Research into social work with adults – what ideas have you got for research that is relevant for your practice?
Research is an essential tool for social workers to understand how we can work well and how we can make a difference for the people we work with. However, research about adults social work is patchy. A recent research review on the Effectiveness of Social Work with Adults concluded that ‘although the evidence base for social work with adults is mixed and uneven, the results are broadly positive.’ As a profession, we need to know more about our impact so that we can argue for social work to be properly valued and supported.
BASW Adults Practice, Policy and Education Group is involved in a project to increase the amount and the impact of research on social work with adults. This project, initiated by the Chief Social Worker for Adults, is using a co-production approach to find out what research is needed.
The approach is facilitated by the James Lind Alliance, an organisation that works to bring experts by experience and professionals together to influence the research agenda.
James Lind Alliance is currently collecting views from adults, carers and social workers about the questions that they want researchers to answer. We encourage all social workers who work with adults to fill in the survey at www.bit.ly/ASWresearch, before the closing date of 14 January 2018.
This survey asks you to consider what you would like research to find out about practice and interventions in adult social work. It asks you to think about the questions you have around how social work promotes well-being, impacts on safety, supports people and interacts with others. It also asks for any other areas that you think research needs to address.
This is a chance for us to think about what we don’t know, what we need to know, and what would be really useful for us in practice. Please focus on what social work does and what we contribute – there is already a lot of research about social care but very little that tells us about social work in particular.
If we can influence the research that is done, then we will gain more useful information to help us to work well and to make a difference.