I have taught MSW research courses on quantitative methods and program evaluation for quite a few years, and supervised so many research papers and theses that I have completely lost count! I enjoy playing with new ideas and methods; I used a Delphi procedure for my MSW research, and designed a simulation game to evaluate a negative income tax for my PhD thesis. In courses and research projects, I have used Q-sorts, meta-analyses, tree diagrams and concept mapping. I have worked with colleagues on many projects, notably studies of: (1) permanency planning, parent finding and the effect of agency funding formulas on adoption practice; and (2) predictors of hospital length of stay (LOS), using the Person-in-Environment (PIE) system to measure the severity of psychosocial problems. Both of these have led to a number of journal articles and conference presentations, and the latter seems to have been cited a number of times. I regularly attend the Centre’s Journal Watch meetings and Methods brown bag lunches —which I find very useful—and have written a number of article reviews for Research Watch.
My current research interests include:
- A study, in collaboration with Tonino Esposito, of the relationship between poverty, community risk factors and child neglect. This involves a secondary analysis of the provincial agency data in Toni’s PhD dissertation, with additional neighborhood risk factors from census data. Findings may help to explain the overrepresentation of minority groups in substitute care, and suggest possible strategies to prevent child maltreatment.
- An attempt to demonstrate that program evaluation can potentially improve the situation of disadvantaged groups. If impact assessment shows that a proposed program is effective, cost-benefit analysis can often prove that the cost of the program is much less than the social cost of the existing problem. This can improve the chances of getting useful programs actually funded—a strategy for increasing social justice.
Student I am currently working with:
- Kim Coleman, as a member of her Dissertation Committee.