Research for Social Workers

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More About This Title Research for Social Workers


A fully revised edition of this successful introduction to social research methods written for social workers As social work practice has become increasingly sophisticated, the role of research in social work has become more critical. Today research is relevant to just about every area of social work practice, from determining needs in the initial stages of an intervention, to planning a course of action, and finally evaluating practice. Springing from the research traditions of sociology and psychology, social work is now developing its own research orientation and knowledge base. Research for Social Workers is an accessible introduction to research methods specifically needed in social work and social welfare. It outlines the major stages of research projects step by step, covering both quantitative and qualitative methods. It offers explanations of how to combine these two traditions in practice, as well as guidelines to analyzing results and reporting. It also includes chapters on needs assessment and evaluation, skills essential for human service workers. Research for Social Workers is written for researchers without a strong math background. Illustrated with examples, and accompanied by exercises and questions, it is an ideal introduction for newcomers to research, and a reference for more experienced social work researchers who would like to improve their skills. This second edition is fully revised and updated. It includes an extra chapter on researching your own practice and the chapter on statistics has been expanded.


Margaret Alston is associate professor and Wendy Bowles is senior lecturer in social work at Charles Sturt University, Riverina. Margaret is director of the Centre for Rural Social Research and author of Women on the Land and Breaking Through the Grass Ceiling, and editor of Social Work Fields of Practice.