Basing social work practice on evidence

Establishing Social Work pattern on the available grounds will ever guarantee that it meets the demands of service users. Discourse


The first, and likely most cardinal issue to be confronted in explicating a response to this statement, is “what grounds? ” . Evidence in all countries of rational and scientific question has to be weighed against the strength and cogency of the method that obtained it. The whole country of grounds based pattern is based on the premiss that the grounds base is built up of critically analysed pieces of research. ( Powell J 1997 ) .

Any reasonable and experienced research worker will cognize that merely because they have read a paper that states that A is greater than B, it is non needfully a cosmopolitan truth. It can be that this consequence has merely been found one time, or in a bantam cohort, or as a consequence of major methodological mistakes in the research which introduced elements of prejudice. It requires careful and considered rating of the grounds presented in the visible radiation of an every bit careful and considered rating of the methods by which the consequence was obtained. ( Mohammed, D et al 2003 )

To exemplify this peculiar point let us see two elements of research, both produced by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a exhaustively respectable philanthropic research administration with a long history of both documenting and researching societal tendencies. Both these pieces of research are modern-day as they have both been published within the last 18 months. In two separate fact-finding studies on the effects of poorness in the UK, it appears to state us that in one instance poorness degrees are falling, and in the other they are lifting. On the face of it, it is clearly the instance that both statements can non be at the same time true.

If we examine the statements farther, we see that the peculiar statement that leads us to believe that poorness degrees are falling, is based on a survey that used the standards that poorness can be a contemplation of how many people are populating in low income families ( every bit defined as a per centum of the mean household income in the state ) . ( cited in Chapman P et Al 2005 ) . This is a absolutely valid appraisal tool, which can so supply us with an indicant of the grade of poorness in the state. We could moderately presume that, if poorness was increasing so this peculiar index would besides increase. As it is measured as a per centum of the mean household income, it is rather acceptable to utilize this type of step to give an indicant of twelvemonth on twelvemonth comparing. That being the instance, we can confidently state that, based on this grounds, it appears to be clear that the grade of poorness in the state is falling.

The other piece of grounds was based on a different set of standards. It assessed the grade of poorness by determining the figure of households that were claiming out-of-work benefits. Again we could moderately presume that if poorness degrees were lifting so this peculiar index would besides be seen to lift. This is a absolutely rational and utile tool for measuring poorness and, as the Numberss on such benefits are lifting twelvemonth on twelvemonth, ( 30 % in the last 6 old ages ) , it seems just to reason that the grade of poorness in the state is seemingly lifting. ( JRF 2005 )

Looking carefully and critically at both these consequences, we can see that things are nor rather every bit clear-cut as the may look at first sight. The fact that, in the first case, the standards for appraisal of poorness was based on the threshold of household income come ining the family. Common sense entirely will state us that this is influenced by a figure of different factors.

First, it will reflect the fact that the societal clime of the state has changed and there are fewer people out of work than there were a decennary ago. This clearly has an impact on the household pay. Second, there has been a significant roar in the figure of people who own their ain houses. This means that the figure of people who tend to populate under one roof ( on norm ) is falling. For each low income family hence, there will be relatively fewer people who will measure up by these standards. Careful contemplation on these two factors entirely would therefore suggest that, even if, in existent footings, there had really been no alteration in the socio-economic position of the state as a whole, this peculiar appraisal would necessarily hold shown a lessening in poorness as measured by this peculiar standards, because of the dilution of the sample and other immaterial factors of prejudice. ( Berwick D. 1996 )

The 2nd appraisal showed that there were more households claiming out of work benefits. This is undeniably true, but the causes of this observation are non the fact that the socio-economic position of the state is diminishing, ( as many other indices of socio-economic position in the state suggest that it is really increasing ) . ( Alcock P, 2003 ) .

It is about surely a contemplation of the fact that there have been a figure of good publicized runs to acquire more ( meriting ) people to claim their benefit, every bit good as the fact that there have been a figure of considerable and conjunct moves to simplify the claim procedure and, in the last decennary, there have been widening of the measure uping standards to let for benefit claims. ( Alcock P et Al 2003 ) .

As with the predating consideration, if, in world, the socio-economic position of the state had remained wholly inactive, so all of these factors would hold still shown that there would hold been more people claiming benefit with the erroneous illation that the socio-economic position of the state was in diminution.

If one considers that state of affairs further still, so one would besides observe that the coming of the working revenue enhancement recognition has made the state of affairs of those on benefit really stronger than it might otherwise look. All these factors add a grade of research prejudice that can falsify and impact the overall consequence, if this peculiar study is read uncritically by the unwary.

