The impact of in-service training within social services

Authors
Citation
N. Clarke, The impact of in-service training within social services, BR J SOC W, 31(5), 2001, pp. 757-774
Citations number
84
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Social Work & Social Policy
Journal title
BRITISH JOURNAL OF SOCIAL WORK
ISSN journal
0045-3102 → ACNP
Volume
31
Issue
5
Year of publication
2001
Pages
757 - 774
Database
ISI
SICI code
0045-3102(200110)31:5<757:TIOITW>2.0.ZU;2-V
Abstract
In-service training within social service agencies is recognized as a key m eans through which staff are provided with the necessary knowledge and skil ls to improve overall agency performance and achieve the objectives of soci al policy. Furthermore, reports of training expenditure within social servi ces departments in the UK suggest increasing amounts of monies are invested in such activity in order to meet the changing demands placed on social ca re and greater expectations for higher standards in service delivery. Yet t o what extent is the faith placed in much of this training by social servic e agencies actually justified? in short, how much do we know about the actu al impact of in-service training within social service organizations in ter ms of it achieving the aims set by policy makers? This article attempts to answer this question in order to assist in the development of a far more em pirically based framework for understanding training processes within socia l service agencies. A review of the literature for studies published betwee n 1974 and 1997 detailing an evaluation of in-service training programmes w ithin social service agencies identified only 20 such studies. Problems ass ociated with both the evaluative criteria utilized and the research methodo logies employed in these studies meant that in many instances conclusions r egarding the actual impact of training could only be tentatively judged. As a result, an analysis of these studies found that although training may ha ve an impact on trainees in terms of satisfaction or knowledge gain, result s regarding impact on behaviour are far more inconclusive. In addition it i s not at all certain that such training will necessarily result in changes in performance back in the workplace. The findings from the review suggest far more research is required of sufficient rigour to underpin our knowledg e in this important area.