New Perspectives for Outcome-based Evaluation and Research on Family and Children’s Services


The challenges of evaluation bring us well beyond the present that we know. In our reality, problems prevail over solutions and positive practices struggle to make their way in the traditional welfare systems. Such systems are rooted in a welfare-dependency culture, which leads services to deliver standardized and manualized interventions that are hardly sensitive to the diverse cultural contexts where they are applied. Evaluation should help to understand this, to focus on what children and families really need, avoiding useless consumption of resources.

The Family and Group Practice Research Center, Department of Social Work at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, focused on this challenge organizing the international conference on «New Perspectives for Outcome-Based Evaluation and Research on Family and Children's Services» which took place on September 7-8, 2017. It was a joint initiative with the International Association for Outcome-Based Evaluation and Research on Family and Children's Services (iaOBERfcs) and the Emanuela Zancan Foundation. Many people from various countries shared this challenge by summarizing their experiences, their questions and their proposals in the book "New Perspectives for Outcome-based Evaluation and Research on Family and Children’s Services". Researchers, professionals, academics, managers, policymakers and people interested in new perspectives of family and children's services converged on Hong Kong for discussing the present while looking at the future.

The conference aimed to provide an international platform to share research and advance knowledge development in outcome-based evaluation worldwide. Why this choice? Because outcome evaluation is a human and professional challenge for all of us. It tells us if our work is useful, how much it is useful, which are the advantages, if we have been able to co-produce outcomes with our users and inside our community. These are among the main issues addressed in the book. It is divided into three sections: Children and families in a changing world; Services Development and Evaluation for Children and Families in Need; Social Policies, Communities and Cultures for Families and Children. It aims at creating a common platform, representing not the final but rather the starting point for a community of researchers and professionals who will be able to proceed together along a journey full of questions and potential.

Download the book here

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