The Internet is an important source of information that provides limitless access to data for all individuals. The emergence and evolution of the given tool stimulated radical shifts in patterns people use to find facts needed for them and increase awareness levels. At the same time, in many cases, the information on the Internet can be unreliable and offer false data sets. For Human Services workers (HUS), the use of inaccurate information and knowledge is unacceptable as their functioning presupposes the provision of reliable, credible, and evidence-based to clients as outcomes of interventions and assistance depend on it. Under these conditions, the application of the CRAAP tool (currency, reliability, authority, accuracy, purpose) is fundamental for the HUS specialists as it provides them with an opportunity to thoroughly evaluate the selected sources of data and conclude about the possibility of their use in the future. HUS workers cannot rely on unproven or doubtful facts as it contradicts to the purpose of their functioning (NOHS, n.d.). For this reason, the CRAAP tool is fundamental for their ability to succeed in the selected sphere.
The policy area selected for the discussion is linked to health concerns. It is a critical element of the modern human services sphere. The health area is focused on the evaluation and improvement of all issues linked to the health of the nation, such as chronic diseases, health literacy, access to care, treatment (Neukrug, 2020). For most individuals who experience different problems with their health, the functioning of HUS workers can be viewed as a chance to improve outcomes and acquire some additional help and information. They cooperate with the representatives of the health sector, communities, families, and different agencies to guarantee the appropriate delivery of the needed services and improve the health of the nation (NOHS, n.d.). The core competencies presuppose a better understanding of the nature of human systems or conditions that can promote the optimal functioning of these systems (“Competencies,” n.d.). It means that HUS workers should understand that there are different policies, such as Medicaid, various health insurance programs, or interventions aimed at improving access to care (Neukrug, 2020). They impact the functioning of human service professionals in their functioning, which means that they have to use information acquired from reliable and credible sources.
In such a way, the given paper is designed with the primary goal to evaluate the websites related to the selected policy area by applying the CRAAP tool. The next section is devoted to a more detailed discussion of the policy, its relevance to HUS, and the basic regulations peculiar to it. It is demanded to create the theoretical framework for the debate. The next part offers a detailed analysis of websites with their names and evaluation of the provided information. The paper also contains a ranking section to demonstrate the results of the analysis and discussion part, explaining the meaning and importance of all findings. Finally, the document ends with the conclusion summarizing all outtakes and describing the significance of the CRAAP method for HUS workers and its relevance.
Health policy is a fundamental part of the functioning of any state. The existing National Health Policies, strategies, plans, and campaigns are designed with the primary goal to improve the health of the nation and the well-being of individuals. The area plays a vital role in forming the country’s vision and policy directions for guaranteeing the health of citizens and providing them with the needed care. At the same time, the creation of an appropriate policy is a dynamic and challenging issue as it is vital to consider all existing population needs and ensure that they are satisfied (Wilson et al., 2020). That is why the state continuously updates its current policies related to the healthcare sector, and HUS workers should remain informed about the recent changes. The policies on mental health, tobacco use, Medicaid, and health insurance can be considered vital for community health and social workers. They should be given special attention, as these issues should be explained to the population (Deaver et al., 2020). The state’s regulation of mental health issues, as well as insurance, is vital for the achievement of enhanced outcomes of care. However, they might be too complex for individuals, especially the elderly, which means that HUS workers should be ready to work with these areas and provide their assistance.
Mental Health America (Mental Health America, 2020)
The website Mental Health America (MHA) revolves around the mental health policy issues in the USA. The currency of the website is at a high level. It offers relevant information, updated, and linked to the recent and nagging problems in the sector. Additionally, there are links to programs for the 2020 year, which is vital for the understanding of the agenda and goals (Currency 3pts). Explaining the information related to mental health policies, MHA offers links to governmental reports and credible data sources. However, it does not contain the reference page or quotations (Reliability 2pts). At the same time, there is no author’s name listed before or under the offered text, which makes the determination of its authority complex (Authority of the author 1). Fortunately, the organization behind the provided information is reputable, as there is detailed information about its purposes, foundation, and goals (Authority of organization 3pts). Finally, MHA explains the purpose of the information provided for readers, its relevance for social agenda, and it can be used by HUS workers (Purpose 3pts).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2018)
CDC website offers information about the current interventions aimed at tobacco and alcohol use cessation. There is information that the page was updated in 2018, which means that the currency and relevance of data are high (C 3pts). The website also contains citations, links to other credible sources, and a reference list at the end, which increases the credibility of the information offered to readers and its reliability (R 3pts). The text is written on behalf of the organization and the website itself, and there is no name of the author or any links to his/her credentials (A 1pts). However, this drawback becomes no less important because of the high authority of the organization. CDC is a governmental agency offering credible and reliable information to people (A 3pts). The website provides substantial support to both researchers and common individuals looking for the knowledge needed for their better understanding of the issue (P 3pts).
