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Embedding Social Work into a Police Department in the South: Understanding the Impact and Cultural Shift of Implementing a Problem-Oriented, Collaborative Policing Model

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $246,214)

The proposed project incorporates a rigorous multifaceted research design that makes use of both quantitative and qualitative data and analyses. The project is broken down into two main components. The first is a process evaluation that focuses on the efforts made by the Fayetteville Arkansas Police Department (FPD), University of Arkansas School of Social Work (UA) Faculty, and UA interns in developing an MSW level internship program and a Crisis Intervention Trained police and social work (CIT) co-response program. The process evaluation will use primarily qualitative data from semi-structured interviews with the UA Faculty, Interns, and FPD staff that were instrumental in bringing the CIT Co-response program and MSW level internship to fruition. Baseline data from surveys administered within FPD will also be used to provide a glimpse of the department’s overall attitude toward incorporating social workers at the time of program implementation.

The second component is a program evaluation that focuses on changes in culture/perceptions of the CIT Co-response program over time within FPD, as well as the community and the people served by the program. The program evaluation also explores the effectiveness of program participation for clients and any quantifiable impact the program has on time spent by Patrol Division officers on calls related to crisis over time. The program evaluation uses both a mixed methods design to explore changes over time and a quasi-experimental design to assess the impact of the program on outcomes for clients consenting to services.

Findings from both the process evaluation of implementing these programs and the subsequent program evaluation will be disseminated through academic papers and presentations, traditional and social media outlets, white papers/policy briefs, presentations for general audiences, and grant performance reports. The proposed project has three main goals: 1) add to the current literature on effectiveness of co-response models involving social workers and police; 2) address the need for robust program evaluation for this specific co-response program; & 3) to disseminate program evaluation results and implementation processes to community members, decisions makers, and other stakeholders in order to secure future funding, ensure the longevity of programing, and guide other communities interested in co-response models of policing.

Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law," and complies with Part 200 Uniform Requirements - 2 CFR 200.210(a)(14). CA/NCF

Date Created: September 27, 2022