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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Social work intervention in the school setting Callahan, Marilyn

Abstract

During the school year 1965 - 1966 the Vancouver East Y.W.CA. took part in a project aimed at improving the school performances of a selected group of children from the Woodland Park Area. This project involved the combined efforts of the school, the social adjustment group and the provision of family services. It was hoped that the team approach, as applied to the problem of school malperformance, would provide optimum service and facilitate future co-operative planning in the district. Although at the conclusion of that first year, there was a general feeling in the schools that the project had had beneficial results, some decisive proof was needed. For this reason, this present study was conceived, in order to evaluate change, if any, which occurred as a result of social work intervention. Initial research was based upon an analysis of rating scale results, and it was hoped, by the research team, that a "before-after" picture would evolve, and provide some correlations which would be useful in evaluating change in the children. However, after only preliminary study of the data, it became obvious that a number of problems hampered further analysis along these lines. The rating scale could not be assumed either valid or reliable; there were discrepancies between verbal and recorded judgements; there were discrepancies in the use of the rating scale amongst both school officials and group workers; in many cases rating scales were left incomplete and no correlations of any significance could be discovered. Added to these problems, were the lack of any control groups, so that there was a prohibitive number of intervening variables, and uncertain and differing criteria used for referral. The focus of the research team then centred on formation of a new design, which attempts to avoid previous mistakes, provides new rating devices, and outlines a statistical method of analyzing the data to be collected. It is to be hoped that with this different basis and focus another research project might be carried out to truly evaluate success of the program, and facilitate future planning and services.

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