Doing Social Work Research


Louise Hardwick & Aidan Worsley

  • Citations
  • Add to My List
  • Text Size

  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Copyright

    View Copyright Page


    Aidan Worsley would like to dedicate this book to his mother and father, Bill and Olive Worsley. Dad, I think of you every day.

    Louise Hardwick would like to dedicate this book to Monica, Tom, Ursula, Molly and Leo.


    This book could not have been written without the contributions made by all the service users, carers, students and practitioners we have met and worked with over the years. Their imagination, commitment and determination are applauded. We would also like to thank our colleagues at the universities of Liverpool, Central Lancashire and Chester for their comments, observations and insights that have also helped shape this book and move it towards completion.


    It's a little perplexing that relatively few social workers appear to be doing research into practice. Who better to interview service users or run a focus group of carers for the purposes of research than social workers? Who better to analyse complex situations and make a sound assessment based on the evidence? Surely social workers know more about social work than anyone else, possess the right value base and an enviable range of transferable skills for research that equip them commendably. And yet, research appears to be in its infancy for practitioners in the social care workforce. We would argue that research involving social workers (and service users) tends to be done to us rather than with us. Even less often is research actually done by us. This is perhaps even more surprising when we start to think more globally about the nature of social work.

    ‘The social work profession promotes social change’ (International Federation of Social Work, 2000). These are the very first words of an important definition of our vocation and they beg the question – in what ways do we really promote social change? Similarly, the (UK) Code of Practice has, as its first line: ‘Social Care Workers must protect the rights and promote the interests of service users and carers’ (General Social Care Council, 2004). The question of how we might respond to these fundamental challenges to our professional practice is given an answer: practitioner research. This book is written especially for every social worker, whether on a qualifying training course, post qualifying programme or simply a practitioner in the field. This book will also provide help to those throughout the social care workforce who are interested in learning more about doing research. It is a book designed to help people research their practice and roots itself in the kinds of research that a typical social worker might consider doing. It's a very practical guide, using examples drawn from practice throughout. But its main emphasis – and main hope – is that it is about doing social work research. We aim to inspire, enable and encourage the reader to engage in research because we think that is what is best for the profession and, more importantly, the many millions of service users and carers that social workers support, challenge and empower throughout their careers.

    How the Book Works

    The whole point of this book is to encourage research by talking about it in a clear, uncluttered way, avoiding unnecessary jargon. It tells social workers what they need to know to begin doing research and, in that sense, should be seen as an introductory text – although it will suit experienced as well as beginning practitioners. It is important that the reader is aware that a vast array of research methods texts exist which look in considerable detail at many of the areas we discuss. We therefore advise the reader to use this book in conjunction with others to deepen their understanding of key issues. Our focus is social work research. This book aims to demystify the research process by helping people engaged in social work practice learn about it. Case studies will help the reader examine the concepts, theories and methods than underpin research. The book has an abundance of activities that are based in real life practice, each one of which aims to bring alive important aspects of learning to be a practitioner researcher. In this way, reflection is encouraged and we hope the reader will become an active participant in the book. Each chapter ends with ‘key points’ that underline what one needs to take on board and suggestions for further reading. This is also a book for the many students – on qualifying and post qualifying courses and throughout the canon of social care awards – who are looking to learn about or begin research, perhaps as part of a dissertation or project. Each chapter has a section that specifically looks at how the activities it will go on to describe relate to the National Occupational Standards for Social Work. We felt this was important because it underlines that research is a core part of the practitioner's role but may also help in relating research activity to competency structures.

    How to Use This Book

    This isn't a book that is necessarily meant to be read from the beginning to the end. Rather, it presents the reader with self contained chapters that focus on specific aspects of research that will be especially pertinent to different people at different times, dependent upon their own approach to research. Having said that, the sequencing of the chapters follows a logical path through the areas that the practitioner researcher needs to understand in order to engage in research. The book has two main sections. The first section contains the first three chapters of the book. They cover the underpinning ideas that, as practitioner researchers, we need to understand so that we can appropriately contextualize our research – seeing it in the broader context of other research. They consider such questions as, ‘what is special about social work research’? There have been many debates on this matter and we all need to arrive at an understanding of where social work research sits in relation to, for example, healthcare research. We also make the argument for the practitioner researcher – the challenging notion that as busy practitioners we should, to some extent, be researchers as well. It makes the point that in many ways, social workers are researchers and already possess many of the skills that the practitioner researcher will come to rely on. But we underline the point that these are transferable skills. A social worker is no more automatically a researcher than a researcher is automatically a social worker. Practitioner researchers need to harness the considerable skills they have and apply them appropriately to a new, different task. Whilst we would not argue this is always easy, a social worker should find that the transition to researcher practitioner is not too difficult because of the transferability of the typical skill sets they possess – and therefore well within the reach of the everyday social worker. In this sense our prof-ession possesses strong foundations in developing its practitioner researchers. There is also a thorough examination of the ethics of social work research which considers the ethical principles we should adopt when going about our research. After all, social work research is likely to involve the vulnerable and disempowered. It is clearly not enough to simply have the skills to carry out research – especially in these complex areas. How we go about research in a way that affirms the values that underpin our work is of fundamental importance.

    The second section of the book takes the reader on a step by step, easy to read guide to doing social work research. It follows the typical path taken by most research projects looking at proposals, methods of doing research, analysis of data and writing up research reports. Thus, it looks at service user involvement in research, interviews, questionnaires, focus groups, observation and narratives. Each chapter draws on a range of research projects in social work areas to show how other people have managed the process and overcome the occasional obstacles that all research presents. They draw on a wide range of material from established research methods texts, through to contemporary journal articles, general social work texts and service user led projects.

