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“The topic of evaluation in social work is covered well and accurately in this book. The author delivers important information about evaluations while keeping the content manageable for readers.”

— Carl F. Brun, Wright State University

Enhancing What We Do

James R. Dudley, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Evaluation is a necessary and important element of social work. The role of the evaluator is one that all social workers should undertake—through program evaluation or through evaluation of one’s individual practice—to ensure that practice methods attain the highest possible effectiveness. This book provides a comprehensive and readable approach to evaluation, emphasizing various small and mid-range formative evaluations that are often implemented at the local agency level. Social Work Evaluation: Enhancing What We Do can help all social workers improve their practice outcomes.


  • Distinguishes between program and practice evaluations
  • Discusses qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods of evaluation
  • Continually places evaluation within the context of social work programs, highlighting the applicability of research to social work
  • Uses case examples from professional journals and books to illustrate concepts, issues, data, analysis, and findings
  • Includes discussion questions at the end of each chapter that can be used for class discussions, quizzes, and tests


Part I
Evaluation and Social Work: A Logical Connection?
Part II
Orientation to the Bigger Picture about Evaluations
The Context for an Evaluation
The Roles of Ethics in Evaluations
Commonly Used Evaluation Models
Part III  
The Planning or Input Stage
Focusing an Evaluation
The Planning Stage and Needs Assessments  Download the PDF
Crafting Goals and Objectives  Download the PDF
Part IV
The Implementation Stage
   8 Implementation Stage: Improving How Programs and
Practice Work
 Download the PDF
Part V The Outcome Stage
   9 The Outcome Stage: Is the Intervention Effective?
Part VI   Final Steps in Completing an Evaluation
   10 Using Quantitative and Qualitative Data Analysis in Evaluations
   11 Writing the Report and Disseminating the Results

About the Author

James R. Dudley (MSW, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; PhD, Bryn Mawr College) is professor of social work at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he has served as chair of the social work department. Previously, he was a faculty member at Temple University. He has conducted numerous evaluations and other research studies and published several articles and books including Research Methods for Social Work.

2009, Paper, 314 Pages, 978-0-925065-72-8, Price: $46.95