Social Work And Status In The Uk Social Work Essay

Why do research in societal work? Exemplify your reply with mention to two research surveies that are about societal work and follow contrasting research attacks.

Part 1

History of societal work and position in the UK

In the mid-1980s, societal work was still a immature profession, and grew quickly, as the flow of statute law greatly widened the scope and complexness of its work ( Barclay Report 1982 ) This represented a displacement towards managerialism, and the birth of the three Ms, directors, markets and assorted economic systems which brought a new accent on consumer sovereignty and single pick ( Williams et al.1999 ) .

Social work in the yesteryear struggled with its research individuality, since it has no alone capable affair or methodological analysis ( Witkin 1995 ) . Social work is seen as an merger of other subjects, and hence battles to its ain voice heard ( Bywaters 2008 ) . The battle in comparing with other societal scientific disciplines is apparent if you consider its absence wholly as an undergraduate and graduate student grade pick at both Cambridge and Oxford Universities.

Plants by Townsend ( 1962 ) , Jackson and Marsden ( 1962 ) and Greve et Al. ( 1971 ) , are illustrations of how research led straight to policy alteration, nevertheless this relationship has changed, with current research workers holding to negociate the dianoetic balance of power held by many different groups and stakeholders ( Williams et al. 1999 ) . Their has been a recent tendency towards professionalization in societal work pattern, and in 2001, IASSW and IFSW understanding on what societal work is ( Sewpaul and Jones 2004 ) , although this is arguably ‘up for grabs ‘ ( Thompson 2000 ) . However, it signifies a existent displacement and has been mirrored by a turning acknowledgment of its typical individuality as a research subject ( Smith 2009 ) .

Emergent subjects in societal work research include the interactions between service users and societal workers, the representation of service users ‘ voices and understanding organizational civilization ( Shaw and Gould 2001 ) . The Social Care Institute for Excellence ( SCIE ) is committed to developing and advancing cognition approximately good pattern in societal attention, and has a nucleus involvement in developing the grounds base for societal work across the UK.

In Scotland, nine universities have come together to set up SIESWE, with the end of advancing a strategic attack to developing and guaranting quality in the acquisition and cognition transportation in the execution of the societal work grade ( McLaughlin 2007 ) .

What is research? Why do it?

Research is carried out to happen out something about the universe ( Hughes and Sharrock 1990 ) Research is basically roll uping information and thought consistently about it ( Connell 1975 ) , and is a procedure that we engage in every twenty-four hours but alternatively of utilizing the word research it is referred to as doing questions or test and mistake ( Jones & A ; D’Cruz 2004 ) . It is different nevertheless from other information assemblage as it is systematic and disciplined ( Becker and Bryman 2004 ) .

What is societal work research, why is it different from the above?

Social work may fight with its research individuality, but it does hold a alone committedness to understanding people within their societal context and the committedness to functioning marginalised persons ( Witkin 1995 ) . It attempts to understand people, need to understand the societal context of societal jobs, and recognises the built-in danger of pathologising persons whose jobs are mostly the consequence of wider societal factors. It is frequently the demands or issues that arise from pattern that prompt thoughts for research ( Jones & A ; D’Cruz 2004 ) .

Social work research intends to make one or more of the followers: explore, which aims to bring forth cognition in a comparatively unknown and under researched issue ; describe, by foregrounding certain facets of a peculiar issue ; and explicate, which attempts to supply accounts for the issue ( Marlow 2001, Royse 1999 ) . Such inquiries have been suggested as being utile in two cardinal countries of societal work: needs appraisals and ratings, either for pattern or progammes ( Marlow 2001 ) .

It besides must be alteration oriented, accountable to service users and affect holistic battle with the different facets of the job of people they are look intoing ( Dominelli 2005:230 )

Social work research focuses on a peculiar facet of societal life, and aims to deduce theory from the end point informations. This procedure is called initiation, and intends to explicate why something occurs ( May 1994 ) .

What types of research?

Social work research workers draw on a broad scope of methods including descriptive anthropology, grounded theory, instance surveies, narrative, discourse analysis, conversation analysis and co-operative enquiry ( Shaw and Gould 2001 ) .

Types of research


Common characteristics ( Payne and Payne 2004:181-182 ) .


Common characteristics ( Payne and Payne 2004 175-6 )

Participant observation

Focus groups

Qualitative methods seek a deeper truth, to analyze things in their natural scene. It takes an interpretative attack to its topic, and efforts to understand the position of the universe and experiences of people, and ideally non the research worker ( Jones 1995 ) .

Despite the two being really different, it is possible to incorporate qualitative and quantitative such as utilizing an initial study to find or supply a sampling frame for interviews.

Why is research of import?

Concerns about quality in societal work can stem from a assortment of beginnings and research is one of them ( Adams 1998 ) .

