Session: Understanding How Implementation Support Practitioner Skills and Competencies Enhance a Competency-Based Education in Social Work (Society for Social Work and Research 25th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Social Change)

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239 Understanding How Implementation Support Practitioner Skills and Competencies Enhance a Competency-Based Education in Social Work

Friday, January 22, 2021: 3:45 PM-4:45 PM
Cluster: Organizations & Management
Leah Bartley, PhD, National Implementation Research Network, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Allison Metz, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Sarah Verbiest, DrPH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Background: The purpose of professional social work education is to enhance human and community well-being. It is guided by theories and perspectives that prioritize justice, human rights, and protecting vulnerable populations (CSWE, 2015). But how does social work explicitly change human service systems and organizations to promote the optimization and uptake of evidence in meaningful ways to improve the welfare of those most vulnerable? It is well documented that evidence alone does not lead to systems change or uptake of science in practice-based settings. Social workers are the forefront of human service systems and practice-based settings and equipping them with the skills and competencies to integrate implementation science best practices from a competency-based perspective will improve service quality and the likelihood of sustained positive outcomes (Bunger & Legnick-Hall, 2019).

Methods: The purpose of this roundtable will be to discuss Council on Social Work Education’s nine social work competencies with emerging Implementation Support Practitioner Competencies (; Metz et al., 2018). There is mounting interest in the limited capacity of professionals skilled in implementation practice who can apply implementation concepts, models or frameworks and have the skills and competencies needed to tailor them to different contexts and settings in the real world of human services – be it health, social welfare or education. The shortage of individuals trained in the science and practice of knowledge translation and implementation has been cited as a reason for our failure to optimize the use of evidence to improve population outcomes (Straus et al., 2011). Implementation support practitioners represent one approach to build implementation capacity in human services. Implementation support practitioners help systems and service providers implement evidence-informed practices, policies, and programs, and sustain and scale evidence and innovation for population impact (Albers et al., in press). Therefore, the outcome objectives from this roundtable will be:

1.Enhance the current understanding of how social work competencies can enhance the role of implementation support practitioners in human service sectors 2.Consider how the implementation support practitioner competencies can be integrated with specific social work competencies in the pursuit of improving social and economic justice, prevention of human rights violations, improving those in poverty and most vulnerable domestically and around the world.

The roundtable will use the Appreciative Interviews facilitation strategy (Lipmanowicz & McCandless, 2014) to connect participants through a facilitated discussion process on implementation successes and connect them to social work and implementation support practitioner competencies. This facilitation strategy comes from the perspective that the expertise is within the room of participants and that you can reveal positive insights and momentum by connecting participants to reflect on lessons learned in success stories.

Implications: Social work research and education is founded on the goal of improving the lives of the most vulnerable. Implementation support practitioner competencies can equip social work researchers and practitioners with the knowledge and skills to enhance the uptake and optimization of evidence in human service organizations.

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