Social Work Research and Evaluation applies systematically developed research knowledge to social work practice and emphasizes the “doing” of social work as a reciprocal avenue for generating research evidence and social work knowledge. Using the Examined Practice Model, authors Elizabeth G. DePoy and Stephen F. Gilson present research as the identification of a problem and then proceed to evaluate the efficacy of social work practice in its resolution. Diverse theories, actions, and sets of evidence from a range of professional and disciplinary perspectives are included to underscore the importance of integrating evaluation and practice in research.

Problems, Issues, and Needs (What, Why, How, When, Where)

Problems, Issues, and Needs (What, Why, How, When, Where)

Definition of Terms

In this chapter, we examine the nature of social work problems and issues and illustrate specific techniques that can be used to identify, analyze, and clarify problem statements. The problem statement is the entry point for all thinking and action processes in social work given that the field is committed to advancing human well-being or what Aristotle and contemporaries such as Sen (2009) and Nussbaum (2013) refer to as human flourishing. Of particular note is the potential for the thinking techniques that we illustrate here to integrate and make complementary agendas and perspectives that may seem unconnected and in opposition to one another. Therefore, ...

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