Dr. Brandon W. Youker—Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, GVSU, and
Lyza Ingraham—Graduate Assistant, School of Social Work, GVSU
Goal-free evaluation (GFE) is an evaluation model where the evaluator is deliberately kept from the stated goals and objectives of the program; this is accomplished by appointing a screener to keep goal-related information from the goal-free evaluator. Although GFE has been around for more than half a century, goal-based evaluation (GBE) continues to dominate evaluation practice and the literature on GFE remains sparse and highly theoretical. This presentation will introduce social service workers to GFE, provide a brief history of the model, discuss some of the theoretical arguments for and against it, and articulate actual principles and operations for conducting a GFE.