Social Work, Research and Evidence-Based Practice

How Research Informs Evidence-Based Social Work

Social workers have a pivotal role in shaping community health status and the dynamism of social norms. Research is a crucial component of practice as it borders on capacity building, cultural dynamics, and self-actualization through sustained development. A well-researched social worker will derive meaningful knowledge and impact on their practice by having a clear understanding of values and intervention mechanisms. In essence, both practice and research inform one another for effective functionality. A social worker will use evidence and experience to collect data on the patient’s needs and design intervention programs through questions (Gossett, & Weinman, 2007). Likewise, understanding the theoretical contexts will enable them to collect and evaluate the data based on evidence. Thus, using practical skills is vital alongside understanding past encounters to deduce conclusive findings both in hospitals and home-based care cultures.

Response to Colleague

Dear Angelica Hermes-Hawkins,

Although practicality and time are crucial in determining whether the research finding will be useful or not, overriding concepts also play a pivotal role. For instance, many of the demands put on this profession during academic procedures may differ from what they encounter in the field (Teater, 2017). According to Teater (2017), the lack of a clear definition of what research during practice entails derails the scientific approach among many of the staff. Thus, there is a need to establish policies and codes of conduct that mandate these public servants to execute their roles based on evidence and practicality to issues in societies (Harding et al., 2014). Motivation is also a major determinant in conducting continued evaluation at work. Nonetheless, some of the motivational factors are policy-based that may not account for personal reasons. In my view, some servants endure labor-intensive sessions and become exhausted with low pay, and may not get time or endure the marginal cost of studies.


Gossett, M., & Weinman, M. L. (2007). Evidence-based practice and social work: An illustration of the steps involved. Health & social work, 32(2), 147.

Harding, K. E., Porter, J., Horne‐Thompson, A., Donley, E., & Taylor, N. F. (2014). Not enough time or a low priority? Barriers to evidence‐based practice for allied health clinicians. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 34(4), 224-231.

Teater, B. (2017). Social work research and its relevance to practice: “The gap between research and practice continues to be wide.” Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 547-565.