Dr. Jacquelyn McCroskey, endowed professor at the USC School of Social Work and the Co-Director of the Children’s Data Network, recently sat down with Rachael LeBlond from SAGE Publishing for an interview about the importance of data-driven decision-making in macro-level practice in social work.
As opposed to direct interaction with clients to address individual problems, macro practice social work aims to improve the systems with which clients interact. As such, macro practice involves various organizations and key players, including social workers, attorneys, doctors, school teachers, and counselors. Keeping these key decision-makers on the same page is crucial to protecting and supporting vulnerable children and families. “[Data] serves almost as a translator between people with different roles in the system. It creates a common language,” notes Dr. McCroskey. In this way, and many others, data can facilitate real change in the lives of vulnerable children and families.