    Great emphasis is placed on developing the knowledge, skills and values that the practitioner researcher needs to generate knowledge in the workplace. We believe that this sort of activity is a part of the professional development of the social work and social care workforce. We believe that a critical, questioning approach to research informed practice – including researching one's own and others' practice – is fundamental to the process of lifelong learning and keeping up to date. These are key components of good practice and, of course, are included in the National Occupational Standards and the Code of Practice.

    The authors are both qualified social workers and have worked in various social work, social care, criminal justice and community settings before embarking on academic careers. They bring to this book all their practice experiences, but also the experience of teaching, supporting and enabling social work researchers for many years at many different levels. They have both been active researchers in the field of social work throughout their careers. Louise Hardwick is a Lecturer in The School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Liverpool and Aidan Worsley is Professor and Head of the School of Social Work at the University of Central Lancashire.

  • Conclusion

    This book has attempted to demystify research for practitioners and encourage an active engagement in the research process, highlighting the part this has to play in social work's multi-dimensional roles. It has been argued that conducting research should be an integral part of practice, offering the opportunity for a knowledge exchange whereby practice informs research and research knowledge informs practice. Practitioners should no longer allow others to have a monopoly on knowledge production because social work requires research that both arises from, and reflects, the complexities of the practice context. It requires knowledge of the specific contextual situation found in practice settings. It is time for practitioners to use this situated knowledge to communicate an evidenced understanding to a wider audience and influence future practice and policy initiatives from this perspective. We hope that in pursuing these objectives practitioner researchers will work in partnership with service users, carers and colleagues in academic settings.

    Throughout we have focused on the social work practitioner and student undertaking research because, as with service user-led research, practitioner research is an undervalued perspective both within the social work and academic community and the broader welfare sector – indeed not just undervalued but almost invisible. There are numerous reasons for this, ranging from the lack of infrastructure support provided by employers, funding bodies, academics and policy makers, to the traditionally low academic expectations of qualifying and post-qualifying courses that have given cursory consideration to practitioners doing research. All of this has contributed to a lack of confidence in the practitioner contribution. Social work requires research from multiple perspectives and this should include both the practitioner and the service user since each provides a unique ‘coal face’ insight which complements ‘top-down’ inductive knowledge.

    The challenge for practitioners is to develop an attitude of reflexive destabilisation and ‘research mindedness’, a state of mind that can open up the possibility of exploring the interface between individuals and communities to seek further understanding and allow critical questions to emerge that relate to social work. This is a process that questions and challenges taken-for-granted assumptions to facilitate a better understanding of the experiences and forces that impact on practitioners, service users and communities. This endeavour can be seen as the starting point on a research continuum, with an awareness of the situated knowledge of the ‘here and now’ leading to the investigation of relevant research and literature to confirm and deepen this everyday understanding. From this stage of the enquiry a number of possibilities may emerge, ranging from endorsing and giving legitimacy to what is already known to acknowledging challenging aspects of that understanding and re-evaluating the situation. All practitioners should engage at this level of the research continuum to inform their practice and where appropriate should be encouraged and supported to move beyond this towards an active enquiry that identifies those areas that demand further investigation.

    To achieve this transition to active researchers, practitioners will also need the support of the broader infrastructure of social work (for example, GSCC, DoH, JUCSWEC) and social work organisations (both statutory and third sector), as well as research institutions (universities and research funders like the ESRC). All these macro learning environments should encourage cultures of both individual and organisational learning.

    Social work draws on specific values that predispose it towards ‘relationship-based practice’ to achieve social change for the better for individuals, groups, and communities. For the practitioner the service user is not just an individual in a social situation who is the subject of engagement but in fact also a unique individual in complex and uncertain circumstances. This means that any engagement must always seek to facilitate a relationship which can enhance well-being. This ‘caring relationship’ can provide practitioners with the opportunity for ‘bottom-up’ knowledge that is specific to the situation and context of practice – and it is from this perspective that practitioners can situate their research and sustain social work values in the enquiry process.

    This is not about reducing the research scope by only looking inward to the individual circumstance. It is about looking upwards, inwards and outwards to explore the specific in the broader context, allowing the possibility of research that can address social injustice for disadvantaged individuals, groups and communities. To achieve these goals practitioners will need to work together with and for disempowered individuals, groups and communities in collaborative partnerships using methods that are appropriate to the task.

    The type of approach and methods used will depend on the kind of data being sought. For instance, professional researchers might seek and have the capacity for large-scale quantitative surveys that will use frameworks for large amounts of data which can be analysed quickly and have the potential to inform national statistics. However, practitioners are unlikely to have the capacity to undertake this type of investigation and are likely to be concerned with small-scale enquires that relate to their specific situation – the service users and carers, the organisations and communities they work with.

    This is why we have focused on methods that are appropriate to this type of small-scale investigation. We have explored those that are appropriate for applied social research such as interviews and questionnaires, observation and narrative and focus groups. With any method the most important thing is that the conceptual approach and methods chosen fit the purpose of the investigation and not just researchers' conscious or unconscious preferences. It has been argued that the requirements of this type of data gathering correspond very closely to features of an action and empowerment research orientation that assumes a participatory/collaborative approach, informed by a reflexive problematisation that involves a cyclical process of action, reflection and review. Also, this type of research endeavour is predicated on the assumption that it will seek to change things for the better thereby empowering the individuals and communities involved. Doing research is not in itself enough – it needs to be communicated to an identified audience. Therefore a dissemination of findings is a crucial element for successfully effecting change for the better and should be a central consideration for practitioner researchers. Thus they can make a difference: doing research, involving and telling others, achieving change.


