DuBois and Miley (2008) argue that the purpose of social work services, processes and methods is wide. Primarily, they enhance social functioning of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. They also serve to link the service recipient systems with the needed resources. They likewise seek to improve the operation of social service delivery network and systems. They strive to promote respect for human rights and social justice through the development of social policy and legislation. To attain success in these endeavors, social work sets goals that include enhancement of people’s capacities to resolve problems, cope, and function effectively; create connections between the social work service users and the needed resources; prove mechanism for accountability in effective and efficient delivery of social services; and advocating social policy through public awareness campaign and political lobbying.
Conducting Needs Assessment for Individuals, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
Social work services are not launched without careful and proper planning. Anticipation of needs and the scale as well as allocating necessary resources is part of guarantying effective and efficient delivery of social work services. Needs assessment for individuals, groups, organizations, and communities is a step taken to systematically identify the actual needs. This is done through interviews, observation, and surveys that are done in a setting. The results of analysis of the collected information become the basis for planning, identifying the kinds of social work needed, the processes, methods, and tools needed to deliver efficient and effective services. Where there is heavy drug addiction and substance abuse, the social work practice may decide to focus on rehabilitation, care, and prevention that are supported by social policy of any form. This ends in the planning phase. The phases that come next would be the implementation and post implementation phases.
Monitoring and Evaluating Social Work Effectivity
When social work intervention is planned, implementation is accompanied by a detailed process documentation to be able to explain what is happening on both sides, the social work, and on the recipients of services. Hence, this is called, monitoring. After a certain period of implementation, or after accumulating a number of services recipients, or at the very end of the intervention program, a more comprehensive examination of the impacts and influence of the services on the recipients is done to determine the efficacy and effectivity of the program and services and to make an informed decision of what to do next about the program. It can be phased out or the need to expand it may be found necessary. This is the meaning and intent of the evaluation of social work services.