Evaluating Family Support: Thinking Internationally, Thinking Critically

Evaluating Family Support: Thinking Internationally, Thinking Critically
Edited by Ilan Katz and John Pinkerton.
John Wiley and Sons Ltd.
£75.00; ISBN: 0471497231


Through its use of an eclectic group of contributors, this book sets out to explore and enable discussion about the need to research and evaluate family support work from a global perspective.

It uses case studies from around the world to emphasise the diversity of family support, simultaneously highlighting the difficulties involved in evaluating this systemic form of intervention.

What I found interesting from a practice level is the diversity of what constitutes family support, with case studies offering a glimpse into how other countries view and implement policies relating to this field.

As a worker used to reading research and using evaluation not only for professional development but also to assess outcomes for families, I found this book hard to digest, having to read certain parts again and again in order to fully understand them.

I would suggest that this book is aimed at professionals working at a strategic management level whose role it is to develop services.

However the style and accessibility should not minimise the importance of this book. The value of what it sets out to achieve is of significant importance. A unified, global approach to evaluating family support can only lead to better outcomes for children.

Gill Ellis is a family centre outreach worker in Essex

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