Research for Social Workers
An Introduction to Methods, 3rd Edition
Routledge – 2013
Social work is developing its own research orientation and knowledge base, springing from the research traditions of sociology and psychology and grounded in human rights and social justice. Effective social research relies on critical thinking and the ability to view situations from new perspectives. It is relevant to every area of social work practice: from the initial stages of an intervention, to planning a course of action, and finally evaluating practice.
Research for Social Workers is an accessible introduction to the research methods most commonly used in social work and social welfare. The major stages of research projects are outlined step by step, including analysing results and reporting. It is written in non-technical language for students and practitioners without a strong maths background. Illustrated with examples from across the world, this book captures the realities of social work research in a wide range of settings. End of chapter exercises and questions make this an ideal introduction to research methods.
This third edition is fully revised and updated. It includes new chapters on systematic reviews and research in crisis situations, as well as more substantial coverage of statistics.
Part 1: Beginning Social Work Research 1. Social Work Research 2. Choosing Your Topic Area 3. Developing Research Questions 4. Steps in the Research Process Part 2: Research Methods for Social Work 5. Sampling 6. Systematic Reviews 7. Surveys and Interviews 8. Assessing Community Needs and Strengths Part 3: Evaluation 9. How Do I Evaluate my Program? 10. Action Research 11. Best Practice Evaluation 12. Research in Post-disaster Recovery and Other Crisis Situations 13. Other Methods Part 4: Statistical Analysis 14. Producing Results: Qualitative Research 15. Producing Results: Quantitative Research 16. Statistics for Social Workers: Analysis of a Single Variable 17. Statistics for Social Workers: Two or More Variables Part 5: Bringing it all Together 18. Influencing Policy and Practice 19. Developing a Research Proposal
Margaret Alston is Professor and Head of the Department of Social Work at Monash University, Australia.
Wendy Bowles is Associate Professor of Social Work and Human Services and Sub-Dean Workplace Learning in Faculty of Arts at Charles Sturt University, Australia.