Social Work Senior Colloquium 2018
At times misunderstood, social work is "the professional activity of helping individuals, families, groups, or communities enhance or restore their capacity for social functioning, or creating societal conditions favorable to that goal” (NASW, 1973). Each year, senior Avila students in social work conduct 500 hours of practice in a regional social service organization, under the supervision of a professional social worker as their field instructor. During this rich learning opportunity, Avila students design and conduct a Capstone Project, focused on researching the effectiveness of a social work intervention chosen to promote change related to solving a problem at an individual (micro) level, or at an agency/community (macro) level. Academic literature instructs us that the best social work practice is evidence-informed practice, as will be demonstrated by the BSW students in today’s Colloquium presentations. As St. Teresa of Avila said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.” These students are the future social work leadership!
2018 Capstone Projects
Increasing Client Knowledge of Safe Place
A residential facility for runaway and homeless youth could benefit from educating clients on the Safe Place Program. Data from an annual report (Paulsen, 2018) showed a decrease in awareness of the service from 2016 to 2017. An infographic was designed and distributed as an intervention to increase knowledge and awareness of the program as a method for increasing utilization.
She Served Too. Now, She Needs Our Services
St. Michael's Veterans Center, equipped with a Social Service Center, is a permanent housing program for homeless and disabled Veterans. The agency recognized the macro-level problem of a gap in their services for the female residents. the goal was to assist in identifying service needs specific to Female Veterans.
Increasing Student Attendance at University Academy
This study focused on increasing students’ attendance with incentives. The problem at a K-12 charter school in KCMO was that many students had too many unexcused absences. In this study, two students’ attendance was monitored weekly. If their attendance improved they received an incentive of their choice. If the student’s attendance did not increase or stayed the same then they did not receive an incentive that week.
The Effects of Treatment Planning on Women Post-Incarceration
(Best Capstone Project)
This study evaluates the impact of collaborative treatment planning on female populations, post-incarceration. The research takes place in a living facility that assists in the shift from prison into society. This study specifically explored the effects of treatment planning on the clients’ completion of targeted Transitional Milestones, along with their Length of Residence.
Increasing the Completion of Maintain at Home Case Plan
The purpose of this study was to increase the completion of Maintain-At-Home Case Plans (MAHCP) in the child welfare system. In Kansas, this is required to be held within thirty days of the child’s reintegration to their family of origin. Failure to meet this policy deadline is an occurring problem. This study focused on increasing the timely completion with the implementation of email reminders sent to the case managers.
Increasing the Level of Knowledge About Adult Protective Services
Knowledge is a human, highly personal asset and represents the pooled expertise and efforts of networks and alliances (Smith, 2001). The fundamental goal of this intervention was to increase the level of knowledge an organization’s employees had about Adult Protective Services. This research focused on the use of an information-giving method and this goal was reached.
Increasing Onsite Health Clinic Awareness and Utilization Among Shelter Residents
During a Domestic Violence shelter intake, documentation of offered services was provided to residents, but health services were not. Therefore, due to the lack of information provided, fewer residents were aware of and utilizing the onsite health clinic. An infographic intervention was administered.
Increasing Self-Confidence with Weekly Psycho-Educational and Social Groups
Genesis Charter School serves inner-city students who are in the second highest crime rate neighborhood in KCMO. Most students report exposure to traumatic situations. Ten female students were assessed in a group setting, to track their self-worth and self-esteem before and after group intervention to increase the two variables.
Foster Care Referrals for Family Finding Services
Referrals for Family-finding services for children in protective custody are limited, creating a barrier in securing potential relative and kinship placements. Various studies affirm youth placed with unknown caregivers, in comparison to those placed with relatives, are more likely to have a range of ongoing adversities. An intervention aimed at raising referral rates to family-finding services for the agency was developed.
The Effects of the CARES Team on Students Struggling in the Academic Setting
Studies show that students who are unsuccessful in school are at high risk of being unsuccessful in adulthood. A rural high school put together the “CARES Teams” in an effort to help students who were struggling. Within a school, learning supports can help students to succeed. This study monitored 43 students, 9th to 12th grades. Data collected showed an increased attendance and a decrease to behavioral disciplines received by students.
Effect of Job-Related Implemented Programs on Individuals with Disabilities
The purpose of this research was to acknowledge the effectiveness that job-related training programs have on individuals with disabilities. A program called “The Snack to the Future” was implemented to assist participants in obtaining necessary job skills. Goals of improving ratings on customer service and endurance scales were the focus of the intervention.