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Eval11 Session 556: Value Conflicts within Social Services: Framing the Questions for Quality, Value, and Importance  

11-01-2011 21:25

The context of providing and evaluating social service programs is complex, including a set of stakeholders with differing and potentially conflicting values. As evaluation is most often used to determine "quality, value, or importance" of a social service program, it is appropriate to ask "Whose values are informing these judgments?" Yet the very act of asking the question "whose values are in use?" is an act rooted in a value framework of equity and justice. House and Howe (1998 in AJE) propose a "deliberative democratic approach" and endorse that evaluators should be "advocates for democracy and the public interest... an egalitarian conception of justice" (pp. 233-236). Using this value framework, value conflicts and how they affect evaluation priorities, implementation, and use are explored. This discussion will consider systems evaluation factors that address approaches to evaluating how well programs address value conflicts in delivering various social services.

#values #HumanServicesEvaluation #SocialWork #HowTo #2011Conference #pregnancyprevention #AdvocacyandPolicyChange #Evaluatorrole #childwelfare

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