The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire

Thursday, December 13, 2018
New Zealand Productivity Commission, Level 15, Fujitsu Tower, 141 The Terrace

Emma O’Neill, Senior Research and Evaluation Analyst,
Presbyterian Support Northern

Time: 1.30 – 3.00 pm

The strengths and limitation of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire as a social work practice and outcome evaluation tool

The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is an internationally recognised psychometric and behavioural screening tool. The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) have endorsed the SDQ as the primary behavioural screening and client outcome evaluation tool for the Social Workers in Schools (SWiS) service in 2018. The usefulness of the SDQ in social work practice and in evaluating client outcomes, however, remains unclear. My study explored two years of aggregated Youth Workers in Secondary Schools (YWiSS) SDQ scores to understand what client outcomes could be evidenced. The study further reflected on SDQs as a contractually mandated practice tool and its appropriateness in social work practice.

Please note that RSVPs are essential and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

As the Evaluation Analyst in Presbyterian Support Northern, Emma engages both qualitative and quantitative analytical, research and reporting skills to evaluate the quality and outcomes of the services provided. Her role in PSN means her research and evaluation work extends across all PSN’s service providers, including Family Works, Enliven, Shine and Lifeline.

Coming from a human geography background, Emma’s research and evaluation expertise covers a broad range of social service and community development areas. At present, her work has been focussed on the human and economic costs of health inequality, social work practice (tools and models), client screening and evaluation tools (new tools and potential of existing tools), funding allocation models, therapeutic care models, education and child development, re-unification services and state care, dementia programmes and Cost Benefit Analysis of social services. With degrees in geography and history she has a good knowledge of different schools of thought and models of Maori and Pacific health and wellbeing.