One advancing approach to addressing these issues is the use of participatory and community-engaged approaches for implementation. Social Workers are in a unique position to integrate participatory practices with implementation science models and frameworks to improve intervention utility for community settings and advance health equity. Many social work scholars and practitioners utilize community-engaged approaches when developing and delivering new programs and services, but often do not formally identify, assess, or evaluate implementation processes and strategies. This presents an important opportunity to combine social work expertise in community engagement with models and methods from implementation science to advance the use of culturally appropriate evidence supported practices in community settings, particularly for marginalized communities.
This workshop seeks to: 1) provide an opportunity for participants to increase their knowledge about implementation science and its utility for social work research and practice in community settings and 2) support participants in applying established as well as newly emerging implementation frameworks and methods to programs using community-based participatory principles for research and practice. Workshop leaders will first provide an introductory overview of implementation science, with emphasis on where and how participatory approaches fit. Second, we will present implementation frameworks, including newly developed frameworks intentionally focused on health equity. Third, participants will collaborate in small groups to review specific implementation frameworks identify areas where participatory research principles and approaches are important for community programs, and report out to the larger group. Fourth, we will present a case study of a community-engaged intervention project, and small groups will practice application of one of the frameworks, using the previous discussion to identify ways implementation factors might be explored, assessed, or evaluated. Finally, we will facilitate a closing discussion to share and discuss ways participants can integrate community-engaged research and practice approaches with implementation frameworks in their own work to improve access to evidence-supported interventions in community settings and ultimately advance health equity.