Social workers are being asked to contribute to a major survey looking at what research is needed to improve adult social work in England.
The survey asks those who have been in contact with social workers in England, social workers themselves, and other professionals who work alongside social workers, to talk about their experiences and what they think should be priorities for future social work research.
It is part of the Adult Social Work Priority Setting Partnership started by the chief social worker for adults, Lyn Romeo. This followed a 2016 report, Social work research with adults in England: The state we’re in, by the Social Care Workforce Research Unit at King’s College London, which recommended that the adult social work sector in England “identifies its research priorities and does this in an inclusive and rigorous way”.
There are two versions of the survey: one for people who have had contact with adult social work services, and one for social workers and other practitioners.
Romeo said: “We want to understand more about what works best when social workers work with adults and their families. Research evidence can help with this but first we need to know what is important to people and therefore what to research. That is why this survey is vital.
“It will help us to make sure that future research answers the questions that are important to social workers themselves and anyone who has been in contact with them. We want future research to make a real difference to improve the quality of care and support that people receive.”
Pete Feldon, a British Association of Social Workers representative on the Priority Setting Partnership steering group, said: “There is a lot of research into social care, but relatively little into adult social work. This project is an opportunity for social workers use their expertise to ensure that future research focuses on what will be really useful in their day-to-day work.”
The survey is open until January 2018 and the results of the Priority Setting Partnership will be released later in 2018.