An evaluation of psychological consultation to social workers
Dimaro, Lian V.
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Although providing psychological consultation to the network around looked after children is a popular intervention within the practice literature, there is little evidence examining its value for social workers. This study utilised mixed methods, integrated through an explanatory sequential design, to explore the extent to which psychological consultation met social workers’ goals and in what way it made a difference. Feedback questionnaires were collated from 48 social workers attending such consultations. Two focus groups were then held with consulting clinicians to gain their perspectives on consultation and the feedback obtained. The survey data demonstrated that social workers wanted a broad range of input and support from consultation, which they reported was largely provided. This reinforced clinicians’ perspectives of consultation as a valuable service. Surprisingly, the survey data implied that consultation had a limited impact in terms of making a difference. This is discussed in relation to the methodology and challenges of gaining feedback. An improved model of evaluation is subsequently proposed.