Journal Article

Investing in the Future: Social Workers Talk about Research

Liz Beddoe

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 41, issue 3, pages 557-575
Published in print April 2011 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online December 2010 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Investing in the Future: Social Workers Talk about Research

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The movement towards developing a profession more confidently grounded in research has been one of the most significant international trends in social work during the past decade. This article presents findings from one section of a qualitative study of continuing professional education in New Zealand social work. Social workers interviewed were very aware of the significant contemporary discourse of research-informed practice within the profession. Analysis reveals that while New Zealand social work practitioners are positive about the ideals of social work research, their enthusiasm is tempered by issues of confidence and some practical considerations and constraints. These issues reflect those outlined in the social work literature. When asked to discuss their views on social work research, as a component of continuing education, participants identified research based activities as part of the professionalisation project of social work. Research activity was also perceived as significant to the safety of the profession in contestable spaces, evidence of the contribution of social work and vital to the maintenance and development of excellent practice.

Keywords: Practitioner research; professionalisation; social work research

Journal Article.  7577 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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