Evidence-Based Practice Implementation Challenges
The logic of evidence-based practice has strong appeal for legislators, funding sources, and many child welfare professionals; however, implementation of new practice presents many challenges. The following resources explore some of these challenges, including the needs to maintain model fidelity, balance service effectiveness with client needs, and manage resistance that may undermine the adoption of an evidence-based approach.
The Adoption and Implementation of an Evidence Based Practice in Child and Family Mental Health Services Organizations: A Pilot Study of Functional Family Therapy in New York State
Zazzali, Sherbourne, Hoagwood, Greene, Bigley, & Sexton (2008)
Discusses challenges encountered while adopting Functional Family Therapy, an evidence-based family prevention and intervention program for adolescents with conduct disorder or oppositional defiant disorder. The study also discusses implications for the adoption and implementation of other evidence-based treatments.
Barriers to Evidence-Based Practice Implementation: Results of a Qualitative Study
Rapp, Etzel-Wise, Marty, Coffman, Carlson, Asher, et al.
Community Mental Health Journal, 46(2), 2010
Reports on a qualitative study of barriers to implementation of the evidence-based practices of supported employment and integrated dual diagnosis treatment. Findings indicated that the most significant obstacles came from the behavior of supervisors, front-line staff, and other professionals in the agency.
Implementation of Evidence-Based Practice in Child Welfare: Service Provider Perspectives
Aarons & Palinkas (2007)
Identifies six factors as critical determinants of evidence-based practice (EBP) implementation: acceptability of the EBP to the caseworker and the family, suitability of the EBP to the needs of the family, caseworker motivations for using the EBP, experiences with being trained in the EBP, extent of organizational support for EBP implementation, and the impact of EBP on process and outcome of services.
The Role of Organizational Variables in Predicting Service Effectiveness: An Analysis of a Multilevel Model
Yoo & Brooks
Research on Social Work Practice, 15, 2005
Examines the role of organizational context in predicting service effectiveness. This study suggests that organizational characteristics are potentially strong determinants of service effectiveness.
Self-Evaluation: Using Data to Guide Policy and Practice in Public Child Welfare Agencies
Webster, Usher, Needell, & Wildfire (2008)
In Child Welfare Research: Advances for Practice and Policy
Discusses challenges and successes using data to improve social work practices in the Family to Family Initiative. It explains the need for self-evaluation; the development of self-evaluation teams; and strategies used to adjust attitudes, track outcomes, and stay the course for system reform.
Systemic Change and Empirically-Supported Practices: The Implementation Problem (PDF - 442 KB)
Center for Mental Health in Schools, UCLA School Mental Health Project (2006)
Highlights information that can help advance work on what is widely called the "implementation problem" and frames the process in terms of diffusing innovation through major systemic change.