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Applying research evidence in social work practice

If you are a regular reader of this blog, it has probably not escaped you that one of my passions is to support the integration of research into social work practice. So, when Palgrave Macmillan approached me to edit a book on this topic I jumped at the opportunity. Last week, their editorial board gave us the big thumbs up to start writing.

The book will explore the process and reality of translating research evidence into social work practice. It will provide a critical overview of the process of becoming an evidence-based practitioner, including the challenges of implementing research findings into routine practice. It will then move on to explore in more depth the application of research in specific social work practice contexts, which will provide readers with diverse examples of the research-practice interface in social work.

The first part of the book will provide a generic overview of the key debates and critical challenges in this field for all readers. The second part will build upon this knowledge by exploring how research is implemented in a wide variety of specialist practice domains. This structure will hopefully make the text accessible to a wide variety of social work students and practitioners.

I am pleased to have a great team of experts who have agreed to write chapters in their fields of expertise. The planned line-up is as follows:

Part 1

1. Introduction – me

2. Locating evidence for practice – Paul Ross ( Social Care Institute for Excellence)

3. Appraising quality of evidence – Sarah Carr & Lisa Bostock (Social Care Institute for Excellence)

4. Using evidence to inform social work assessments – Mark Hardy (University of York)

5. Using evidence to inform decision making in social work – Tony Evans (Royal Holloway, University of London)

6. Use of evidence in front line practice – Victoria Hart (London)

Part 2

Each of the chapters in the second part of the book will provide an overview of research in different practice contexts. This will be followed by a case study which will be used to illustrate how research could be applied to inform social work practice.

7. Using evidence to inform safeguarding children – Karen Broadhurst (Lancaster University) & Andrew Pithouse (Cardiff University)

8. Using evidence to inform working with looked after children – Robin Sen (University of Sheffield)

9. Using evidence to inform working with young people with additional needs – Steven Walker (Anglia Ruskin University)

10. Using evidence to inform working with people who misuse substances – Wulf Livingston (Glyndwr University) & Sarah Galvani (University of Bedfordshire)

11. Using evidence to inform working with people with mental health problems – Nick Gould (University of Bath) & Tom Lochead (Bath & NE Somerset)

12. Using evidence to inform working with disabled people – Hannah Morgan (Lancaster University)

13. Using evidence to inform working with offenders – David Smith (Lancaster University)

14. Using evidence to inform working with older adults – Jill Manthorpe (King’s College London)

15. Conclusion: Future directions for evidence-based practice in social work – me

All being well, we expect that the book will be published sometime late in 2013 or early in 2014.

One thought on “Applying research evidence in social work practice

  1. Darley says:

    I really wish more people thought like you… all of our interventions should be research-based … I can’t wait until this book is released. It sounds really great.

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