Social Work Practice Research

The general aim of the group is to strengthen possibilities for knowledge-based social work practice throughout Europe, and to respond to the contemporary emphasis on evidence-based practice with collaborative, research-led and innovative means. The group provides a forum to bring together researchers, practitioners, lecturers, students and others who share interest in issues related to mode 2 type of knowledge production, to robust knowledge and/or implementation of research-based knowledge in social work practices. Practice research is a relatively new concept and practice in social work discipline and practice. In the European vocabulary it has formally existed since the Salisbury conference on Practice Research held in April 2008, when the related statement about social work practice research started to emerge. In this group practice research is not understood as a specific research method but rather an evolving meeting point between practice and research, and a matter of negotiation between its stakeholders when established. In their practices social work practice researchers prefer dialogue with those who are the subject of research, or put more strongly: prefer research with rather than about. And dialogue with other researchers, and decision-makers as well as with other central actors in the field.

In line with the goals of ESWRA, we offer an opportunity to promote cross-national practice-based research projects as well as scholarly debates and knowledge exchange among the various research interested stakeholders related to social work practice. In the broad field of social work our group is facilitating e.g., development of innovative practice-related research methods and methodologies, thoughtful research ethic, promotion of service users involvement in research at all stages in a research process, and cross-disciplinary approaches for cross-national practice and knowledge-based social work research. Our group considers itself as an open forum for the diverging approaches and different partners in social work and related research.



Catrine Torbjørnsen Halås, Faculty of Education and Arts, Nord University (Norway)

Martine Ganzevles, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht (Netherlands) 


Program for the SIG meeting in Vilnius during the ECSWR2024: 2024 Program SIG Social Work Practice Research 
Welcome and invited to make your contribution to this vibrant community. 

Presentations from the seminars in preparation for the ECSWR24
231108_Seminar Laura_Teaching practice research through partnerships
240221_Seminar Bas van Lanen_Practitioner Research_presentation
240221_Seminar Bas van Lanen_Framework quality criteria
240221_Seminar Bas van Lanen_Framework learning opportunities

Information SIG activities previous years:
Download minutes of: MEETING 12. APRIL ECSWR 2019 - LEUVEN
Final program ECSWR20 Practice Research in Action – Methodologies and Challenges
Final program ECSWR23 Co-creation within social work practice research – Coping the flux of practice