Doing Social Work Research

Have a Promotion Code?

Please enter it here:

Great deals and more!

Sign up for special offers, exclusive discounts, and new product announcements from McGraw-Hill Professional.



September 1, 2009


Hardback, 200 pages

Other Formats


0335235638 / 9780335235636


Your Price



Main description

"The book provides a well written guide that adeptly captures the sensitivities and complex implications of both research process and dissemination within the ever changing and highly regulated world of social work."
Victoria Foster,Research Associate, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, University of Manchester, UK, in British Journal of Social Work June 2010

"This book offers many practical examples of research projects taken from the author's own experience as a researcher. These examples illustrate the usually complex concepts of research methodology by showing how they are practised in the real world of social work, so the title is apt. Especially useful are the common features of social work research discussed at length in the final chapter, as a way of finding common ground in the disputed terrain of social work as a profession, and in social work research in particular."
Heather D'Cruz, School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University, Australia

"As a third year social work student I found this book a good consolidation of what I have been learning this semester in my research and evaluation module. It has helped me with my end of module assignment, to demonstrate my understanding of social work research through a detailed literature search ... I found the practical examples of actual pieces of research particularly useful in getting an idea of how particular methods are used. I have found this book very useful as it has helped clarify the meaning of the research terminology and given me a good understanding of the overall process."
Sally Biskin, Social Work Student, Bangor University, UK

This accessible book is based on the author's extensive practical experience of carrying out and teaching research in the social work field. Social work research is shown to be both a distinctive academic enterprise and a task that can be accomplished effectively in line with the values and ethical principles that lie at the discipline's core.

Doing Social Work Research helps intending researchers to relate 'methodology' to 'method', so that they can make authoritative decisions about how to turn initial research questions into valid and feasible investigative strategies. In doing so, it introduces and evaluates a wide range of approaches across the spectrum of social work research.

Building on this, the book provides detailed guidance on how to organize the research task, paying close attention to the practicalities of planning, preparation, implementation and management of investigations.

Doing Social Work Research features:

  • A comprehensive overview of social work research methods
  • Detailed guidance on ‘how to’ carry out research in social work
  • Illustrative examples of research practice from personal experience
  • Effective links between core social work values, purposes, methodologies and research practices
This book is a valuable resource for social work students and practitioners carrying out research projects as well as practicing researchers and research educators in the discipline.

Table of contents


Chapter 1 Drivers, demands and constraints in social work research

Chapter 2 'What works': evidence for practice?

Chapter 3 Critical perspectives: the view from outside

Chapter 4 Leading the Way? Social Work Research and Service Users

Chapter 5 From methodology to method: quantity and evidence

Chapter 6 Critical and interpretive approaches: what's going on here?

Chapter 7 Committed Research: models and methods

Chapter 8 Making it Happen

Chapter 9 Putting It All Together

Chapter 10 The Value of Social Work Research


Author comments

Roger Smith teaches and researches in social work at De Montfort University, UK. He worked in residential care before qualifying as a social worker in 1980. He then joined the Probation Service, working mainly with young offenders and subsequently held a policy development role with a national children’s organisation.

Copyright 2014 McGraw-Hill Global Education Holdings, LLC


Before you can enjoy free downloads from McGraw-Hill Professional, we ask that you please provide your email address and country.

Yes, I want to receive other special offer.