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ERIC Number: EJ902155
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0037-8046
Examining the Premises Supporting the Empirically Supported Intervention Approach to Social Work Practice
McBeath, Bowen; Briggs, Harold E.; Aisenberg, Eugene
Social Work, v55 n4 p347-357 Oct 2010
Federal, state, and local policymakers and funders have increasingly organized human service delivery functions around the selection and implementation of empirically supported interventions (ESIs), under the expectation that service delivery through such intervention frameworks results in improvements in cost-effectiveness and system performance. This article examines the validity of four premises undergirding the ESI approach: ESIs are effective, relevant to common client problems and needs, culturally appropriate, and replicable and sustainable in community-based settings. In reviewing available literature, the authors found insufficient support for the uniform application of an ESI approach to social work practice in the human service sector, particularly as applied within agency contexts serving ethnic minority clients. The authors recommend that greater attention be devoted to the development and dissemination of social work interventions that respond to needs that are broadly understood and shared across diverse cultural groups, have proven clinical efficacy, and can be translated successfully for use across different agency and cultural environments. Such attention to the research and development function of the social work profession is increasingly necessary as policymakers and human service system architects require reduced costs and improved performance for programs serving historically oppressed client populations.
National Association of Social Workers (NASW). 750 First Street NE Suite 700, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-227-3590; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A