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Theory Informed Direct Practice: SSWG 5101 and SSWG 5102

Recommended library resources for theory-informed social work direct practice with individuals and families

Monitoring and Evaluation Definition

Evaluation and Monitoring

Evaluation is a systematic set of activities designed to measure either the effectiveness of the change process or the outcomes of the change efforts. Monitoring helps keep track of changes and considers how well these goals are being achieved. Monitoring involves ongoing data collection to obtain new information and/or evaluate the need for a change of interventions.

Source: Thomlison, B. (2016). Family Assessment Handbook (4th Edition). Cengage Learning

On-going assessment asks whether there has been a change, did the intervention work, and whether the individual or family is ready to terminate service.

Course readings (access via Canvas)

SSWG 5102 Readings

Measurement Tools

Thomlison, B. (2016). Selecting Family Assessment Instruments to Evaluate Change (Chapter 9). In Family assessment handbook (4th Edition) (pp. 157-170). Cengage Learning. Discusses three categories:

Measures for clinical practice and research : a sourcebook

Family Assessment Instruments

The following instruments are mentioned in Thomlison, B. (2016). Family Assessment Handbook (4th Edition). Cengage Learning.

Self-report instruments

  • Self-report questionnaires: rapid assessment instrument (RAI) (a/k/a index, checklist, scale, inventory) to assess family functioning, patterns of social interaction and parenting practices
  • Mulltiple problem Screening Inventory (MPSI) assess 27 common family problems, such as drug abuse.

Family Functioning instruments

  • Family Assessment Device (Epstein et al., 1983)
  • General Functioning Scale (Tutty, 1995)
  • Index of Family Relations (IFR) (Hudson, 1990)
  • Self-Report Family Inventory (SFI) (Beavers & Hampson, 1990)

Strengths-based measures

  • Family Resource Scale (FRS) (Dunst & Leet, 1987)
  • Family Functioning Style Scale (Trivette, Dunst, Deal, Hamby & Sexton, 1994)
  • Strengths and Stressors Tracking Device (SSTD) (Berry, Cash & Mathieson, 2003)

Parent/Child Problem and Conflict Instruments

  • Multi Problem Screening Inventory (MPSI) (Hudson, 1990)
  • Index of Family Relations (IFR)
  • Index of Brother and Sister Relations (Hudson, 1992)
  • Child's Attitude toward Father and Mother Scales (Hudson, 1992)
  • Parent/Child Relationship Survey (Fine & Schwebel, 1983)

Strengths-based measures for children

  • Behavioral and Emotional Rating Scale (BERS) (Epstein & Sharma, 1998)
  • School Success Profile (SSP) (Bowen & Richman, 1997)

Parenting Practices

  • Adult-Adolescent Parenting Inventory
  • Parental Nurturance Scale
  • Child's Attitude toward Mother or Father (CAF/CAM)
  • Parental Locus of Control Scale
  • Parental Bonding Instrument
  • Beavers Model of Family Assessment

Marital Conflict

  • Multi Problem Screening Inventory (MPSI) (Hudson, 1990)
  • Marital Satisfaction Inventory
  • Kansas Marital Conflict Scale
  • Beier - Sternberg Discord Questionnaire

Intimate Partner Violence or Family Violence

  • Multi Problem Screening Inventory (MPSI) (Hudson, 1990)
  • Non-Physical Abuse of Partner Scale
  • Physical Abuse of Partner Scale
  • Conflict Tactics Scales
  • Center of Disease Control and Prevention compliation of 20 scales.

Child Maltreatment

  • Child Well-Being Scales
  • Family Risk Scales
  • Illinois CANTS (Illinois Division of Child Protection)


  • Addiction Severity Index (ASI)
  • Multi Problem Screening Inventory (MPSI) (Hudson, 1990)
  • Index of Alcohol Involvement
  • Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT)

Family and Environment Stress

  • Multi Problem Screening Inventory (MPSI) (Hudson, 1990)
  • Impact of Events Scale
  • Adolescent-Family Inventory of Life Events and Change
  • Family Coping Invetory
  • Family Hardiness Index

Child specific instruments: Behavior Rating Index for Children; Eyberg Child Behavior inventory

  1. Behavior observation
    • Observation rating scales
  2. Structured Interviews
    • Standardized questions, and may include observations and scales.
  3. Zastrow (2013) seven steps: (1) set goal; (2) select measures; (3) record baseline; (4) implement intervention and monitor; (5) assess change; (6) infer effectiveness and (7) follow up

Stages of Change Scale (SCS) (McConnaughy, Prochaska, & Velicer, 1983).

Monitoring and Evaluation Resources

External sources

These external sources provide general guidance that may be applicable and adjusted to social work, but may not have specific social work examples.

Evaluation, Theory of Change and Logic Model

Community Toolbox


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control Evaluation Group provides links to a variety of logic model resources and assessment and evaluation tools.  ​

American Evaluation Association 


Measuring Program Outcomes (United Way)​


Termination Definition and Resources


"The termination phase of clinical practice is an important component of the therapeutic process. The ending of the therapeutic relationship, whether planned or unplanned, can elicit feelings of loss, separation, and guilt, impacting both the client and the practitioner. The reasons for ending service and preparation for termination can affect the client's gains."

Source: Ballan, M., & Mera, M (2013). Termination. In Encyclopedia of Social Work. Oxford University Press

Course readings (access via Canvas)

SSWG 5102 Readings

  • Thomlison, B. (2016). Selecting Family Assessment Instruments to Evaluate Change (Chapter 9). In Family Assessment Handbook (4th Edition) (pp. 157-170). Cengage Learning.
  • Collins, D., Jordan, C., & Coleman, H. (2013). The Termination Phase (Chapter 14). In An introduction to family social work (3rd Edition) (pp. 438-460). Brooks/Cole.
  • Knox, S., Adrians, N., Everson, E., Hess, S., Hill, C., & Crook-Lyon, R. (2011). Clients’ perspectives on therapy termination. Psychotherapy Research, 21(2), 154-167.
  • Hepworth, D., Rooney, R., Dewberry Rooney, G., & Strom-Gottfried, K. (2017). The Final Phase: Evaluation and Termination (Chapter 19). In Direct Social Work Practice: Theory and skills (10th Edition) (pp. 568-584). Cengage Learning.  
    The authors frame termination as having four primary tasks:
  1. Evaluating the service provided and the extent to which goals were accomplished
  2. Determining when to implement termination
  3. Mutually resolving emotional reactions experienced during the process of ending
  4. Planning to maintain gains achieved and to achieve continued growth  (Hepworth et al, p. 572)