct assistant professor at the NYU Silver School of Social Work. For more than a decade, he has taught research methods, program evaluation, and advanced social policy in children and families.