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 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 studied, with other researchers, and with 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.
Convenors: Martine Ganzevles, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht (Netherlands) and Catrine Torbjørnsen Halås, Faculty of Education and Arts, Nord University (Norway)
Practice Research in Action – Methodologies and Challenges