Our DSW program focuses on using implementation science to advance social work practice.
Implementation science focuses on the thoughtful and strategic process of implementing an intervention. The emphasis is on evaluating both the intervention itself and the implementation of intervention. This includes assessing the strategies used to increase the uptake and use of the intervention.
This is an exciting time to think about using implementation science in social work practice! There are a multitude of interventions that are effective in detecting, preventing, and treating conditions that affect the health and well-being of those served by social workers. However, we also have gaps between what we know from science works and what social workers actually do in practice. These gaps have contributed to racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and other disparities in health and health-related outcomes. By using implementation science we can help reduce racial and ethnic disparities in mental health care in the United States and improve the lives of those we serve.
A great example is the Expanding Worlds: Assessing Strategies to Implementing a Virtual Reality Program in Respite Care project.
Another example involves the use of the Components for Enhancing Clinical Engagement and Reducing Trauma (CE-CERT) model to help reduce compassion fatigue and burnout among trauma therapists and supervisors in a child welfare setting.