    Alderson, P. (2000) ‘Children as researchers: the effects of participation rights on research methodology’, in P.H.Christensen and A.James (eds), Research with Children: Perspectives and Practices. London: Routledge Falmer. pp. 241–245.
    Allen, G. & Langford, D. (2008) Effective Interviewing in Social Work and Social Care. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
    Anglia Ruskin University (2009) Narrative Analysis. Available at (last accessed 25 November 2009).
    Argyris, C. & Schön, D. (1974) Theory in Practice: Increasing Professional Effectiveness. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
    Argyris, C. & Schön, D. (1978) Organisational Leaning: Theory of Action Perspective. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
    Backett, K. & Alexander, H. (1991) ‘Talking to young children about health: methods and findings’, Health Education Journal, 50 (1): 34–38.
    Baldock, J., Manning, N. & Vickerstaff, S. (eds) (2003) Social Policy (
    edn). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Barbara, A., Chaim, G. & Doctor, F. (2007) Asking the Right Questions 2. Canada: Centre for addiction and mental health. Available at (last accessed 21 May 2009).
    Barber, J. (1991) Beyond Casework. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
    Becker, H. (1953) ‘Becoming a marihuana user’, American Journal of Sociology, 59 (November): 235–243.
    Becker, H. (1967) ‘Whose side are we on?’, Social Problems, 14 (Winter): 239–247.
    Bell, J. (2001) Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First-Time Researchers in Education and Social Science (
    edn). Buckingham: Open University Press.
    Beresford, P. (2007a) The Changing Roles and Tasks of Social Work from Service Users Perspectives. London: Shaping Our Lives.
    Beresford, P. (2007b) ‘The role of service user research in generating knowledge-based health and social care: from conflict to contribution’, Evidence and Policy, 3 (3): 329–341.
    Beresford, P., Croft, S. & Adshead, L. (2008) ‘We don't see her as a social worker: a service user care study of the importance of the social worker's relationship and humanity’, British Journal of Social Work, 38 (7): 1388–1407.
    Biklen, S. & Moseley, C. (1988) ‘“Are you retarded?” “No, I'm Catholic”: qualitative methods in the study of people with severe handicaps’, Journal of the Association for People with Severe Handicaps, 13 (3): 155–162.
    Bisman, C. (2004) ‘The moral core of the profession’, British Journal of Social Work, 34 (1): 109–23.
    Blaxter, L., Hughes, C. & Tight, M. (1998) How to Research. Buckingham: Open University Press.
    Bloor, M., Frankland, J. & Robson, K. (2001) Focus Groups in Social Research. London: SAGE.
    Bone, J. (2006) The Hard Sell. London: Ashgate.
    Booth, T. & Booth, W. (1994a) Parenting Under Pressure: Mothers and Fathers with Learning Difficulties. Buckingham: Open University Press.
    Booth, W. & Booth, T. (1994b) ‘The use of depth interviewing with vulnerable subjects: lessons from a research study of parents with learning difficulties’, Disability and Society, 11 (1): 55–69.
    Boud, D., Keogh, R. & Walker, D. (eds) (1985) Reflection: Turning Experience into Learning. London: Kogan Page.
    Bouma, G. D. & Atkinson, G.B.J. (1995) A Handbook of Social Science Research. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Bowlby, J. (1982) Attachment and Loss (Vol 1) Attachment. London: The Hogarth Press.
    Branfield, F. (2007) User Involvement in Social Work Education: Report of Regional Consultations with Service Users to Develop a Strategy to Support the Participation of Service Users in Social Work Education. Swindon: Shaping Our Lives National User Network.
    Branfield, F. & Beresford, P. (2006) Making User Involvement Work: Supporting Service User Networking and Knowledge. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
    Branfield, F., Beresford, P. & Levin, E. (2007) Common Aims: A Strategy to Support Service User Involvement in Social Work Education. London: SCIE. Available at (last accessed 15 March 2009).
    Braun, V. & Clarke, V. (2006) ‘Using thematic analysis in psychology’, Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3: 77–101.
    British Broadcasting Corporation (2001) BBC News UK (internet) ‘Jedi makes the census list’. Available at (last accessed 6 July 2008).
    Bryman, A. (2004) Social Research Methods (
    edn). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Bryman, A. (2008) Social Research Methods (
    end). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Burchardt, T., Le Grand, J. & Piachaud, D. (2002) ‘Degrees of exclusion: developing a dynamic, multi-dimensional measure’, in J.Hills, J.Le Grand and D.Piachau (eds), Understanding Social Exclusion. London: Oxford University Press. pp. 30–44.
    Butler, I. (2003) ‘Doing good research and doing it well: ethical awareness and the production of social work research’, Social Work Education, 22 (1): 19–30.
    Cave, E. & Holm, S. (2002) ‘New governance arrangements for research ethics committees: is facilitating research achieved at the cost of participants’ interests?’, Journal of Medical Ethics, 28 (3): 318–321.
    Charity Commission (2007) Stand and Deliver: The Future for Charities Providing Public Services. London: Charity Commission.
    Chase, S. E. (2008) ‘Narrative inquiry: multiple lenses, approaches, voices’, in N.Denzin and Y.Lincoln (eds), Collecting and Interpreting Qualitative Materials. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
    Clough, P. & Nutbrown, C. (2002) A Student's Guide to Methodology. London: SAGE.
    Cohen, L. & Manion, L. (1989) Research Methods in Education (