HealthCare.gov (HealthCare, n.d.)
HealthCare is a specific website offering information about various health policies, services, and recent changes in the sector for visitors. The data is constantly updated to remain topical and increase the practical use of the site (C 3). Another advantage of the source is the existence of multiple links to other websites and governmental agencies to collect information about a particular issue and increase the credibility of texts offered to readers. However, there is no list of references that can be useful for visitors (R 2). There is also no information about the authors of the texts found on this website, which means that the author’s authority cannot be determined (A 1). At the same time, HealthCare.gov is a governmental organization, and its website can be trusted as they are responsible for the quality of provided information (A 3). Finally, the data is objective, fair, there is no advertisement or other distracting issues, which means that the site can be used for scholarly purposes (P 3).
Rand Health Care (Rand Health Care, n.d.)
The website contains relevant information and articles on current health policy issues supported with dates of their release, which helps to select topical aspects (C 3). At the same time, every text is followed by the name of the author and his/her credentials, however, sometimes they are incomplete, and there is a need for additional research (A 2). There are multiple links to other sources and pieces of information; however, their credibility is sometimes doubtful. There is also no reference list at the end of the text (R 1). Compared to other selected websites, the authority of this organization is high. and it is focused on the continuous improvement of the quality of care in the state (A 3). The website offers a clear and objective view on various issues; however, sometimes, they are presented from the perspective of the author and are used to support the organization’s vision (P 2).
In such a way, having conducted the research, the following results can be acquired:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 13pts
Mental Health America 12pts
Rand Health Care 11pts
12 to 15 pts- excellent sources
9 to 11 pts – good sources
The results show that the selected websites can be considered as excellent (CDC, MHA, HealthCare) or good (Rand HealthCare) sources for research. Their use by HUS workers will not precondition the deterioration of outcomes and will help them to acquire information needed for their effective functioning and cooperation with various population groups. The given ranking is linked to the outcomes of using the CRAAP method as all sites are viewed as current and relevant sources with a high level of authority. The only drawback was the absence of authors’ names and lists of references in some cases.
In such a way, the given project demonstrates the critical importance of the correct choice of websites for social workers and the need to investigate various sources to ensure their credibility. The existing code of ethics and the basic principles of social service workers’ functioning presuppose that they are responsible for the credibility of information and outcomes that might be linked to their assistance. For this reason, the use of the CRAAP method becomes an advantageous tool to ensure that websites selected for a project or investigation meet the basic demands to the quality of texts and information contained in them. Additionally, the project shows that organizational websites presenting information on behalf of the government of the USA or reputable agencies should be viewed as excellent choices for the research and recommended to HUS workers to collect information about various elements of health policy.
Altogether, the central purpose of the paper was to evaluate four websites related to health policy issues and state whether they meet demands to the credibility of sources that can be used by HUS workers. The strategy presupposed the application of the CRAAP tool as an effective method to analyze the vital elements of every website and make a conclusion. The findings show that the chosen websites of organizations meet the criteria for credibility as they get a high ranking. It means that they can be used by HUS service workers in their functioning to achieve outstanding results and avoid bias, which is one of the major demands of their work.
Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2018). Policies. Web.
Competencies. (n.d.). Web.
Deaver, A. H., Cudney, P., Gillespie, C., Morton, S., & Strolin-Goltzman, J. (2020). Culture of safety: Using policy to address traumatic stress among the child welfare workforce. Families in Society. Web.
HealthCare. (n.d.). Medicaid & CHIP coverage. Web.
Mental Health America. (2020). Mental health policy. Web.
National Organization for Human Services (NOHS). (n.d.). Ethical standards for human services professionals. Web.
Neukrug, E. (2020). Skills and techniques for Human Service professionals: Counseling environment, helping skills, treatment issues. Cognella Academic Publishing.
Rand Health Care. (n.d.). U.S. health care policy. Web.
Wilson, M. G., Nidumolu, A., Berditchevskaia, I., Gauvin, F.-P., Abelson, J., & Lavis, J. N. (2020). Identifying approaches for synthesizing and summarizing information to support informed citizen deliberations in health policy: a scoping review. Journal of Health Services Research & Policy, 25(1), 59–66. Web.