The Society for Social Work and Research

2014 Annual Conference

January 15-19, 2014 I Grand Hyatt San Antonio I San Antonio, TX

Using Organizational Assessments to Inform Implementation and Build Sustainable Capacity

Thursday, January 16, 2014: 3:30 PM-5:15 PM
Marriott Riverwalk, Alamo Ballroom Salon C, 2nd Floor Elevator Level BR (San Antonio, TX)
Cluster: Child Welfare
Leah Bartley, MSW, University of Maryland at Baltimore, Pamela Clarkson Freeman, PhD, MSW, University of Maryland at Baltimore and Diane DePanfilis, PhD, MSW, University of Maryland at Baltimore
Background and Purpose: There is growing agreement that in order for evidence-based programs to be put into practice and result in improved outcomes, organizational capacity needs to be developed and sustained in order to support the uptake and implementation of the interventions (Bumbarger & Campbell, 2012; Fixsen, Blase, Metz, Van Dyke, 2013; Wandersman et al., 2008).  In child welfare, understanding the organizational culture and readiness for implementation and building implementation strategies to develop organizational capacity for change, is a necessity as workers are often overworked, underfunded and have experienced compassion fatigue (DePanfilis, 2006; Proctor, 2012). The purpose of this workshop is to provide research-informed strategies to assess capacity within public and private child-welfare systems in order to guide intervention implementation. 

Session Format and Content: The educational methods will include: lecture, illustration, demonstration, and discussion.  Core constructs that will be addressed include: organizational culture, climate, and readiness to change; implementation planning and support; technical assistance strategies; implementation teams; linked communication protocols; implementation of core components (i.e. leadership, facilitative administration, decision support data system); and, analytical strategies for guiding the development of organizational capacity and capacity to support implementation. 

Organizational culture, climate, and readiness examples will be shared from child welfare agencies implementing evidence-based intervention.  Workshop leaders represent teams from two Schools of Social Work in collaboration with agency partners.

Workshop Objectives:  As a result of this session, participants will achieve the following objectives: (1) understand core organizational components that influence implementation; (2) obtain  information about methods for assessing organizational culture, climate, and readiness; (3) understand strategies for using implementation teams to promote organizational capacity; and, (4) learn how to integrate data-driven strategies to inform implementation team development and decision-making.  Participants will receive sample organizational assessment instruments and be encouraged to discuss their own efforts to integrate organizational measurement constructs in their implementation of evidence based practices or other child welfare related system change efforts.


Bumbarger, B.K., & Campbell, E. (2012). A state-agency university partnership for translational research and the dissemination of evidence-based prevention and intervention.  Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 39, 268-277.

DePanfilis, D. (2006). Compassion fatigue, burnout and compassion satisfaction: Implications for retention of workers. Child Abuse and Neglect, 30, 1067-1069.

Fixsen, D., Blase, K., Metz, A., & Van Dyke, M. (2013). Statewide implementation of evidence-based programs.  Exceptional Children, 79, 213-230.

Proctor, E. (2012). Implementation science and child maltreatment: Methodological advances. Child Maltreatment, 17, 107 – 112.

Wandersman, A.,  Duffy, J., Flaspohler, P., Noonan, R., Lubell, K., Stillman, L., ...Saul, J. (2008). Bridging the gap between prevention research and practice: The interactive systems framework for dissemination and implementation. American Journal of Community Psychology, 41, 171-181.

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