Social Work Research
Social Work at LJMU has an international reputation for its academic output. Members of staff come from diverse practice backgrounds and are fully engaged in research, professional development and academic supervision (from undergraduate to doctoral level). Several members have recently written books while others have published widely in their respective areas of expertise. Particular interests include:
- Participatory action research and qualitative methodologies
- User involvement in education and training
- Critical and anti-oppressive practice, assessment and advocacy
- Social work ethics and values
- Child protection, children’s rights and disabled children’s issues
- Fostering and adoption
- Youth culture and young people’s political participation
- Working with marginalised groups
- Chinese mental health issues
- Substance misuse
- Fair Access to Care Services, personalisation and citizenship
- Narrative medicine, user-driven healthcare and self-care
- Professional identities and corporate social responsibility
Why research is important to us
Research is an occupational requirement for social workers. According to the Modernising Social Services White Paper, for example, ‘it is important that professionally qualified social workers base their practice on the best evidence of what works’. The College of Social Work more recently echoed this suggesting that social workers need ‘to make use of research to inform practice’ (Professional Capabilities Framework 5.10). To use research effectively, the Health and Care Professions Council adds, we must first understand it so social workers must also ‘recognise the value of research and analysis and be able to evaluate such evidence to inform their own practice’ (Standards of Proficiency 14.6). It is not only necessary to understand and use the evidence generated by others but, most importantly of all, by undertaking research ourselves we can help improve the lives of service users locally and promote social justice. We believe that research changes things.
Change is most often imposed from the top down by outside authorities or other powerful ‘experts’ but as social workers we like to do things differently. By recognising the expertise of all, and researching collaboratively with a wide range of individuals and communities, we believe that change can also be driven from the ‘bottom up’. Social work research therefore provides unique opportunities for people (particularly marginalised groups) to speak up and speak out about things matter to them. By encouraging service users, students and staff alike to fully participate in the research process (from initial design to eventual dissemination) we can ensure that any new knowledge generated is both real and relevant to people’s lives.
Selection of recent outputs
Recent books produced by staff members have covered theoretical and practical matters facing social workers today including key issues of assessment (Elaine Aspinwall-Roberts), ethics (Derek Clifford and Beverley Burke) and critical practice (Martin Sheedy).
Aspinwall-Roberts E (2012) Pocket Book Guide to Assessment in Adult Social Care. Open University Press.
Aspinwall-Roberts E (2008) Agency social workers damage permanent staff's prospects. Community Care 29 Jul 2008.
Aspinwall-Roberts E (2009) Stepping into academic life from practice. In Focus, 3(Summer):2-3.
Bradford S & McNamara Y (2007) ‘The Child in the Community: Leisure and Recreation’. In D DeBell (ed) Public Health Practice and the School Aged Population. London: Hodder Arnold.
Burke B (2012) ‘Commentary on ethical case study from Iran’. In S Banks and K Nohr (eds) Practising social work ethics around the world: cases and commentaries. Abingdon: Routledge.
Burke B & Dalrymple J (2009) ‘Critical Intervention and Empowerment’. In R Adams, L Dominelli and M Payne (eds) Social Work: Themes, Issues and Critical Debates. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Burke B & Harrison P (2009) ‘Anti-Oppressive Approaches’. In R, Adams, L Dominelli and M Payne (eds) Critical Practice in Social Work. London: Macmillan.
Clifford D & Burke B (2007) Competence in Social Work Ethics in K O’Hagan (ed). Competence in Social Work Practice: A Practical Guide for Students and Professionals. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Clifford D & Burke B (2009) Anti-Oppressive Ethics and Values in Social Work. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Dalrymple J & Burke B (2006) Anti-Oppressive Practice Social Care and the Law, 2nd edition. Maidenhead: Open University Press
Evans J (2013) ‘Social Work Practice and Domestic Violence’. In M Davies (ed) The Blackwell Companion to Social Work 4th edition. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing (In Press).
Greenop D (2011) Mentoring: a qualitative evaluation of what works and what does not. Youth & Policy 107:34-54.
Greenop D & Thomas K (2011) From compliance to concordance and beyond: rhetoric, reality & qualitative research. Invited commentary for the inaugural issue of International Journal of User-Driven Healthcare, 1(1):1-13.
Greenop D, Glenn S, Walshaw M & Ledson M (2011) Self-care stories and Healthcare Narratives: developing a user-driven taxonomy for adults with cystic fibrosis. In R Biswas & C Martin (eds) User-Driven Healthcare and Narrative Medicine. Hershey PA: IGI Publishing.
Greenop D (2010) Rightly Dividing the Word: Research beyond the Limits of Ethical Approval. Ethics & Social Welfare 4(3):306-310.
Greenop D, Glenn S, Walshaw M, Ledson M (2010) Self-care and cystic fibrosis: a review of research with adults. Health & Social Care in the Community 18(6):653-661.
Kinney M (2013) Anti-Oppressive Practice. In M Davies (ed) The Blackwell Companion to Social Work 4th edition. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing (In Press).
Kinney M, Gore C, Barnard J (forthcoming) Some Ethical Practice Reflections on Psychiatric Inpatient Care. Ethics and Social Welfare. Kinney M & Aspinwall-Roberts E (2010) The use of self and role play in social work education. Journal of Mental Health Practice, Education and Training, 5(4):27-33.
Kinney M (2009) Being Assessed under the 1983 Mental Health Act—Can it Ever be Ethical? Ethics and Social Welfare, 3(3):329-336
Lawley L, McNamara Y & Towler J (2008) Supervision in the context of youth and community work training. Youth and Policy, 97/98:73-90.
Newman A (2010) Improving reach: promoting engagement by building bridges between refugee women and the voluntary sector. Diversity in Health and Care 7(2):139-147.
Sheedy M, Burke B & Newman A (2006) Capturing Commonalities and Differences in Research: Towards a Unitary Framework for Action. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 5(3):74.
Sheedy M (2013) Core Themes in Social Work: Power, Poverty, Politics and Values. Open University Press (In Press).
Springett RJ, Woods SE, Greenop D, Wainwright A & Elliot I (2009) Single Equality Scheme Learning Sites Evaluation. Report for the Department of Health.
Springett J, Barrett G, Elliott I, Greenop D, Lawless A, Newman A, Richards A (2010) Pacesetters Workforce Development Evaluation. Report for the Department of Health.
Yeung EYW, Irvine F, Ng SM & Tsang SKM (2012) Role of Social Networks in the Help-Seeking Experiences among Chinese Suffering from Severe Mental Illness in England: A Qualitative Study. British Journal of Social Work (Advance Access).
Yeung EYW & Ng SM (2011) Engaging service users and carers in health and social care education: challenges and opportunities in the Chinese Community. Social Work Education, 30(3):281-298.
Yeung EYW & Box J (2008) Ethical dilemmas are not simply black and white. Ethics and Social Welfare, 2(2)86 - 94.
Content owner: Daz Greenop