Social workers are required to non merely utilize their cognition and experience to prosecute in research, but besides contribute to it ( BASW 2012 ) . Despite this, research has been mostly ignored by societal workers. It is non given the attending it deserves and is treated as an add-on luxury despite in many ways being synonymous with good societal work. Modernisation has lead to societal work going progressively specialist and disconnected ( McLaughlin 2007 ) , hence the importance of specializer cognition is cardinal to effectual pattern.

Research mindedness is of import because it encourages good pattern ( Everitt et al. 1992 ) . The positive or negative results of societal work pattern topographic points importance pattern contemplation, seeking to happen grounds that aid place distinguish what is effectual and what is intrusive. Effective pattern is more likely when the societal worker has the ability to pull on and measure old research ( Jones and D’Cruz 2004 ) .

Research should non merely be about the chase of cognition, since it besides has a political and ethical intent to advance and accomplish societal justness ( Jones and D’Cruz 2004 ) . The importance of societal justness to societal work is apparent in its codification of moralss ( BASW 2012, Sewpaul and Jones 2004 ) .

The importance of research grounds to back up policy and pattern development is reiterated by continued authorities petitions.

The ecological theoretical account, systems theory or functional school attempts to decide societal jobs through informations aggregation and findings are presented to policy-makers in the hope that their suggestions will be implemented. Social workers work within the political construction ( Chu et al. 2009 ) , and intervene through active research ( DePoy et al. , 1999 ) .

DePoy, E. , A. Hartman and D. Haslett ( 1999 ) ‘Critical Action Research: A Model for

Social Work Knowing ‘ , Social Work 44 ( 6 ) : 560-9.

For it to be utile, it needs to be grounded in pattern ( Jones & A ; D’Cruz 2004 ) . Well established tradition of enquiry emphasises the hunt for effectual steps and grounds of positive pattern results ( Sheldon 1983, 1986, Sheldon and Macdonald 1992 as cited in Smith 2009 ) .

What it intends to accomplish i.e. relationship with pattern

Social work research and pattern are interdependent, since pattern is improved by being capable to critical examination, and research is enhanced by rules drawn from pattern ( Everitt et al. 1992 ) .

Good pattern involves research informed grounds which is underpinned by methodological analysis, and forms the Southern Cross of grounds based pattern ( EBP ) ( Webb 2001 ) . Evidence based pattern high spots the importance of results ( McLaughlin 2007 ) , and focuses on ways of bettering these for peculiar client groups. EBP constitutes the appropriate usage of current best grounds in determination devising of service user public assistance, and aims to better effectivity ( Webb 2001 ) . Government investing in the Centre for Evidence-Based pattern, as portion of the Outcomes of Social Care for Adults enterprise ( Webb 2001 ) , and every bit set out in Modernizing the Social Care Workforce ( TOPPS 1999 ) highlight the committed involvement in EBP.

Although for some old ages it has non sought to widen or develop the nucleus cognition base or cardinal underpinnings of the societal work tradition ( Trevillion 2008: 448 ) . Furthermore, EBP is grounded in rationalist and empiricist methods, with some proposing contain basically defects ( Polanyi 1967, Habermas 1968, Held 1980, Smith 1987 ) . Nevertheless it chimes good with managerialism and its assorted administrative maps and control, and consequences in information processing and regulated action ( Webb 2001 ) .

Such a mechanistic attack is less favorable over one that values the interconnection between societal work and service users, and does non function to sabotage professional liberty ( Webb 2001 ) .

Who financess it

Much of the support available for research in the wider field of societal work has its beginnings in authorities sections ( Marsh and Fisher 2005 ) The fact that research is extremely dependent on authorities and big bureau support, their vested involvements are certain to be addressed, possibly enforcing conditions or leting their political outlooks to warrant or regulate the ethical determinations made during the research ( May 1994 ) . Weber ( 1949 ) argued that societal scientific discipline could merely supply the agencies, and non state people the terminals. This is peculiarly of import in societal work research, since means themselves can inherit the terminals, hence fostering subjugation and inequality.

Who undertakes it?

This raises the inquiry whether short term research contracts are a good thought, since research workers are put in places that means they are less likely to dispute doubtful pattern in instance they receive a bad mention or their contract is non renewed ( May 1994 ) .

Significant service user motions, have led to their engagement in the research procedure, and have led to independent surveies, and have taken on a stronger function in seeking to act upon ( Smith 2009 ) . Having a personal involvement in the question/issue is critical, since research requires much clip and attempt ( Alston and Bowles 1998 ) . Besides, research that does non decently affect service users is disempowering and the results of which could be used to perpetuate oppressive service bringing processes ( Alston and Bowles 1998 ) .

Increased professionalization title-holders expertise but risks encircling societal work in its ain cognition and pattern boundaries. The effects of this are that it can take to the exclusion of the very voices of the people it is seeking to assist, running the hazard of practising oppressively ( Jones and D’Cruz 2004 ) .

