The capturing, interpretation and provision of service delivery information by police social workers : obstacles and solutions
Van Rensburg, Maria Magrietha Janse.
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Background: Police Social Work Services (PSWS), together with the spiritual and psychological services, forms the three sub? sections of the Employee Health and Wellness (EHW) component of the South African Police Service (SAPS). It has always been expected of police social workers employed on the operational level to monthly capture and provide data on the nature of their services to the higher echelons of the organisation. Such data is viewed as essential in establishing PSWS’s contribution to the reaching of the organisation’s strategic objectives and for further planning. The way in which service data/information was captured, as well as the system that was used, was, however, not always up to standard. As a result, the EHW’s management decided in 2006 to “upgrade” and expand this system. The aim was to develope one standardized data/information capturing system for all three sub sections within the EHW component. The new technologically supported system, the Service (Delivery) Information Record (SIR), was developed and implemented in April 2009. The large number of conceptual, practical and logistical problems experienced during the implementation process prompted a thorough, scientific analysis of this new system. The need also arose for the development of a training programme that would enable social workers to benefit more fully from the information that they had recorded and provided. Objectives: The primary aim of the study was to identify the obstacles and deficiencies in the social worker’s completion and utilization of the SIR and to determine if a newly developed training programme could address some of these issues. Method: The study involved a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods. The quantitative research primarily consisted of a survey that was aimed at determining EHW professionals’ SIR related knowledge, attitude and behaviour/practice. The use of a pre? test? posttest questionnaire with a group of social workers aimed to measure the effect of the training programme. The qualitative method entailed an in? depth focus group discussion with EHW professionals. Results: Through the study it was proved that the social workers experienced specific problems in recording information on the SIR and also in utilizing the feedback report information to their benefit and advantage. Some of the problems were addressed through the training programme.
- Health Sciences