Experimental Studies: The Assessment of Casework. Powers & Witmer (1951). evaluated Cambridge Somerville Youth Study 325 predelinquent boys received intensive casework services for an average of 5 years. 325 boys in a matched control group that did not receive casework
Conducted a similar study that targeted small group services on parents and children (group work).
Findings: no significant differences on measures thought to be influenced by the treatment.
Services to Multiproblem Families
from 1200 AFDC families, drew 50 low income and two control groups.
experimental families received intensive casework services from trained social workers. treatment administered over a 2.5 year period.
Findings: no difference between the groups. in fact, all the families seemed to have changed little over the period of the study.
similar to Brown above. 88 randomly assigned to experiment, 68 to control.
Experimental group received intensive casework services for up to 2 years.
Findings: no statistically significant differences at end of study between the groups.
began with 164 elderly referred to a community agency because they were having difficulty caring for themselves.
76 randomly assigned to exper. group, 88 to control group.
The experimental group received intensive casework services, while control group received routine services.
Findings: no significant differences at outcome. Yet, there seemed to be a higher rate of institutionalization for the experimental group. What might be, the investigators asked, the consequence of this? Thus, they conducted a 5-year follow-up. On the most fundamental measure-- was the elderly person still alive, the ultimate criterion-- there was a significant difference between the groups, but if favored the control group.
Findings from a comprehensive review of available studies was that casework had little impact.
Established criterion for selecting best available studies-- use of a control group.
Examined literature between 1930 and 1970. Found 11 studies that meet this requirement.
Findings: None of the studies revealed that their program has any significant impact.
Reviewed studies that used social workers in a therapeutic setting. What impact did treatment administered have?
Findings: "the evidence with respect to the effectiveness of social work therapeutic intervention remains equivocal. The trends in the data, however, point strongly in the negative direction."