You are here

Doing Research in Social Work and Social Care

Doing Research in Social Work and Social Care
The Journey from Student to Practitioner Researcher

First Edition

January 2017 | 248 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

From understanding the concepts of research and gathering data, to writing it all up and sharing knowledge, this book will guide your students to become researchers by giving them:

  • a confident start with clarity on core concepts and getting it right ethically
  • step-by-step guidance at each point in the research process, showing them diversity in approaches, the impact of context and how to overcome problems
  • case studies of how real researchers embrace the challenges, surprises and successes of research
  • an emphasis on the person in context, so their research is reflective of the realities of social work and social care practice
  • a guide to writing it up and achieving impact and positive change with research.

Research in the professional practice context
Frameworks underpinning research
Researching ethically: 'What you do is important but how you do it is more important'
Arriving at a research question: Building on existing knowledge
Research design: Shaping your study
Selecting and accessing data sources: Ensuring rigour
Speaking and listening: Interviews, focus groups and community forums
Counting and measuring: Questionnaires, scales and secondary analyses
Looking and seeing: Visual methods
Making meaning from data: Qualitative analysis
Making meaning from data: Quantitative analysis
Writing and sharing your findings: Creating knowledge for practice

“An ideal resource for students and practitioners in social work and social care which provides detailed guidance on doing research in an easy-to-understand, engaging manner. Interesting examples of research from the field really bring the text to life.”

Jennifer Boddy, Griffith University, Australia

Jennifer Boddy
Griffith University

The text serves as an introductory ‘how-to-guide’ for doing research where the authors place a strong emphasis on producing rather than consuming research [...] the authors will entice all who read the book to take the plunge into the wonderful world of practice-based research

Laura Chubb
University of Auckland

"The book feels like it was structured as a ‘journey’ through research, which feels a lot more empowering than the didactic, dry research texts that are more common. The way the book supports practitioners and students to explore and navigate ethical questions and dilemmas was also really useful."

Emily Piggott, Graduate Student. 

Emily Piggott
Monash University

A very interesting text with application across the workforce.

Dr Steve Hothersall
Social Work, Edge Hill University
August 27, 2020

This is a very comprehensive book. Students find it easy to read and understand basic concepts of research methods. Additionally, to my knowledge, there are not many research methods book looking from a social work perspective, they are usually into health and social care research, which makes this book quite unique.

Mr Alfonso Pezzella
Dept of Mental Health, Social Work, Middlesex University
October 23, 2017

Sample Materials & Chapters

Research in the professional practice context

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase this book and request an instructor sample on our US College site:

Go To College Site

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.