The ground that we have laboured this point is the presentation of the fact that, whilst looking absolutely valid and respectable pieces of societal certification, ( which to a big extent they are ) , these surveies must non merely be assessed for their “headline” consequences merely. They must be seen and critically assessed in the full context of all of the relevant factors that pertained to that peculiar survey. It is merely so that one can do a considered appraisal of the deductions of what the consequences purport to demo. ( Morton V et Al 2003 ) .

In the context of the inquiry, it is just to now do the remark that we have now defined what “all the available evidence” really means. We now need to turn our attending to the 2nd portion of the inquiry. Does being in ownership of “all of the available evidence” really ever guarantee that it meets the demands of the service users? In order to turn to this portion of the inquiry we need to see what the existent remit of the societal worker is and besides how precisely does one buttocks the demands of the service users?

One of the many definitions of the purposes of the professional societal worker is:

The primary mission of the societal work profession is to heighten human wellbeing and assist run into the basic human demands of all people, with peculiar attending to the demands and authorization of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and life in poorness. ( NASW 1999 )

With the original statement in head, one now has to turn to the job that, if this definition is true, how can the societal worker, whether he is armed with “all the available evidence” or non, really do a difference in assisting to run into the basic human demands of all people, and are they really the demands of the service users?

This is a far more hard inquiry to reply as there is frequently a important gulf between what the user expects, what they need, and what the societal worker is really in a place to supply. The societal services are basically a rationed service, by virtuousness of the fact that the resources that they utilise are finite and finally provided by the taxpayer. It follows that they merely could non supply all that was expected of them, no affair how Utopian the society became. ( DOH 2001 )

One merely has to sit in a public assistance benefit office or even a societal service appraisal Centre to to the full appreciate the grade of the gulf between what is wanted by the clients and what is likely to be provided by the services. On this appraisal, one could reasonably conclude that it likely does non count whether societal work is based on grounds or non, it can non “always guarantee that it meets the demands of the service users” . There will ever be a spread between what is wanted and what is provided.

If one looks at the push of the thought behind the original statement, it appears that there is so a in-between land. On careful consideration of all of the grounds presented therefore far in this essay, it is likely just to reason that, while the societal worker can non ever guarantee that they meet the demands of the service users, a thorough cognition of the grounds base will assist to do the proviso that there is, as just and appropriate as is possible. It is merely by careful consideration of the grounds base that each single societal worker can do a sound and rational appraisal of each single state of affairs. This is clearly fairer than an empirical appraisal and an arbitrary application of assistance in ways that may hence be seen as wholly irrational and inappropriate.

Having made that statement, it is a direct sequeteur that there is a incontrovertible demand for farther grounds to assist add to, and bolster the grounds base such as there is. It is merely by supervising and measuring the effects of actions and societal policies, that one arrives at a place to be able to indicate to the available grounds to demo that a peculiar step is cost effectual, utile or of positive sociological value. ( Kuhse & A ; Singer 2001 )

We would propose that, on consideration of the grounds presented here, that the societal worker should so be, as a affair of professional concern, in ownership of as broad and as accurate grounds base as is possible in the field in which they are working. It is the cognition of this grounds base that will outdo fit them to supply as good and efficient service as possible, in an effort to run into the demands ( both existent and perceived ) of the service users.

Alcock P, 2003

Social policy in Britain,

Macmillan 2003.

Alcock P, A Erskine, M May ( explosive detection systems ) , 2003

The pupil ‘s comrade to societal policy,

Blackwell 2003.

Berwick D. 1996

A primer on the betterment of systems.

BMJ 1996 ; 312: 619-622

Chapman P, Euan Phimister, Mark Shucksmith, Richard Upward and Esperanza Vera-Toscano, 2004

Poverty and exclusion in rural Britain: The kineticss of low income and employment

Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Prentice Hall: ISBN1 899987 67 3,

Do 2001

Department of Health ( 2001 )

Kernel of Care.

London: The Stationery Office 2001

JRF 2005

Low wage, and poorness

Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Prentice Hall: 2005

Kuhse & A ; Singer 2001

A comrade to bioethics

ISBN: 063123019X Pub Date 05 July 2001

Mohammed, D Braunholtz, and T P Hofer 2003 The measuring of active mistakes: methodological issues Qual. Saf. Health Care, Dec 2003 ; 12: 8 – 12.

Morton V, Torgerson DJ. 2003

Consequence of arrested development to the mean on determination devising in wellness attention.

BMJ 2003 May 17 ; 326: 1083-4.

NASW 1999

Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers

NASW Delegate Assembly 1999

Powell, J. ( 1997 ) ,

Researching societal work and societal attention patterns, in McKenzie, G. , Powell, J. and Usher, R. ( explosive detection systems ) ,Understanding Social Research: Positions on methodological analysis and pattern,

London, The Falmer Press, pp. 139–54

# # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #

19.1.06 PDG Word count 2,023

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *