This new job is interesting. I do a lot of data entry and creating surveys. There’s this program called, “Ultimate Survey” that we use. It’s off the internal Social Welfare website. I can make surveys and insert questions from a question library. It’s very repetitive, but surprisingly interesting. I can link the different surveys so that the participant in the research project can take all the quizzes at once.
The PSS or Parent Services Specialist is a program that is based off of Medicaid. The idea is that, say you (whomever is reading this) and I are parents of a child with SED (Severe Emotional Disturbance). In a mental health clinic, there is a whole team of people who help with the child (especially in community-based mental health clinics). This can include therapists, parents, social workers, etc etc. A PSS is a Parent who has had experience with a child of their own who has been diagnosed with SED and has already gone through the system. The PSS can provide more empathetic services, support, etc etc. Someone who can really understand where you and I are coming from with our SED child. Does that make sense? This program is only available to parents of children with SED, not any other diagnosis.
Okay, so the main thing this research is doing is trying to validate this program. A lot of the problem with Social Work methods is that it’s hard to prove with evidence. I mean, yes it works, but it’s hard to do research on (hard to do randomization, small sample sizes, etc etc). What this project is trying to do is validate the study using Evidence Based Practice. So, we provide the “evidence” that this PSS practice works, and thus validates the program. Medicaid is funding this, because of course they want their services validated. Apparently this project is gaining edgeway on a national level. It’s really pretty exciting. Another interesting this is we have a former PSS on our staff that helps do the research. We’re doing the research at three pilot sites LaBette (which is close to like Garden City), Area (which is Ulysses and Dodge City, KS) and MHA (which is Wichita). Our former-PSS Kathy is in charge of the MHA site.
So I get to create the surveys to see whether or not the program works. Three different people take the surveys, the PSS, the non-PSS (usually a therapist of some sort or case manager) and the Parent of the child. It’s really tedious but easy work. I like it. It’s nice to know you’re making a difference, you know. At least, in some form.
Did I mention I get a cubicle? And my own work phone! I’m in business now.