To What Extent Should Social Work Practice Be Informed By Social Research? (2011)

Within this work I will be looking to examine the effectiveness of using research in social work practice. I have chosen to do this by reviewing both historic and current research on the outcomes of adoption.

Part 1 will consist of a literature review, detailing research findings on this subject. Part 2 will examine one chosen piece of research in more detail and I will be considering this research using the CASP questionnaire. Part 3 will provide an account of how this chosen research could have been improved, offering a critique of the nature of social research and a discussion addressing the assignment question. Finally, I will conclude with a summary of the whole dissertation.

Social work aims to promote the rights of, and protect the welfare of some of the most vulnerable members of society. It involves working with individuals, their families, the wider community and other professional disciplines. Therefore, the knowledge base of social work is drawn from the social sciences; psychology, sociology and social policy.

Social research is concerned with investigating the social world, using many different methods to describe, explore and understand social life. In the field of sociology two main approaches are recognised when considering how to carry out research.

Sociologists in favour of a positivist approach look to carry out quantitative research. Quantitative research is presented as statistical data, based upon the idea that what is studied in society should be considered as facts, therefore, each social fact is considered to be a single thing. Positivists carrying out quantitative research will look to find a correlation between facts to enable them to record the strength of relationship between them, therefore enabling them to produce numerical data based upon their findings.

Sociologists who favour an interpretive approach would argue that quantitative methodology is inappropriate when dealing with human behaviour and that statistical data does not explain why certain behaviours occur; they favour qualitative research that allows the researcher to record the meaning behind events.

  • 10,000 words – 30 pages in length
  • Excellent use of literature
  • Well written throughout
  • Ideal for sociology students

Part 1 – Social Work Practice
Age at time of adoption
Inter-racial adoption
Special needs/disabled children

Part 2 – Research Critique
Was there a clear statement of the aims of the research?
Is a qualitative methodology appropriate?
Was the research design appropriate to address the aims of the research?
Was the recruitment strategy appropriate to the aims of the research?
Were the data collected in a way that addressed the research issue?
Has the relationship between researcher and participants been adequately considered?
Have ethical issues been taken into consideration?
Was the data analysis sufficiently rigorous?
Is there a clear statement of findings?
How valuable is the research?

Part 3 – Dissertation Self Assessment


Social Work Practice and Social Research Dissertation
Social Work Practice and Social Research Dissertation

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