Social work research often focuses on qualitative designs and many students believe that the quantitative research pathway is either too complicated or is beyond their grasp. This book outlines how social work students can undertake a research project from either a qualitative, quantitative or mixed methodological approach. The authors introduce key concepts in an accessible and structured manner and go on to demonstrate each of the approaches from inception of research idea, to realisation of methodological approach, to research process, to data analysis and conclusion.
More than just another research text, this book remains grounded in social work practice and has clear links to the Professional Capabilities Framework for Social Work.
Anne Campbell is Lecturer in Social Work at Queens University, Belfast. She is responsible for co-ordinating a Master's programme in Social Work studies and is also involved in teaching social work students at Undergraduate level. She has supervised and mentored a wide range of research students at Undergraduate, Masters and PHD levels over a number of years. She is also involved in developing knowledge-based and interactive e- learning tools for practice, research and social work education. She is currently active in research on drug and alcohol issues within regional and international contexts and online applications for social work practice. Anne is co-director of the drug and alcohol research network at Queens (DARN). Brian J. Taylor is Professor of Social Work at Ulster University in Northern Ireland, where he has the lead role for research in social work. He spent 10 years in practice and 15 years in professional training and organisation development in social work before moving to the university. He teaches research methods to Ph.D. students and to experienced social workers undertaking postgraduate, post-qualifying study. He was module coordinator for an innovative Introduction to Evidence Based Practice module on the B.Sc. qualifying social work programme. Brian leads the university social work research cluster on Decision, Assessment, Risk and Evidence Studies and is the primary organiser of a biennial international symposium on this topic. He was a founder Board Member of the European Social Work Research Association, and is an honorary Senior Fellow of the School for Social Care Research of the National Institute for Health Research, London. Anne McGlade has been Social Care Research Lead for the Social Care and Children's Directorate, Health and Social Care Board since October 2013. She is the lead on the development of the Research and Continuous Improvement Strategy (2015-2020) In Pursuit of Excellence in Evidence Informed Social Work Services in Northern Ireland. She has a long-standing career working in research and evaluation research in health and social care and other settings in England and Northern Ireland. She has a keen interest in the needs of older people, people with disabilities and people from black and minority ethnic groups. She has undertaken and published a range of research studies in these areas. Her interest in equality and human rights led to a career spanning a number of years as an adviser to a range of health and social care organisations. She is also a visiting lecturer and co-tutor on two post-qualifying programmes for social workers at Ulster University: the Application of Research Methods in Social Work and the Evidence Informed Professional and Organisation.
Introduction Reviewing the literature Selecting your research method Sampling techniques in quantitative and qualitative research Qualitative data gathering Qualitative data analysis Introduction to quantitative methods What does it all mean? Exploring quantitative data analysis Presenting results and findings Drawing out the discussion, conclusions and recommendations