Research In Social Work

775 Words4 Pages
Research is an indispensible aspect of social work practice and is increasingly becoming even more important to the continual establishment of the profession (Jones & Sherr, 2014; MCauliffe, 2012; McCrystal & Wilson, 2009; Parrish, 2010; Phillips & Shaw, 2011). For disciplines providing services to society, research is fundamental in assessing the effectiveness of practice and instituting it’s professional credibility (McCrystal & Wilson, 2009; Phillips & Shaw, 2011). More specifically to the field of social work, research has been crucial in providing practitioners with framework, decision-making capacity, best practice methodologies, funding for projects, implementing social policy and ongoing development (MCauliffe, 2012; Parrish, 2010). As importantly, research allows for collaboration and sharing of information between the service users and practitioners, and this positively leads to more ownership of the change process by users. (Jones & Sherr, 2014). For this reason, there is a trajectory for more empirical research for social work practice worldwide (McCrystal & Wilson, 2009). The aim of the paper is to identify and explore the key aspects on why research is an invaluable aspect in social work practice. Firstly, research supports the need and legitimacy of the profession. Shortly after it’s initial construction, social work’s credibility was under immense scrutiny on it’s effectiveness of practice and relevant contribution to society (MCauliffe, 2012). Thyer (2001) states that prior to the recent inclusion of research, the vulnerable were in fact recipients of ineffective intervention. Methodologies previously employed were based on unproven theories and experimental-based practice (Phillips & Shaw, 2011; Phillips, MacGiol... ... middle of paper ... ...ined by an ongoing commitment to credible and purposeful evidence-based research (Phillips, MacGiollaRi, Callaghan, 2012). McCrystal and Wilson (2009) studies confirm this trend, showing there are significant growths in the past 10 years in empirical research that are used to ground the social work practice worldwide. In conclusion, research is an undeniable and inseparable component for social workers practice. The absence and lack thereof of research can have detrimental effect in validating the professions role in society as a meaningful practice, in providing a legitimate framework for practitioners, channelling communication between stakeholders and to be a contemporary discipline in a developing and rapidly changing world. In essence, research has been the lifeline of the profession and continues to be the heart of modern and future social work practice.
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