Ethical motives and values in research

The Research Governance Framework for Health and Social Care ( Department of Health 2005 ) outlines the nucleus rules that entail good research pattern, and created Research Ethics Committees. It states that the self-respect and rights of participants are secured whilst understating hazard.

Policy shapers demand results within tight budgets and want replies, yet good quality research findings normally require at least 2 old ages to bring forth consequences ( Meagher and Wilson 2002 ) . Such force per unit area, along with legal concerns, non merely places single research workers in hard places, but can deter some local governments from take parting in research ( Munro et al. 2005 ) . The of all time altering administration construction of local governments besides makes long term research hard.

Finding and deriving consent from participants is besides debatable, particularly when seeking entree to vulnerable groups such as looked after kids ( Hepinstall 2000 ) . The Data Protection Act 1998 formed the footing for ethical guidelines that would border the behavior of societal research ( Munro et al. 2005 ) .

Social work research ne’er happens in a vacuity, as is the instance for all research ( Jones and D’Cruz 2004 )

before the research

informed consent

covert methods

namelessness and confidentiality


right to retreat

revelation of implying information

protecting participants from injury ( discoursing sensitive information )


sharing the information

hive awaying the information

Social work moralss

situational and contextual. Not fixed, but some congruity ethical place.

Research workers can happen themselves negociating hard terrain in the interface between organisational involvements and those of the people who use services, ( Smith 2009 )

Bing cautious of doing promises about the possible utilizations and impacts of research in order to procure engagement when it is about impossible to foretell the result ( Pinkerton 1999 ) .


Research with vulnerable people and sensitive issues

Intensely affectional countries of societal work, such as kid protection have in the past been more influenced by political pragmatism than nonsubjective grounds ( Ward 2000 ) .

Future of research

How does research maintain up with modernisation? Either it continually develops current theories or focal points on the development of new constructs and theoretical accounts that are more relevant to the of all time germinating contexts and undertakings ( Pease and Fook 1999 ) .

quality control

Part 2 – comparing of two surveies

Question 1: Did the paper describe an of import clinical job addressed via a clearly formulated inquiry?

Question 2: Was a qualitative attack appropriate?

Question 3: How were the scene and the topics selected?

Question 4: What was the research worker ‘s position, and has this been taken into history?

Question 5: What methods did the research worker usage for roll uping data-and are these described in adequate item?

Question 6: What methods did the research worker usage to analyze the data-and what quality control steps were implemented?

Question 7: Are the consequences believable, and if so, are they clinically of import?

Question 8: What decisions were drawn, and are they justified by the consequences?

Question 9: Are the findings of the survey movable to other clinical scenes? ( Greenhalgh and Taylor 1997 )

This portion of this essay will look at two research undertakings undertaken in the field of societal work, and create and Contrass t the methodological analysiss, and do sense of the context of societal work research as explored above.

Study 1

The first survey by Ericsson et Al. ( 2011 ) explored the method of ‘Relational Time ‘ ( RT ) , and used this as an instrument to analyze how relationships with people with dementedness are created. This grounded theory survey took topographic point in the usual, familiar environment, undisturbed, and involved videotaping people with dementedness for between 20- 61 proceedingss in six residential units in southern Sweden. There were nine participants in entire.

The individual with dementedness was interviewed straight after RT, and involved brief inquiries with a concrete connexion to the activity that had taken topographic point. They were besides interviewed two more times. The health professional was besides interviewed at a ulterior day of the month. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and the picture recordings were written out in field notes. This was so comparable with the notes of a participant perceiver.

This qualitative survey used inactive observation followed by semi-structured interviews to garner informations. A qualitative methodological analysis was appropriate in this instance as it attempted from the beginning to obtain a deeper apprehension of the issue at manus ( Greenhalgh and Taylor 1997 ) , which in this instance involved relationships with people with dementedness.


The survey was clearly written, and when the usage of slang was ineluctable, it was clearly explained to the reader, therefore it was easy to read and prosecuting.

The sample observed and interviewed for the survey was appropriate for what it intended to research. Furthermore, it attempts to cover other facets by questioning the attention giver and takes in their point of position and their apprehension of the state of affairs. However, they were non picked by the research workers, which alternatively was the duty of the dementedness nurse or division director. The survey does non foreground any sampling issues, for case why merely nine participants were involved. It does non discourse the restrictions brought on by this.

The usage of semi-structured interviews with this user group poses jobs, particularly the job of taking inquiries.

Passive observation allows the turning away of the Hawthorne consequence, whereby the presence of an perceiver may act upon participants ‘ behaviors ( Hawthorne 2001 ) .

This phenomenological survey is utile since it allows a grade of transferability that advances the apprehension of communicating and relationship edifice with people with advanced dementedness.

Study 2

The 2nd survey by Lishman ( 1978 ) explored

sorts of societal work research in the wider context of societal scientific discipline and related subjects.

aware of the value of comparing, including international literature and cultural differences in research.

place the phases associated with systematic question.

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