The creation of a policy is not the only task many social workers have to face one day. Specific preparatory steps and outcomes cannot be ignored, and one of them is evaluation. According to Jansson (2018), policy evaluation is a complex subject because of multiple values that exist and shape someone’s position regarding special services program evaluation. For example, social workers are free to support or oppose hospice programs. They rely on their moral grounds in addition to their research results as both complement one another and create a world where people work hand in hand within social welfare (Jansson, 2008). Although some organizations or individuals may lack resources, experience, or knowledge, they continue developing new policies because they believe in this necessity, underling the influence of values in policy-making.
Talking about social work values, one should remember that the chosen topic is complicated by various events. Midgley and Livermore (2008) admit that social policy development is hard to predict due to constantly changing demographic, economic, cultural, and political issues. Thus, social workers must adhere to evaluation conflict and introduce their values clearly. Policy assessment is a significant part of a working process as it makes people ask the necessary questions, recognize differences, and learn if expected outcomes are achieved. Social workers have to follow the same tasks regularly: they observe the environment, define problems, gather information by asking questions, and compare “before” and “after” situations. In other words, obtaining feedback is a thing that unites policies and social workers and promotes understanding of social needs and change promotion (Community Toolbox, 2016). If values and beliefs are neglected, the quality of work is challenged, creating new difficulties in achieving equality, success, and improvement in society and specific communities.
Many factors predetermine the success of evidence-based policies, and the goal of any policy-maker is to be ready to defend the feasibility and effectiveness of their work. Today, scholars and experts in social welfare offer a variety of ways to take this step. In most cases, it is recommended to pay attention to feedback. Formal feedback contains data to be measured, and personal interviews, surveys, and questionnaires are appropriate methods (Community Toolbox, 2016). The combination of qualitative and quantitative methods has its challenges (time-consuming procedures) and benefits (subjective values and statistical data). As a social worker, I plan to use oral interviews to learn the community and written questionnaires to investigate numbers with which I should work in the future. These approaches need to be properly structured and developed beforehand to realize what areas of improvement must be studied first, what resources are available, and what people may influence my policy progress.
Community Toolbox. (2016). Chapter 8 section 6: Obtaining feedback from constituents: What change is feasible?
Jansson, B. S. (2018). Becoming an effective policy advocate: From policy practice to social justice (8th ed.). Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning Series.
Midgley, J., & Livermore, M. (2008). The future of social policy. In J. Midgley & M. Livermore (Eds.), The handbook of social policy (2nd ed, pp. 557-569). Sage Publications.