The Evidence-based Practice Program is a Program of Study. You must be accepted first to SSA and then by the individual Program of Study. SSA students apply during the winter of their first year.
The Evidence-based Practice Program (EBP) is a continuation of SSA’s long tradition of using research to improve the quality of life of the vulnerable and distressed in our society. EBP is an orientation to practice that values evidence as a resource for practice decision-making, while recognizing that evidence alone is never sufficient to make such decisions. More specifically, EBP is the use of practitioner expertise to integrate client clinical conditions and circumstances, client preferences and actions, and the best available evidence in the context of practice. The EBP sequence is designed for direct practice with individuals (children, adolescents, adults, and older adults), families, and groups. Courses within the sequence would also be of value to community, administration, management, and policy students, since there is a growing literature to support practice in these areas as well as in clinical practice.
Courses and field work are designed to help students think critically about practice and to implement the following steps of EBP in the context of real-world practice:
In addition to learning this set of EBP skills, students in the program will be exposed to ethical issues in EBP. They will discuss controversies in EBP, such as the relative importance of specific intervention methods, principles of practice, and common factors (such as the therapist-client relationship) in practice outcomes.
Students in the EBP program will take the clinical concentration and two additional required courses. Their second year field placements will be in sites in which students use an evidence-based approach to social work practice.
Students will develop competence in basic EBP skills and the Integrated Dual Disorder Treatment Model (IDDTM) as a practice exemplar of EBP to develop evidence-based interventions for their clients.
Students who complete the EBP program can prepare for practice in a wide variety of direct practice settings (e.g., mental health, substance abuse, medical, criminal justice, elder-care, and maternal and child welfare) and with a range of ages, including children, adolescents, adults, and older adults. EBP differs from other programs at SSA in that it teaches a set of broadly applicable practice skills and is not population-, problem-, or setting-specific. EBP skills are being increasingly emphasized in clinical practice and by agencies that fund and regulate practice. Students who graduate from this program will know how to use these skills and adapt them to a variety of practice situations.
Stanley McCracken, PhD
Evidence-based Practice Program