This book is a practical beginner's guide to both conducting and using research within the context of social work practice. A clear and accessible introduction to applied research methods for social work students and practitioners, this text covers the key themes, debates and approaches, including:

  • The ethics of social work research
  • Conducting interviews and questionnaires
  • Focus groups
  • Observation and narrative
  • The involvement of service users
  • Analyzing data

With practical exercises and reflective questions, this is an essential text for undergraduate and graduate qualifying social work students.

The Ethics of Social Work Research

The ethics of social work research


For the practitioner, research (like practice) is not just about individuals in social situations who are in need of professional engagement, there is also an awareness and acknowledgement that service users are unique individuals living within complex and uncertain circumstances. As we engage in social work research, we are not simply extracting information from particular respondents within certain groups. We are engaging with people to make a difference. The practitioner researcher needs to foreground an approach that is ‘relationship-based’ and aims to achieve changes for the better for individuals, groups and communities. When this research directly involves gathering data from people (human subjects) an ongoing ethical scrutiny of all aspects of the research process ...

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