    edn). London: Routledge.
    Cooksey, D. (2006) A Review of UK Health Research Funding. Norwich: HMSO.
    Corby, B., Doig, A. & Roberts, V. (1998) Public Inquiries into Residential Abuse of Children. London: Jessica Kingsley.
    Corcoran, K. & Vandiver, V. L. (2004) ‘Implementing best practice and expert consensus procedures’, in A.R.Roberts and K.R.Yeager (eds), Evidence-Based Practice Manual: Research and Outcomes in Health and Human Services. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 15–19.
    Cornes, M. L. & Clough, R. (2001) ‘The continuum of care: older people's experiences of intermediate care’, Education & Aging, 16 (2): 179–202.
    Crigger, N. J., Holcomb, L. & Weiss, J. (2001) ‘Fundamentalism, multiculturalism and problems conducting research with populations in developing nations’, Nursing Ethics, 8 (5): 459–469.
    Cronbach, L., Robinson, A.S., Dornbusch, S. M., Hess, R., Hornik, R., Philips, D. C., Walker, D. F. and Weiner, S. S. (1980) Toward Reform of Programme Evaluation. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
    Dana, J. (1999) ‘Ways of listening to women in qualitative research: interview techniques and analysis’, Canadian Psychology (May). Available at;col1 (last accessed 15 July 2008).
    Darlington, Y. & Scott, D. (2002) Qualitative Research in Practice: Stories from the Field. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
    Darou, W., Kurtness, J. & Hum, A. (1993) ‘An investigation of the impact of psychological research on a native population’, Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 24: 325–329.
    David, M. & Sutton, C. D. (2010) Social Research: An Introduction (
    edn). London: SAGE.
    Davidoff, F., Haynes, B., Sackett, D. & Smith, R. (1995) ‘Evidence based medicine’, British Medical Journal, 310: 1085.
    Davies, H. T. & Nutley, S. (2002) ‘The role of evidence in “modernised policy making” in the United Kingdom’, Academy for Health Services Research & Health Policy, 19: 19.
    Deakin, N. (1998) ‘The voluntary sector’, in P.Alcock, A.Ershire and M.May, The Student's Companion to Social Policy. Oxford: Blackwell.
    Defilippis, J., Fisher, R. & Shragge, E. (2006) ‘Neither romance nor regulation: re-evaluating community’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 30 (3): 673–689.
    Denscombe, M. (1998) The Good Research Guide for Small-scale Social Research Projects. London: Open University Press.
    Denzin, N. K. (1970) The Research Act in Sociology: A Theoretical Introduction to Sociological Methods. London: Butterworth. Available at (last accessed 6 July 2008).
    Department of Health (DoH) (1994) A Wider Strategy for Research and Development Relating to Personal Social Services. London: HMSO.
    Department of Health (DoH) (1998a) Quality Protects: Framework For Action. London: DoH.
    Department of Health (DoH) (1998b) Modernising Social Services: The White Paper. London: The Stationery Office.
    Department of Health (DoH) (2001) Seeking Consent: Working with People with Learning Disabilities. London: DoH.
    Department of Health (DoH) (2005) Research Governance Framework for Health and Social Care (
    edition). London: DoH.
    Dutton, A. & Worsley, A. (2008) ‘Doves and hawks: practice educators attitudes towards interprofessional learning’, Learning in Health and Social Care, 7 (3): 145–153.
    East Midlands Oral History Archive (2009) Transcribing and Summarising Oral History Recordings. Available at (last accessed 24 April 2009).
    Elliott, J. (2005) Using Narrative in Social Research. London: SAGE.
    Engster, D. (2004) ‘Care ethics and natural law theory: toward an institutional political theory of caring’, The Journal of Politics, 66 (1): 113–135.
    Erikson, E. (1977) Childhood and Society (
    edn). St. Albans: Triad/Paladin.
    Evans, C. & Jones, R. (2004) ‘Engagement and empowerment, research and relevance: comments on user-controlled research’, Research Policy and Planning, 22 (2): 5–14.
    Faulkner, A. (2006) We Need User-led Research More Now Than Ever Before … 5th Involve National Conference, Hatfield, 25 September.
    Fletcher, J. (1966) Situation Ethics: The New Morality. London: SCM.
    Flick, U. (2007) The SAGE Qualitative Research Kit. London: SAGE.
    FOCUS & University of Chester (2008) Walk This Way: Service User and Carer Led Research into Post Qualifying Training. Chester: University of Chester.
    Fook, F. (2002) ‘Theorizing from practice. towards an inclusive approach for social work research’, Qualitative Social Work, 1 (1): 79–95.
    Fraser, S., Lewis, V., Ding, S., Kellett, M. and Robinson, C. (eds) (2004) Doing Research with Children and Young People. London: SAGE.
    Friar, J. (1998) ‘A vacuum in a minefield? Ethical dilemmas in research with learning disabled people’, Management Issues in Social Care, 7 (1): 19–26.
    Geertz, C. (1973) ‘Thick description: toward an interpretive theory of culture’, in The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays. New York: Basic Books. pp. 3–30.
    General Social Care Council (2004) Code of Practice for Social Care Workers. Available at (last accessed 20 May 2009).
    Gibbs, A. (1997) ‘Focus groups’, Social Research Update, 19. Available at (last accessed 25 May 2008).
    Gilchrist, A. (2003) ‘Community development in the UK – possibilities and paradoxes’, Community Development Journal, 38 (1): 16–25.
    Gilchrist, R. & Jeffs, T. (eds) (2001) Settlements, Social Change and Community Action. London: Jessica Kingsley.
    Glasby, J. & Beresford, P. (2006) ‘Who knows best? Evidence-based practice and the service user contribution’, Critical Social Policy, 26 (1): 268–284.
