SOCW6311 Walden Wk 11 Translating Knowledge From Evaluation Report Discussion Discussion 1 – Translating Knowledge From an Evaluation Report
Instructors and professors often comment that they learn much more about their subject matter when they begin to teach it. When they try to explain the topic to someone else they begin to connect concepts in new ways. They anticipate questions that students might ask, consider different viewpoints, and think more critically.
For this Discussion, take the perspective of someone who is instructing his or her colleagues and sharing your understanding of research methods and program evaluation.
To prepare for the Discussion, select an evaluation report from this weeks resources. Consider how you would present the information to a group of colleagues.
Post an analysis of how you would present the results of the evaluation to a group of social work colleagues. Identify the background information that you think they would need and the key message of your presentation. Explain the strategies that you might use to meet your colleagues interests and goals. Identify questions that your colleagues might have and what their reactions might be.
Discussion 2: Contemplating Your Future
(Please note I included 2 reference for this discussion. Please be very detiled in your response)
The NASW Code of Ethics makes a number of statements about social workers responsibility to study, use, and engage in research and evaluation. In the past, many social workers had difficulty thinking of themselves as knowledgeable and capable in research, despite completing the required research course in school. Think of yourself as a part of a new breed of social workers. You are completing your education at a point in time that places great emphasis on both research and evaluation. You also have greater access to published research than ever before. Research knowledge and skills are like musclesif you do not use them, they will atrophy. You have an ethical obligation as a social worker to exercise and flex your research muscle. Consider how the NASW Code of Ethics guides your professional research.
Post an analysis of how you can apply new knowledge and skills related to research and evaluation, acquired in this course to your future career.
Identify specific knowledge and strategies and how you intend to apply them.
Identify those skills that you believe will be most applicable to achieving your future goals.
Mallett, C. A. (2012). The school success program: Improving maltreated childrens academic and school-related outcomes. Children & Schools, 34(1), 1326. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1093/cs/…
Reupert, A., Foster, K., Maybery, D., Eddy, K., & Fudge, E. (2011). Keeping families and children in mind: An evaluation of a web-based workforce resource. Child & Family Social Work, 16(2), 192200. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.ezp.waldenulibrary.or… The School Success Program: Improving
Maltreated Children’s Academic and
Christopher A. Mallett
Many victims of chudhood maltreatment expedence difficulties in school and with academic performance. This article reviews the evidence on the connection between childhood maltreatment and school performance and presents an evaluation of a unique
program established by Children’s Services in Lorain County, Ohio. Since 2001, the
School Success Program, in collaboration with 18 Ohio public school distdcts, has provided individual tutodng and mentodng by certified teachers to 615 maltreated children
and youths, working closely with the whole family in an in-home setting. Most children
and youths in the program have progressed to their appropdate grade level whue improving overall grade point averages from 1.74 to 2.56 in core academic subjects. Program participants have shown one-year improvements that are significant when compared with
those of their nonmaltreated peers: Basic reading and comprehension skills improved 58
percent; math reasoning and comprehension skills improved 50 percent; basic wddng
skills improved 48 percent; and overall academic skills improved 51 percent. These
improvements were seen across both gender and race, with almost equal gains made by
minodty and nonminodty children and youths, but particularly by boys. Implications for
school social work practice are set forth in light of these promising results.
KEY WORDS; children; maltreatment; mentor; school; tutor
cademic success is vital for children and
youths to transition without difficulty to
adolescence and young
(Buehler, Orme, Post, & Pattenon, 2000). This
transition is markedly more difficult for many
children who have been vicdms of maltreatment.
Abuse and neglect may affect children’s abüities to
learn, decrease cognitive and language capacities
(SmithgaU, Gladden, Howard, Goerge, &
Courtney, 2004), increase dsk for special education disabüities, decrease standardized tesdng outcomes (Egeland, 1997), and decrease overall
academic performance (Leiter, 2007). It is important to develop interventions and programs targeted specifically to this population that has
expedenced abuse, neglect, or both to provide
these children and youths the opportunity to
achieve school-related success. These interventive
efforts may have long-lasting and important future
impacts (Veltman &L Browne, 2001).
This investigation provides descdptive and longitudinal findings for a program initiated in 2001
in one Ohio county’s children’s services agency
O 2012 National Association of Social Workers
that is trying to address and improve the academic
and school-related outcomes for maltreated children
and youths. Finding evidence of what may work
to address this child welfare, school social work,
and public educadon situadon is important not
only because academic difficuldes are a common
problem for maltreatment victims, but also because
few programs have been designed specifically to
target this problem (Tolan, Henry, Schoeny, &
Bass, 2007; Wilson, Gottfi:edson, & Najaka, 2001).
