Theorising Social Work Research

Aims and Objectives

The aims and objectives of the seminars were:

  1. To raise the research profile of the discipline of social work by undertaking a detailed theoretical exploration of the paradigms, processes and parameters of its current research activity when separated out from closely related disciplines and fields of enquiry (whilst also recognising the benefits of interdisciplinarity)
  2. To consider to what extent and in what ways the discipline is making and could potentially make a distinctive contribution to the scope and quality of social scientific research in the UK, and to the relevance and impact of national and international social science research agendas
  3. To consider the basis, both in originality and in 'critical mass', for a case to be put to the ESRC that social work be recognised in its own right and accorded its own Discipline Code for the full range of funded activities.
  4. To draft a potential set of Postgraduate Training Guidelines for the discipline of social work.
  5. To draft a potential code of ethics for research in the discipline of social work.
  6. To produce seminar pages in The British Journal of Social Work as a resource for the discipline. For example see Vol 30, No 4 and Ian Butler A Code of Ethics for Social Work and Social Care Research Br J Soc Work 2002 32: 239-248.
  7. To undertake all the above in conjunction with relevant users and beneficiaries of research from across the statutory and voluntary sectors, including Government departments, major charities, others who make and influence policy, and the users of social work services. A separate report of the seminar series, with an Executive Summary, was produced for this broader audience.