Research for Social Workers has built a strong reputation as an accessible guide to the key research methods and approaches used in the discipline. Ideal for beginners, the book outlines the importance of social work research, its guiding principles and explains how to choose a topic area, develop research questions together with describing the key steps in the research process. The authors outline the principles of sampling, systematic reviews and surveys and interviews, provide guidance on evaluation and statistical analysis and explain how research can influence policy and practice. This new edition includes:
- an expanded discussion of rigour in qualitative research
- more detailed analysis of systematic reviews
- a new section on on-line surveys
- enhanced examination of action research including recent examples of action research programs
- an expanded section on evidence-based practice.
Featuring practical examples and end-of-chapter exercises and questions, and using non-technical language throughout, this is a vital reference tool for both students and practicing social workers.
Table of Contents
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 II: Research methods for social work
6. Systematic reviews
7. Surveys and interviews
8. Assessing community needs and strengths
Part III: Evaluation
9. How do I evaluate my program?
10. Action research
11. Evidence-based practice and best practice evaluation
12. Research in post-disaster recovery and other crisis situations
13. Other methods
Part IV: 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 V: Bringing it all together
18. Influencing policy and practice
19. Developing a research proposal
Margaret Alston OAM is Professor of Social Work at Monash University. She is Director of the Gender, Leadership and Social Sustainability (GLASS) research unit at Monash and has published widely in the areas of gender, social work, rural social issues and climate change.
Wendy Bowles is Professor in Social Work and Human Services at Charles Sturt University. She is also co-author of Ethical Practice in Social Work: An applied approach and writes in the areas of rural social work practice and education, social work ethics and disability issues.