Tracking the use and impact of a community social report: where does the information go?
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The purpose of this paper is to report on a study evaluating the extent to which a social report (entitled "Hamilton-Wentworth Profile on Children and Youth") was read and used by recipients. Subjects were divided into two groups: an Active Group which had worked on producing the Profile and/or requested copies of it once it had been released, and a Passive Group which had received copies of the Profile through a general mailing list used for other research reports. Approximately one year later, 90% of the Active Group recalled the Profile compared to 21% of the Passive Group. Similarly, 83% of Active Group respondents had read the Profile compared to 8% of Passive Group subjects. 80% of Active Group respondents and 5% of Passive Group respondents used the Profile. The results suggest that if social reports are read by local community agencies and individuals, they will be used to help improve conditions for children and youth. Social reports at the local level are more likely to be read if potential users are engaged in the process of report production and if the reports are disseminated to the appropriate target audience.
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