Child maltreatment includes neglect and physical,
sexual, and psychological abuse. Child protective
services agencies nationwide confirmed 903,000
children as maltreated in 2007 (approximately 1.2
percent of all children and youths in the United
States), an increase of 10 percent since 1990. A
majodty of these confirmed cases were for neglect
(63 percent), with fewer cases of physical abuse
(17 percent), psychological abuse (11.5 percent),
and sexual abuse (9.5 percent) (U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services, 2009a).
Maltreatment affects many of these children and
youths in harmful ways, increasing risk for lower
school achievement, juvenile delinquency, substance abuse, mental health problems, and other
young adult difficulties (Hawkins et al., 2000;
TueU, 2002; U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services, 2003; Wiggins, Fenichel, &
Impact of Maltreatment on School
There is strong evidence, though significant study
methodology variance, that maltreated children and
youths have poorer academic outcomes (Leiter,
2007). Most researchers have looked at maltreatment as a distinct variable, whereas fewer researchers have investigated the impact that a specific type
of abuse or neglect had on school performance.
Generalization of this research knowledge is possible because many of the recent studies used
random samples, many designs were prospective
(though earlier designs were primarily crosssectional, identifying maltreatment and educational
outcomes retrospectively), and the designs controlled for many other possible explanatory impacts
on school performance. Known influences on
school performance that were controlled for
included poverty, family characteristics, social and
peer influences, and neighborhoods. Use of comparison groups has also been consistent; studies
compared a maltreated cohort with a nonmaltreated but demographicaUy similar cohort (Boden,
Horwood, & Fergusson, 2007; Staudt, 2001). A
review of the studied outcomes found a focus on
intellectual development (75 percent of studies),
language development (86 percent of studies), and
academic achievement (91 percent of studies), with
74 percent of studies using comparison group
designs (Veltman & Browne, 2001). Recent studies
have continued these methodology trends (Leiter,
Primary School. Maltreated children are more
likely to have poorer grades and be held back a
grade level (Brown, 2000; Eckenrode, Laird, &
Doris, 1993; Kelley, Thomberry, & Smith, 1997;
Shonk & Cicchetti, 2001), particularly in kindergarten and fint grade (Rowe & Eckenrode, 1999).
This result was also found for children in the
school year after they entered out-of-home care
(SmithgaU et al., 2004). It is not clear how child
welfare agenc)’ and family involvement affect
these school delays and being held back, though
frequent moves and changes can create or exacerbate educational difficulties (Ayassee, 1995;
National Youth in Care Network, 2001). Many
of these maltreated children also experienced
poverty, an identified influence on poor academic
outcomes. However, even when poverty was
controlled for, maltreatment was found to have a
harmful impact on scholastic performance
(Bamett, Vondra, & Shonk, 1996).
Cognitive and language delays, apparent at the
school enrollment age, are greater for maltreated
children than for nonmaltreated children from
lower socioeconomic backgrounds and much
greater than for nonmaltreated children from
higher socioeconomic backgrounds (Wiggins
et al., 2007). On average, maltreated students
enter school one-half year behind on academic
performance (SmithgaU et al., 2004) and have
poorer academic performance and adaptive functioning at ages six and eight than nonmaltreated
children (Kurtz, Gaudin, Wodanki, & Howing,
1993; Zolotor et al., 1999). These students also
have higher absenteeism rates than nonmaltreated
children (Lansford et al., 2002; Leiter, 2007; Leiter
& Johnsen, 1997).
It is less clear if specific types of abuse or
neglect have differential impacts. Physical abuse has
been found both to negatively affect academic
achievement, grades specifically (Hoffinan-Plotkin
& Twentyman, 1984; Leiter & Johnsen, 1994),
and to have no impact on academic achievement
(Eckenrode et al., 1993; Kurtz et al., 1993). The
impact of sexual abuse on academic outcomes is
unclear to date, though reviews are limited, with
contradictory findings on the effect of abuse on
intellectual abilities (Veltman & Browne, 2001).
However, the impact of neglect on children’s academic outcomes has consistently been found to
be harmful, particularly to grades and overall academic skills (Alien & Oliver, 1982; Eckenrode
et al., 1993).
It should be noted, however, that many children experience more than one type and one occurrence of maltreatment, and the cumulative and
interactive effects of these multiple experiences
comphcate research findings (Margolin & Gordis,
2000; U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services, 2009a). Some researchers have identified
that the severity of abuse has a negative impact on
Children & Schools
VOLUME 34, NUMBER I
verbal abilities and verbal IQ (Perez & Widom,
1994). The more serious or pervasive the maltreatment, the greater the risk for the child’s
decline in school performance, including absenteeism and grades. Maltreatment at an earher age
may lead to behavior problems and increased
placement into special education programs (Leiter
& Johnsen, 1997).
