Focusing on the big picture: Doing system change evaluation

John Canavan, Patrick Malone, Nigel Parton, Aisling Gillen, Amy Mulvihill

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In the context of the ongoing global challenge of responding effectively to child protection and welfare concerns, Ireland’s child protection agency Tusla initiated a programme of change towards strengthening the prevention, early intervention and family support function of its services. Based on a four-year evaluation study, this chapter provides an integrated account of the change programme and of the conceptual framework and methodological strategy that underpinned its evaluation. It narrates the context and background of the programme and its main elements, outlines the systems-theoretical research design and methodology and identifies some of the programme’s main outcomes to date and the learning generated for policy and practice. A key focus of the chapter is a critical assessment of the study’s methodological strategy and the experience of the university–agency partnership that underpinned it, to inform others involved in implementing and researching systems’ change programmes in the child protection and welfare field.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnderstanding System Change in Child Protection and Welfare
EditorsJohn Canavan, Carmel Devaney, Caroline McGregor, Aileen Shaw
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781003147527
ISBN (Print)9780367706777
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2021

Publication series

NameRoutledge Advances in Social Work


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