UH humanities are important too

As part of a statewide standard evaluation process, the UH Graduate College of Social Work (GCSW) is maximizing child abuse prevention services in Texas by providing an assay of state services.

Professor Cache Steinberg from the Office of Community projects at GCSW explained there are quite a few layers to the evaluation, and many of the drafts are in the revision process. This will most likely be done several times until the team finds every aspect satisfactory.

‘This is a team approach that began in March 2008 and consists of six different elements Each element is a project in itself,’ Steinberg said.

A carefully assembled research team consisting of four professors, including Steinberg from the GCSW as well as Jim Granato, the Director of the Center for Public Policy, has eagerly taken on the task of trying to bring the humanities and ‘softer sciences’ into the spotlight. The research team wants our campus to be thought of first when it comes to having the kind of authority sought after pertaining to child abuse, neglect prevention and early intervention services.

The evaluation project began in March 2008 and will continue through August 2009.

‘The project will assess funding strategies, methods of assessing costs and program outcomes, as well as the use of evidence-based practice and continuous program improvement systems,’ Steinberg said.

The six elements will include: identifying funding mechanisms for programs and services for the prevention of and early intervention in child abuse and neglect; determining how to best evaluate cost efficiency of the state-funded programs; evaluating the effectiveness of state-funded child maltreatment prevention programs and services in achieving their intended outcomes; identifying methods for the transitioning of state-funded child maltreatment prevention programs and services to an increased reliance on evidence based practices; evaluating existing methods for the ongoing identification of additional opportunities for comprehensive improvements to the delivery of the services offered, and evaluate the need for increased state funding for these programs to ensure a sustained, long-term and cost-effective investment in families in the state of Texas.

The tireless efforts of the GCSW should be recognized for their dedication to the children of our city and state. If the research team has their way, they will be recognized and turned to by social workers across the nation.

UH is leading the pack with its advances in engineering, physics, biology and now the social sciences are adding their name to the list. Our little campus has some pretty big muscles, and soon enough will have a good amount of clout to put behind its strength.

We should give thanks for teams like ours at the GCSW and all of the hard work they do for our kids.

Alana MousaviDin is a communication senior and may be reached at [email protected].

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