An Outcome Evaluation of Competency Based Training for Child Welfare

  • M. Elizabeth Vonk
  • W. Sean Newsome
  • Denise E. Bronson
Keywords: Child welfare, knowledge acquisition, evaluation, outcomes


In response to the continuing need for competent child welfare professionals, a large mid-western university’s College of Social Work collaborated with a public child welfare agency to design and implement a one year,Title IV-E-funded training opportunity for second-year MSW students. Student outcomes, including knowledge acquisition, attitudes about child welfare, and field of post-graduation employment, were evaluated using a quasi-experimental pre-post comparison group design (n=28).Results indicated that there were statistically significant differences between the two groups concerning attitudes about child welfare practice. However, although trainees’ level of child welfare knowledge increased more than that of the comparison group, the difference did not reach statistical significance. Implications for practice and social work education are discussed.