Compared with nonmaltreated children, maltreated children are less inclined to engage in independent activities, require more external
motivations, and show less academic engagement
(Koenig, Cicchetti, 8i Rogosch, 2000; Shonk &
Cicchetti, 2001; Toth & Cichetti, 1996). They
also show less effective work habits and disciphne
and receive lower math and Enghsh grades during
elementary school (Rowe & Eckenrode, 1999).
However, improving academic engagement and
increased work with the maltreated children
improves school outcomes (Gray, Nielsen, Wood,
Andresen, & Dolce, 2000; Shonk & Cicchetti,
Maltreated children, and particularly children in
foster care, are more hkely than their nonmaltreated peers to be diagnosed with a special education disability during earlier school yean
upward of 35 percent are diagnosed with such a
disabihty (Children’s Law Center, 2003;
Frothingham et al., 2000; Goerge, VanVoorhis,
Grant, Casey, & Robinson, 1992; Leiter &
Johnsen, 1997; Scarborough & McCrae, 2010).
Children in foster care also have poorer academic
achievement than their peen (Burley & Halpem,
2001; Fanshel & Shin, 1978). In one review, these
children were 96 percent below their grade level
in reading comprehension and 95 percent below
in mathematics (Hyames & de Hames, 2000).
Others have also found this impact to be strong,
with children in foster care half as hkely to
perform at grade level (Conger & Rebeck, 2001)
and upward of 50 percent held back one grade
(Children’s Law Center, 2003). Children in
out-of-home care do not seem to fall further
behind in reading achievement while in care, but
the achievement gap remains (Smithgall et al.,
Secondary School. Maltreatment has been
found to affect older students’ academic and
related outcomes (Courtney, Roderick, Smithgall,
Gladden, & Nagaoka, 2004; Wodarski, Kurtz,
Gaudin, & Howing, 1990). More intense or long-
MALLETT / The School Success Program
lasting maltreatment was found to be associated
with low grade point averages and problems completing homework assignments, though the
impact was moderated by cognitive deficits (Slade
& Wissow, 2007). Courtney, Terao, and Bost
(2004) reported that older maltreated adolescents
were three or four grade levels behind in reading
abilities and that, compared with their
nonmaltreated peers, significantly more had
repeated at least one grade. In one survey of children in out-of-home care, middle-school youths
were three times more hkely to be identified as in
need of special education services, with almost aU
youths in this study with learning disabilities
scoring below national reading norms (Smithgall
et al., 2004).
Many maltreated youths also scored significantly
lower on standardized and required proficiency
examinations (Egeland, 1997): In Chicago, onefourth of maltreated children scored in the bottom
quartüe on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (Smithgall
et al., 2004); in Ohio, only one-fourth of ninthgrade students in foster care passed the mathematics and science tests, and only one-half passed the
reading proficiency tests (Coleman, 2004); and in
Washington, youths in care scored on average 15
to 20 points lower on the statewide achievement
tests than their nonmaltreated peers (Burley 8c
Halpem, 2001). These poor outcomes are also
found when other countries’ maltreated youth
populations are studied (Colton & Heath, 1994;
Jones, Trudinger, & Crawford, 2004).
Some researchers have found that maltreated
(measured as one variable) students have significantly lower high school graduation rates than
nonmaltreated students (Blome, 1994; Boden
et al., 2007; Buehler et al., 2000; McGloin &
Widom, 2001; Täte, 2000; Thomberry, Ireland, &
Smith, 2001). Children and youths in foster care
are particularly at risk, with 46 percent not completing high school (Children’s Law Center,
2003). When further investigated, neglect was
found to have a strong negative impact on academic achievement and high school graduation
rates, physical abuse a shght impact, and sexual
abuse no impact (Eckenrode et al., 1993; Fang &
Tarui, 2009; Wodanki et al., 1990). However,
physical and sexual abuse have also been found
not to be associated with later high school graduation attainment, after controUing for socioeconomic status (Boden et al., 2007).
In-Class Programming. It is important to address
these school performance and academic deficiencies for all children and youths who have experienced maltreatment. Underachievement in the
classroom and placement in remedial classrooms
are associated with school dropout, deviant peer
fHendships, and delinquency (Mears & Aron,
2003; Patterson, DeBaryshe, & Ramsey, 1989).
These potentially harmful outcomes for maltreated children and youths are not inevitable;
some youths succeed with little to no assistance
(Hamilton & Browne, 1998). However, many
maltreated children may benefit firom efforts to
improve their academic performance (Veltman &
Strong evidence shows that school-based teaching and programs help students who are behind in
academic performance or at risk of failing a grade.
One school-based area is the everyday classroom
setting and interactions between teachers and children, with knowledge of how to be effective at
ameliorating these academic risks (National Institute
of Child Health and Human Development Early
Chud Care Research Network, 2003; Pianta,
LaParo, Payne, Cox, & Bradley, 2002). A second
school-based area is interventions designed to help
or address varying risk factors for these students
(Greenberg et al., 2003; Wüson et al., 2001).
