Essay about The Field of Social Work and Evidence-Based-Practice

Essay about The Field of Social Work and Evidence-Based-Practice

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The writings of advocates of EBP demonstrate that a shift is taking place in the social work field towards a more integrated approach where “social work is an applied, empirically grounded social and cultural science aiming at both causal explanation and interpretive understanding” (Otto & Zeigler, 2008, p. 273). Talking about the limits of RCTs they suggest that “Typically, the experimental design is not able to control for the effects of worker-client dynamics and client characteristics that are not clearly defined, understood or measurable” (Cnaan & Dichter, 2008 p. 281). They go on to say: that there is a need for some sort of feedback process where the fit between the practice needs and the effectiveness of the intervention are actually studied. However it is all too common for social work practice and research to be carried out ‘in silo’ form “where the EBP processes are followed up, evaluated, and connected too rarely” (Cnaan & Dichter, 2008 p. 289).

Others call for a practice that is informed by both practitioner and by EBP research and disagree that the transfer of knowledge is one way only from academics to practitioners and from science to practice thereby relegating practitioners to mere research consumers or form fillers. They instead propose a more hybridized approach to practice-research integration constructed around a problem-solving approach where researchers and practitioner’s, retrospective and prospective researchers, interpretavists and experimentalists and everyone in between have knowledge contributions to make (Gredig & Sommerfeld, 2008).

Although a hierarchy of evidence is argued by many policymakers and researchers alike, others argue that no one method of research is automatically any better than any...


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...l being are holistic. Well being is not compartmentalised in the way that it has been articulated in Western positivist science. There are similarities with Strengths based, Recovery-focused, constructivist and ecological perspectives.

Solution focused Therapy (SFT)

SFT was developed inductively rather than deductively out of the systems approach and is very much evidenced based. It is described as a goal directed collaborative approach to psycho-therapeutic change. It is carried out via direct observation of the clients' responses to a series of precisely designed questions. It is based upon social constructionist thinking and focuses on addressing what the client wants to achieve, exploring the history and origin of the problem whilst typically focusing on the present and future. Any focus on the past is simply to clarify the clients concerns and show empathy.


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