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What works in helping people and why?

Forrester, Donald 2013. What works in helping people and why? Social Work and Social Sciences Review 16 (2) , p. 88. 10.1921/2903160205

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Abstract

Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are the most rigorous test of effectiveness for any intervention. This article considers RCTs as policy projects, and outlines the key elements of effective delivery of interventions within an RCT. It is argued that conceptualizing RCTs as practice delivery projects provides insights of relevance for effective leadership in social work or other helping professions. Three elements of effective RCT delivery are suggested to be crucial: (a) a theory about the nature of the issues being worked with and how people can be helped by professionals; (b) a detailed description of practice that flows from this and (c) skills development and monitoring methods for ensuring practitioners are delivering practice in this way. These are argued to be key components required for effective leadership in social work. Finally, it is suggested that while there is increasing focus on the common elements within specific interventions there has been a neglect of the common features associated with their delivery. Attention to these might help explain the ‘Dodo bird effect’, in which different interventions often prove to be equally effective, and thereby enrich our appreciation of what works, for whom and why.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Publisher: Social Work and Social Sciences Review
ISSN: 0953-5225
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 08:55
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/87869

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