    Glasby, J. & Beresford, P. (2007) ‘In whose interests? Local research ethics committees and service user research’, Ethics and Social Welfare, 1 (3): 282–292.
    Goffman, E. (1963) Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity. New York: Prentice-Hall.
    Gold, R. (1958) ‘Roles in sociological field observation’, Social Forces, 36 (3): 217–223.
    Guardian Unlimited (2001) ‘Alder Hey organs scandal: the issue explained’, Available at,450736,00.html (last accessed 21 January 2009).
    Gunther, M. & Thomas, S. P. (2006) ‘Nurses’ narratives of unforgettable patient care events’, Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 38 (4): 370–377.
    Gutch, R. (1992) Contracting Lessons from the US. London: NCVO.
    Hall, D. & Hall, I. (1996) Practical Social Research: Project Work In The Community. Basingstoke: Macmillan.
    Hall, I. & Hall, D. (2004) Evaluation and Social Research. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
    Halliday, M. & Sherwood, L. (2003) ‘Mental health user/survivor research in the UK’, Mental Health Foundation Update, 5 (2): 1–6.
    Hardwick, L. (2000) ‘Older people with dementia and social work: lessons learned from an evaluative study’, Practice: A Journal of the British Association of Social Work, 12 (2): 33–44.
    Hardwick, L. & Hardwick, C. (2007) ‘Social work research: “every moment is a new and shocking valuation of all we have been”’, Qualitative Social Work, 6 (3): 301–314.
    Hardwick, L. & Worsley, A. (2007) ‘Bridging the gap between social work practice and community based welfare agencies’, European Journal of Social Work, 10 (2): 245–258.
    Harvey, L. (1990) Critical Social Research. London: Unwin Hyman.
    Haywood, K. & Wragg, T. (1982) Reviewing The Literature. Nottingham: University of Nottingham School of Education.
    Hek, G. & Moule, P. (2006) Making Sense of Research: An Introduction for Health and Social Care Practitioners (
    edn). London: SAGE.
    Hey, V. (1997) The Company She Keeps: An Ethnography of Girls’ Friendship. Buckingham: Open University Press.
    Holliday, A. (2007) Doing and Writing Qualitative Research (
    edn). London: SAGE.
    Hunt, A. & Winegarten, R. (1983) I Am Annie Marie: An Extraordinary Black Texas Woman in Her Own Words. Austin: University of Texas Press.
    Iarskaia-Smirnova, E. & Romanov, P. (2007) ‘Perspectives of inclusive education in Russia’, European Journal of Social Work, 10 (1): 89–105.
    INVOLVE (2008) Deliberative Public Engagement: Nine Principles. London: National Consumer Council.
    Joint University Council Social Work Education Committee (2008) JUCSWEC's Code of Ethics for Social Work and Social Care Research. Available at (last accessed 18 November 2008).
    Jones, C. & Novak, T. (1999) Poverty, Welfare and the Disciplinary State. London: Routledge.
    Jones, K., Cooper, B. & Ferguson, H. (eds) (2008) Best Practice in Social Work: Critical Perspectives. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
    Jordan, B. (2001) ‘Tough love: social work, social exclusion and the third way’, British Journal of Social Work, 31: 527–546.
    Jordan, B. (2004) ‘Emancipatory social work: opportunity or oxymoron?’, British Journal of Social Work, 34 (1): 5–19.
    Kadushin, A. & Kadushin, G. (1997) The Social Work Interview: A Guide for Human Service Professionals. New York: Columbia University Press.
    Kapborg, I. & Bertero, C. (2002) ‘Using an interpreter in qualitative interviews: does it threaten validity?’, Nursing Inquiry, 9 (1): 52–56.
    Kellett, M. & Ding, S. (2004) ‘Middle childhood’, in S.Fraser et al. (eds), Doing Research With Children and Young People. London: SAGE.
    Kemmis, S. & McTaggart, R. (1988) The Action Research Planner (
    edn). Geelong: Deakin University.
    Kemshall, H. & Littlechild, R. (2000) User Involvement and Participation in Social Care. London: Jessica Kingsley.
    Kendall, J. (2003) The Voluntary Sector: Comparative Perspectives in the UK. London: Routledge.
    Kendall, J. & Knapp, M. (1996) The Voluntary Sector in the UK. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
    King, M. (1997) A Better World for Children: Explorations in Morality and Authority. London: Routledge.
    Kitzinger, J. (1994) ‘The methodology of focus groups: the importance of interaction between research participants’, Sociology of Health and Illness, 16 (1): 103–121.
    Kitzinger, J. (1995) ‘Qualitative research: introducing focus groups’, British Medical Journal, 311: 299–302.
    Kreuger, R. & Casey, M. (2000) Focus Groups: A Practical Guide for Applied Research (
    edn). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
    Kumar, R. (1999) Research Methodology: A Step-by-step Guide for Beginners (
    edn). London: SAGE.
    Kvale, S. (1996) Interviews: An Introduction to Qualitative Research Interviewing. London: SAGE.
    Labov, W. & Waletzky, J. ([1967] 1997) ‘Narrative analysis: oral versions of personal experience’, Journal of Narrative and Life History, 7: 3–38.
    Lacey, C. (1976) ‘Problems of sociological fieldwork: a review of the methodology of “Hightown Grammar”’, in M.Shipman (ed.), The Organisation and Impact of Social Research. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
    Lee, R. L. (1999) Doing Research on Sensitive Topics. London: SAGE.
    Likert, R. (1932) ‘A technique for the measurement of attitudes’, Archives of Psychology, 140: 1–55.
    Lofland, J. & Lofland, L. (1994) Analyzing Qualitative Data: A Guide to Qualitative Observation and Analysis (
    edn). London: Wadsworth.
    Lorenz, W. (2003) ‘European experiences in teaching social work research’, Social Work Education, 22 (1): 7–18.
    Lorenz, W. (2006) Perspectives on European Social Work. Leverkusen: Verlag Barbara Budrich.
