Abstract: (Withdrawn) Lived Experiences of Supervisors Implementing Family Focused Ebps (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

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604P (Withdrawn) Lived Experiences of Supervisors Implementing Family Focused Ebps

Sunday, January 15, 2023
Phoenix C, 3rd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
* noted as presenting author
Debra Miller, PhD, LMSW, Assistant Professor/Clinic Director, Michigan State University Couple and Family Therapy Clinic, East Lansing, MI
Gianna Casaburo, MS, Ed, Doctoral Candidate, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Background and Purpose: Statewide systems of care commonly exist in the United States to bring evidenced based practices (EBPs) to communities in interest of serving youth and families with complex behavioral health needs (Graaf et al., 2021). Despite these statewide efforts, EBPs continue to have difficulty translating into everyday care (Bruns et al., 2016). Examining the reasons why is a complex undertaking (Aarons et al. 2009). One known driver of successful EBP implementations in communities includes the supervisory structures within the implementing organization (Choi et al., 2009). However, this perspective is often overlooked and underrepresented in research (Dorsey et al. 2017; Schoenwald et al. 2008). This leaves systems of care that seek to help local communities facilitate EBP adoption uncertain on how to best respond. The idea for this current study originated from a collaborative team of EBP stakeholders in a Midwestern state that represented nine different child and family focused EBP models implemented within the state’s system of care structure. This study was designed to answer the following: 1) what are the lived experiences of supervisors supporting EBP practices in a community mental health setting, and 2) what are promising supports for supervisors and implementation coordinators that could ultimately improve their experiences. Specifically, the research question was: What are the experiences of EBP supervisors and implementation coordinators supporting family focused EBPs in the community mental health system?

Methods: A qualitative study was conducted with community mental health supervisors and implementation coordinators in a Midwestern state. Supervisors and implementation coordinators were identified through an open call to participate in focus groups facilitated by two investigators who study family focused EBP implementation in community mental health settings. Participants were asked to join one of five scheduled focus groups and prompted via a semi-structured interview process to share their experiences and suggestions. Interviews were conducted via Zoom and transcribed verbatim. Thematic analysis was utilized to determine salient themes.

Results: Four focus groups were conducted and comprised a total of 15 participants who all identified as having a supervision or coordination role in which they were responsible for supporting at least one EBP. Themes emerged around the following: 1) ambiguity of the identified role (supervisor and implementation coordinator), 2) demand for supervisory time outside of EBP support, 3) identified need for training, 4) significant concerns about staff retention, and 5) considerations due to COVID-19.

Conclusions and Implications: This study laid an important foundation for considering the experience of supervisors and implementation coordinators who support EBP delivery at the local agency level. These findings have significant implications for practice that include opportunities for training in supervisory tools that can support EBP adoption in community settings. Results are applicable to community health providers making strategic decisions at the local and system of care level about investment in EBP training and workforce development. Continued research is needed to further understand supervisors’ experiences with EBP implementations and to examine the effectiveness of best practices they identified as positive toward implementation efforts.