Virtually no programs or school-based interventions
tailored to academic problems of maltreated students exist, however.
Mentoring and Tutoring Programs. Significant
evidence shows that both mentoring and tutoring
as stand-alone interventions are effective for many
at-risk children and youths. Mentoring, particularly programs based on the Big Brothers/Big Sisters
model, has been shown to be effective on a wide
range of child and youth difficulties. Program
participants (ages six to 18) show significant improvements compared with noninvolved at-risk
children and youths in academic behavior, attitudes, and performance and in improved relationships with parents and peers (McGill, Mihalic, &
Grotpeter, 1998; Novotney, Mertinko, Lange, &
Baker, 2000). More specifically, in a review of 39
mentoring programs (Tolan et al., 2007), although
most were found to effectively produce positive
outcomes for the children and youths, mentors
with a professional background were more effective than mentors without a professional
background. Although it is known that the relationship between a mentor and a chud is most important, the specific processes or program
structures beyond this still need to be identified if
we are to know which programs are more effective and why (Tolan et al., 2007).
Tutoring models and programs range from high
to low in structure and from using volunteer to
paraprofessional to professional tutors (Fashola,
2001). A review of 28 adult, nonprofessional volunteer tutor programs (all studies used a comparison group with a one-month tutoring duration
minimum) for school-age children (kindergarten
through eighth grade) found positive impacts on
reading and language outcomes, specifically
overall reading, oral fluency, letter and word identification, and writing. No significant differences
were found between volunteer tutor type, grade
level, and program focus (Ritter, Denny, Albin,
Bamett, & Blankenship, 2007). Reviews of certified teachers (professional) as stand-alone tutoring
programs are limited in the literature. An early
review of five tutoring programs, including both
professional and nonprofessional tutors, found the
reading improvements for children to be significant, very much justifing the programs costs
(Wasik & Slavin, 1990). A meta-analysis of 29
tutoring programs that included both adult
nonprofessional and adult trained-professional
volunteen also found that these programs were effective at improving reading abilities for elementary school children (Elbaum, Vaughn, Hughes, &
Moody, 2000). More recently, the Reading
Recovery tutoring model was found to be highly
effective in improving participants’ alphabetic
skiUs and general reading achievement outcomes
in five separate studies (two conducted in Ohio).
This model uses certified teachers, takes place
during the school day, and is designed for the
lowest achieving (lowest 20 percent) first-grade
students, with tutoring discontinued when a
student consistently reads at the grade level
averagenormally between 12 and 20 weeks (U.
S. Department of Education, 2007a).
Summary of the Literature
In summary, maltreated children and youths have
poorer academic outcomes than do their nonmaltreated peers. Some of these outcomes include
poorer grades, retainment for grade repetition,
cognitive and language delays, poor work habits.
Children & Schools
VOLUME 34, NUMBER I
increased prevalence of special education disabilities, and lower standardized and proficiency test
scoring. In Lorain County, Ohio, these poorer
outcomes for maltreated children and youths were
identified by the children’s services agency. To
address these deficiencies and concerns, Lorain
County Children’s Services initiated and has continued the School Success Program. To evaluate
whether this program is having an impact, this
initial pilot study was completed and reported.
This evaluation asked this question: Does the
School Success Program have a positive impact on
the academic and school-related outcomes of
these maltreated chüdren and youths?
LORAIN COUNTY, OHIO, CHILDREN S SERVICES
SCHOOL SUCCESS PROGRAM
The major focus of the School Success Program is
to provide a consistent adult, who is also a certified teacher, to tutor each child, individually and
in his or her home. The match between certified
tutor/mentor and child is based on the educational needs of the child, the tutor’s abilities, and the
personahty styles of both. Often practice wisdom
and the program supervisors’ long history and
work with the famihes are instructive as to
the tutor/mentor type that may work best with a
child or youth. (The program is run by the
county’s children’s service agency, so in
this smaller sized jurisdiction, there is often a wellknown famuy history.) Also, a very large majority
of the tutors/mentors have been with the
program for numerous years, allowing the
program to know and undentand their styles,
strengths, and weaknesses. Matches are monitored
by supervisors to ensure an ongoing best fit. This
best fit model is achieved through the assessment
of the work, relationship building, and outcomes/
progress of the tuton/menton, children, and the
children’s famihes. The tutor/mentor works with
the child, family. Children’s Services School
Success worker, and classroom teachers in a team
environment. Children and tuton/mentors meet
between one and four hours per week (or more if
necessary), depending on the child’s needs, and
focus their individualized educational support
plans on Ohio benchmarks (the standard in aU
Ohio pubhc schools), local pubhc school system
skiUs sets, and other issues that may be impeding
MALLETT / The School Success Proff-am
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