    Loseke, D. (2001) ‘Lived realities and formula stories of “battered women”’, in J.Gubrium and J.Holstein (eds), Institutional Selves: Troubled Identities in a Post Modern World. New York: Oxford University Press.
    Lukes, S. (1972) Emile Durkheim: His Life and Work. London: Penguin.
    Lyons, K. & Lawrence, S. (eds) (2006) Social Work in Europe: Educating For Change. Birmingham: Venture.
    Maddock, J., Lineham, D. and Shears, J. (2004) ‘Empowering mental health research: user led research into the care programme approach’, Research Policy and Planning, 22 (2): 15–22.
    Marsh, P. & Fisher, M. (2005) Developing the Evidence Base for Social Work and Social Care Practice Using Knowledge in Social Care Report No.10. Bristol: SCIE/Policy Press. Available at (last accessed 22 June 2009).
    Marshall, A. & Batten, S. (2004) ‘Researching across cultures: issues of ethics and power’, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 5 (3): Art.39.
    Mason, J. (2002) Qualitative Researching. London: SAGE.
    Masson, J. (2004) ‘The legal context’, in S.Fraser et al. (eds), Doing Research with Children and Young People. London: SAGE.
    Maxwell, C. & Boyle, M. (1995) ‘Risky heterosexual practices amongst women over 30: gender, power and long term relationships’, Aids Care, 7 (3): 277–293.
    McCabe, H. (1968) Law, Love and Language. London: Sheed & Ward.
    McCarthy, M. (1999) Sexuality and Women with Learning Disabilities. London: Jessica Kingsley.
    McCrove, P., Dhanasiri, D., Patel, A., Knapp, M. & Lawton-Smith, S. (2008) Paying the Price: The Cost of Mental Health Care in England to 2026. London: King's Fund Publication.
    McLaughlin, H. (2007) Understanding Social Work Research. London: SAGE.
    McNally, D. & Hardwick, L. (2000) ‘Barriers to making rehabilitation happen’, Managing Community Care, The Journal for Social Care, Health and Housing, 8 (3): 28–37.
    McNiff, J. & Whitehead, J. (2009) Doing and Writing Action Research. London: SAGE.
    Merton, R. (1987) ‘Focussed interviews and focus groups: continuities and discontinuities’, Public Opinion Quarterly, 51: 550–566.
    Merton, R. & Kendall, P. (1946) ‘The focused interview’, American Journal of Sociology, 51: 541–557.
    Merton, R., Fiske, M. & Kendall, P. (1956) The Focused Interview. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.
    Mier, N., Medina, A. A., Bocanegra-Alonso, A., Castillo-Ruiz, O., Acosta-Gonzalez, R. I. & Ramirez, J. A. (2006) ‘Finding respondents from minority groups’, Journal of Research Practice, 2 (2), Article D2. Available at (last accessed 22 November 2009).
    Mills, C. (1959) The Sociological Imagination. London: Oxford University Press.
    Mishler, E. G. (1986) Research Interviewing: Context and Narrative. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
    Mishler, E. G. (2005) ‘Patient stories, narratives of resistance and the ethics of humane care: à la recherche du temps perdu’, An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health Illness and Medicine, 9 (4): 431–451.
    Morrison, F., Stewart, C. & Okroj, L. (2008) Children and Young People as Partners in the Design and Commissioning of Research. Edinburgh: Scottish Womens Aid.
    Munson, C. E. (2004) ‘Evidence-based treatment for traumatised and abused children’, in A.R.Roberts and K.R.Yeager (eds), Evidence-Based Practice Manual: Research and Outcomes in Health and Human Services. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 252–263.
    National Association of Social Workers (2001) Code of Ethics. Available at (last accessed 21 November 2009).
    Noddings, N. (1984) Caring: A Feminine Approach to Ethics and Moral Education. Berkeley: University of California Press.
    Office of National Statistics (2009) Social Trends 39. Newport: Palgrave Macmillan.
    Oliver, M. (1992) ‘Changing the social relations of research production?’, Disability & Society, 7 (2): 101–114.
    Orme, J. & Powell, J. (2008) ‘Building research capacity in social work: process and issues’, British Journal of Social Work, 38 (5): 988–1008.
    Padgett, D. (1998) cited in Shaw, I. (2005) ‘Practitioner research: evidence or critique?’, British Journal of Social Work, 55: 1231–1248.
    Pahl, J. (2004) Ethics Review in Social Care Research: Option Appraisal and Guidelines. London: Department of Health.
    Parton, N. (2003) ‘Rethinking professional practice: the contribution of social constructionism and the feminist “ethics of care”’, British Journal of Social Work, 33 (1): 1–6.
    Payne, M. (1981) ‘Implementing community social work from a social services department: some issues’, British Journal of Social Work, 13 (1): 435–442.
    Powell, J. (2002) ‘The changing conditions of social work research’, British Journal of Social Work, 32 (1): 35–49.
    Powell, R. & Single, H. (1996) ‘Focus groups’, International Journal of Quality in Health Care, 8 (5): 499–504.
    Preece, D. (2009) ‘Effective short breaks services for families with children with autism spectrum disorders: how one local authority in the United Kingdom is working to meet the challenge’, Practice: Social Work in Action, 21 (3): 159–174.
    Preston-Shoot, M. (2007) ‘Whose lives and whose learning? Whose narratives and whose writing? Taking the next research and literature steps with experts by experience’, Evidence and Policy, 3 (3): 343–359.
    Public Health Resources Unit (2006) Qualitative Appraisal Tool. England: Public Health Resource Unit. Available at (last accessed 26 April 2009).
    Puchta, C. & Potter, J. (2004) Focus Group Practice. London: SAGE.
    Punch, K. F. (2005) Introduction to Social Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches. London: SAGE.
    Putnam, R. D. (1995) ‘Bowling alone: America's declining social capital’, The Journal of Democracy, 6 (1): 65–78.
    Ranganathan, M. & Bhopal, R. (2006) ‘Exclusion and inclusion of non-white ethnic minority groups in 72 North American and European cardiovascular cohort studies’, PLoS Med, 3 (3): e44.
    Rashotte, J. (2005) ‘Dwelling with stories that haunt us: building a meaningful nursing practice’, Nursing Inquiry, 12: 34–42.
    Raynes, N., Temple, B., Glenister, C. and Coulthard, L. (2004) Quality at Home for Older People: Involving Service Users in Defining Home Care Specifications. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
    Reardon, D. F. (2006) Doing Your Undergraduate Project. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
    Reason, P. & Bradbury, H. (eds) (2004) ‘Handbook of Action Research London’, in S.Becker and A.Bryman (eds), Understanding Research for Social Policy & Practice: Themes, Methods & Approaches. London: Policy.
    Reason, P. & Bradbury, H. (2003) ‘Action research: an opportunity for revitalizing research purpose and practices’, Qualitative Social Work, 2 (2): 155–175.
    Rice, S. (ed.) (1931) Methods in Social Science. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    Riessman, C. (1993) Narrative Analysis. London: SAGE.
    Riessman, K. C. (2001) ‘Personal troubles as social issues: a narrative of infertility in context’, in I.Shaw and N.Gould (eds), Qualitative Research in Social Work: Introducing Qualitative Methods. London: SAGE.
    Riessman, K. C. & Quinney, L. (2005) ‘Narrative in social work: a critical review’, Qualitative Social Work, 4 (4): 391–412.
    Robson, C. (1993) Real World Research. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.
    Robson, C. (2002) Real World Research (
    edn). Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.
    Rogers, C. (1942) Counseling and Psychotherapy. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
    Roose, G. & John, A. (2003) ‘A focus group investigation into young children's understanding of mental health and their views on appropriate services for their age group’, Child Care, Health and Development, 29 (6): 545–550.
    Rowan, J. (1981) ‘A dialectical paradigm for research’, in P.Reason and J.Rowan (eds), Human Inquiry: A Sourcebook of New Paradigm Research. Chichester: Wiley.
    Ruch, G. (2005) ‘Relationship-based and reflective practice: holistic approaches to contemporary child care social work’, Child and Family Social Work, 10: 111–123.
    Ruckdeschel, R. & Shaw, I. (2008) ‘Teaching as practice: issues, questions and reflections’, Qualitative Social Work, 1 (2): 229–244.
    Rutter, M. (2001) Conduct Disorder, Future Directions: An Afterword. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Sackett, D.L., Rosenberg, W.C., Gray, J.A.M., Haynes, R.B. & Richardson, W.S. (1996) ‘Evidence based medicine: what it is and what it isn't’, British Medical Journal, 312: 71–72.
    Schön, D. (1983) The Reflective Practitioner. London: Basic Books.
    SCIE (2007) Practice Guide: The Participation of Adult Service Users Including Older People in Developing Social Care. Social Care Institute for Excellence. Available at (last accessed 21 November 2009).
    Scourfield, J., Jacob, N., Smalley, N., Prior, L. & Greenland, K. (2007) ‘Young people's gendered interpretations of suicide and attempted suicide’, Child and Family Social Work, 12: 248–257.
    Scott, D., Alcock, P., Russell, L. & Macmillan, R. (2000) Moving Pictures: Realities of Voluntary Action. London: Policy Press.
    Scourfield, J. B. (2001) ‘Constructing women in child protection work’, Child and Family Social Work, 6: 77–87.
    Seebohm, F. (1968) Report of the Committee on Local Authority and Allied Personal Social Services (The Seebohm Report). London: HMSO.
    Senge, P. M. (1990) The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization. London: Random House.
    Sevenhuijsen, S. (1998) Citizenship and the Ethics of Care: Feminist Considerations on Justice, Morality and Politics. London: Routledge.
    Shaping Our Lives, & University of Leeds Centre for Disability Studies (2007) Developing Social Care: Service Users Driving Culture Change. London: SCIE.
    Shaw, C. (1966) The Jack Roller: A Delinquent Boy's Own Story. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    Shaw, C. & Palattiyil, G. (2008) ‘Issues of alcohol misuse among older people: attitudes and experiences of social work practitioners’, Practice: Social Work in Action, 20 (3): 181–193.
    Shaw, I. (2005) ‘Practitioner research: evidence or critique?’, British Journal of Social Work, 35 (8): 1231–1248.
    Shaw, I. (2007) ‘Is social work research distinctive?’, Social Work Education, 26 (7): 659–669.
    Shaw, I. & Gould, N. (eds) (2001) Qualitative Research in Social Work. London: SAGE.
    Shaw, I., Arksey, H. & Mullender, A. (2004) ESRC Research, Social Work and Social Care. London: SCIE.
    Sheppard, M. and Ryan, K. (2003) ‘Practitioners as rule using analysts: a further development of process knowledge in social work’, British Journal of Social Work, 33 (2): 157–176.
    Silverman, D. (1998) Qualitative Research: Theory, Method and Practice. London: SAGE.
    Silverman, D. (2006) Interpreting Qualitative Data: Methods for Analysing Talk and Text (
    edn). London: SAGE.
    Simey, M. & Bingham, D. (eds) (2005) From Rhetoric to Reality: A Study of the Work of F.G. D'Aeth, Social Administrator. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.
    Social Research Association (2003) Ethical Guidelines. Available at (last accessed 30 November 2009).
    Stanley, N., Manthorpe, J. & Penhale, J. (1999) Institutional Abuse: Perspectives Across the Life Course. London: Routledge.
    Stapleton, N., Whitehead, E. & Worsley, A. (2008) Research Methods for Health and Social Care Practitioners. Chester: University of Chester.
    Starkey, P. (2000) Families and Social Workers. Liverpool: The University of Liverpool Press.
    Stewart, D., Shamdesani, P. & Rook, D. (2007) Focus Groups: Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
    Stoecker, R. (2003) Research Methods for Community Change. London: SAGE.
    Strauss, A. & Corbin, J. (1989) Qualitative Research Methods. Newbury Park, CA: SAGE.
    Tammivara, J. & Enright, D. (1986) ‘On eliciting information: dialogues with child informants’, Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 17 (1): 218–238.
    Taylor, J., Williams, J., Johnson, R., Hiscut, I. & Brennan, M. (2008) We Are Not Stupid. London: People First Lambeth and Shaping Our Lives. Available at
    Taylor-Gooby, P. (2008) Reframing Social Citizenship. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    The Association for Research in the Voluntary and Community Sector (2001) Community Research, Getting Started: A Resource Pack for Community Groups. London: ARVCS.
    Thompson, S. (1996) Paying Respondents and Informants. Social Research Update Issue 14 Autumn. Available at (last accessed 1 November 2009).
    Training Organisation for Social Services (TOPPS) (2004) National Occupational Standards for Social Work. London: TOPPS.
    Trevithick, P. (2005) Social Work Skills: A Practice Handbook (
    edn). Maidenhead: Open University Press.
    Tronto, J. (1993) Moral Boundaries: A Political Argument for an Ethic of Care. New York: Routledge.
    Turner, M. & Beresford, P. (2005) User Controlled Research: Its Meaning and Potential. Brunel University: Shaping Our Lives.
    Virkki, T. (2008) ‘Habitual trust in encountering violence at work: attitudes towards client violence among Finnish social workers and nurses’, Journal of Social Work, 8 (3): 247–267.
    Vonk, E. M., Tripodi, T. & Epstein, I. (2007) Research Techniques for Clinical Social Workers. New York: Columbia University Press.
    Walter, I., Nutley, S., Percey-Smith, J., Mcneish, D. & Frost, S. (2004) ‘Improving the use of research on social care practice’, Knowledge Review 7. London: SCIE/The Policy Press.
    Warren, J. (2007) Service User and Carer Participation in Social Work. Exeter: Learning Matters.
    Watson, T. (2006) Organising and Managing Work (
    edn). London: Pearson Longman.
    Webb, E., Campbell, D. T., Schwartz, R. D. and Sechrest, L. (1966) Unobtrusive Measures: Non-Reactive Research in the Social Sciences. Chicago, IL: Rand McNally.
    Webb, S. A. (2001) ‘Some considerations on the validity of evidence based practice in social work’, British Journal of Social Work, 31: 57–79.
    Wellner, A. (2003) ‘The new science of focus groups’, American Demographics, March (1): 29–33.
    Wheeler, R. (2006) ‘Gillick or Fraser? A plea for consistency over competence in children: Gillick and Fraser are not interchangeable’, British Medical Journal, 332: 93–108.
    White, S. (2001) ‘Auto-ethnography as reflexive inquiry: the research act as self-surveillance’, in I.Shaw and N.Gould (eds), Qualitative Research in Social Work. London: SAGE.
    Whyte, W. F. (1955) Street Corner Society: The Social Structure of an Italian Slum. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    Wiles, R., Crow, G., Charles, V. & Heath, S. (2007) ‘Informed consent and the research process: following rules or striking balances’, Sociological Research Online, 12 (2). Available at (last accessed 5 November 2009).
    Williams, L. (1988) Partial Surrender: Race and Resistance in the Youth Service. London: Falmer.
    Williams, R. (1994) The Non-Designer's Design Book: Design & Typographic Principles for the Visual Novice. London: Peachpit.
    Wilson, K., Ruch, G., Lynberry, M. & Cooper, A. (2008) Social Work: An Introduction to Contemporary Practice. Harlow: Pearson Education.
    Winch, S., Henderson, A. & Shields, L. (2008) Doing Clinical Healthcare Research. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
    Winnicott, D. W. (1964) The Child, The Family, and the Outside World. London: Penguin.
    Wisker, G. (2001) The Postgraduate Research Handbook. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
    Wisker, G. (2005) The Good Supervisor: Supervising Postgraduate and Undergraduate Research for Doctoral Theses and Dissertation. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
    Wolcott, H. (1990). Writing up Qualitative Research. Newbury Park, CA: SAGE.
    Woodcock, J. & Dixon, J. (2005) ‘Professional ideologies and preferences in social work: a British study in global perspective’, British Journal of Social Work, 35: 953–973.
    World Medical Association (1964) ‘World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki – ethical principles for medical research involving human subjects’, cited in E. Cave and S. Holm, ‘New governance arrangements for research ethics committees: facilitating research achievement at the cost of participants’ interest’, Journal of Medical Ethics, 28 (5): 318–321.
    Worsley, A. (2000) Halton Social Workers Experience of PQ1: A Research Report. Liverpool: Liverpool John Moores University.
    Worsley, A. (2004) ‘Probation as profession’ (M.Phil thesis, University of Manchester).
    Worsley, A., Stanley, N., O'Hare, P., Keeler, A., Cooper, L. and Hollowell, C. (2009) ‘Great expectations: the growing divide between students and social work educators’, Social Work Education, 1 (13). Available at (last accessed 24 April 2009).

    • Loading...
Back to Top

Copy and paste the following HTML into your website