• DOI: 10.4135/9781446294963
  • Corpus ID: 153066212

Social Work Research in Practice: Ethical and Political Contexts

  • Heather D’Cruz , Martyn Jones
  • Published 10 October 2013
  • Political Science, Sociology

17 Citations

Participatory research ideals and practice experience: reflections and analysis, reflections on the use of community based participatory research to affect social and political change: examples from research with refugees and older people in ireland, evaluation of practice frameworks for social work with children and families: exploring the challenges, social work research and the city, strengthening ethics: a faith perspective on educational research, a multi-perspective report on the status of the knowledge of and response to commercial sexual exploitation of children with a specific focus on child prostitution and child sex tourism : a social work perspective, cross-cultural divorce mediation by social workers : experiences of mediators and clients., frustrations or moving forward ukrainian social work within the ‘hybrid war’ context, improving child protection services: australian parents’ and grandparents’ perspectives on what needs to change, ‘i think it’s made me a different social worker now’: postgraduate social work students’ experiences of undertaking independent research and applying the learning in their first year of practice, related papers.

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Social Work Research in Practice

Social Work Research in Practice Ethical and Political Contexts

  • Heather D'Cruz
  • Martyn Jones - RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Description

The second edition investigates contemporary approaches which impact on the discourses of social work research, including:

- Evidence-based practice

- User-led research

- Anti-oppressive practice

- Practice-based research

Each chapter has been fully updated with a rich range of case examples and references. Further reading is also included, so that readers can expand their knowledge.

This book is a valuable resource for both undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as practitioners working in the field of social work. Heather D'Cruz works as a Consultant: Research and Professional Education. Martyn Jones is Associate Dean at RMIT University.

'This is a lucid and an insightful book that the novice and the more established student will find equally thought provoking and engaging. It prepares research-minded social work students and practitioners to stay true to their professional values by becoming critically reflective researchers, able to question and produce knowledge which can help empower the people they serve'

Surinder Guru, Lecturer, University of Birmingham

I am in a 'funny' position to be a social psychologist teaching Bachelor & Master students in the Department of Social Work, Social Management and Social Policy. Therefore it is a very helpful literature for me and my students to look at research under the perspective of Social Work requirements.

This is a very fine book. One of the most valuable books on social work research methods to have appeared in recent memory. It is the most valuable addition to the burgeoning literature in the field of social work research. A fine book to read by any serious social work student and practitioner.

Clear and insightful with strong evidence base

This book has allowed me to explore some of the complexities of research in social work practice. It is clearly written and easy to read, even for an amateur researcher. The lay out is accessible but it takes you through complex notions whilst making them easy to understand.

Very accessible, covers all the key concepts in an easy to understand way, and does a great job discussing the politics of research.

The text is essential for social workers engaging in research, especially for the first time. the case studies are appropriate for the readership, and online material supports the work.

A well written book for anyone embarking on Social Work Research in Practice. A must read for Practitioners and students.

very useful

A valuable resource for social work students. It addresses key themes within the research and dissertation modules.

Combines research methodology with areas that impact on research such as Anti discriminatory practice and evidence-based practice.

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Chapter One: Research, Social Work and Professional Practice

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social work research ethical and political contexts

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Social Work Research: Ethical and Political Contexts Paperback – 18 May 2004

There is a newer edition of this item:.

Social Work Research in Practice: Ethical and Political Contexts

The role of research in social work has become increasingly critical and relevant to training and practice. Social Work Research has been designed to address this and to demonstrate the importance of research for improving social work practice.

Written in an engaging and accessible style, the book explains the links between practice, knowledge and research. It succeeds in bridging the gap between theory and reality by discussing a range of research paradigms and placing them in the context of professional social work. It also goes beyond other textbooks to discuss the political and ethical contexts that are intrinsic to social work practice.

Other key features of the book include:

· Fulfills QAA benchmarks in social work training - social work research is a required topic on undergraduate degrees.

· Addresses topical issues such as the need for evidence-based practice and an awareness of ethics.

· International in scope - draws upon international literature

· Grounded in ′real-life′ research through case studies

· User-friendly and student-focused, it includes student exercises and further reading sections.

Social Work Research will prove an invaluable resource for students, researchers and trainees undertaking research in social work.

  • ISBN-10 0761949712
  • ISBN-13 978-0761949718
  • Edition First Edition
  • Publisher SAGE Publications Ltd
  • Publication date 18 May 2004
  • Language English
  • Dimensions 16.51 x 1.27 x 23.5 cm
  • Print length 202 pages
  • See all details

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Martyn Jones

Social Work Research in Practice: Ethical and Political Contexts Second Edition

The second edition investigates contemporary approaches which impact on the discourses of social work research, including:

- Evidence-based practice

- User-led research

- Anti-oppressive practice

- Practice-based research

Each chapter has been fully updated with a rich range of case examples and references. Further reading is also included, so that readers can expand their knowledge.

This book is a valuable resource for both undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as practitioners working in the field of social work. Heather D′Cruz works as a Consultant: Research and Professional Education. Martyn Jones is Associate Dean at RMIT University.

  • ISBN-10 1446200795
  • ISBN-13 978-1446200797
  • Edition Second
  • Publisher SAGE Publications Ltd
  • Publication date November 4, 2013
  • Language English
  • Dimensions 6.69 x 0.51 x 9.53 inches
  • Print length 224 pages
  • See all details

Editorial Reviews

Surinder Guru, Lecturer, University of Birmingham

About the Author

Martyn Jones is Associate Dean at RMIT University

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ SAGE Publications Ltd; Second edition (November 4, 2013)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1446200795
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1446200797
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 13.4 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.69 x 0.51 x 9.53 inches

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Heather D'Cruz

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social work research ethical and political contexts

HSW221 - Social Work Research in Ethical and Political Contexts

Unit details.

Year:

2024 unit information

Trimester 1: Waterfront (Geelong), Warrnambool, Online, Community Based Delivery (CBD)*

Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 1: James Lucas

Nil

Nil
Incompatible with: Nil
Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150 hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Educator-facilitated (scheduled) learning activities - on-campus unit enrolment:

1 x 2 hour lecture per week supported by weekly online independent and collaborative learning activities.

Educator-facilitated (scheduled) learning activities - online unit enrolment:

Online independent and collaborative learning activities will support learning across the trimester.

: Online independent and collaborative learning activities including online practical experiences (workshops).

In-person attendance requirements:

: 1 x 2 hour lecture per week. Campus students are required to attend at least 9 out of the 11 lectures.

: there are compulsory intensives for all students at the National Indigenous Knowledges, Education, Research and Innovation (NIKERI) Institute, Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus. These intensives are arranged by year-level. Please contact the NIKERI Social Work Course Team for more information on 1800 063 383.

This unit aims to demystify social research by showing how it is a formal process of social inquiry which builds on the ways in which we daily inquire into social events and construct everyday knowledge about what we need to know. The approach taken is that there are different ways of knowing, which influence how we understand social problems and formulate research questions. Students will be introduced to the basics of research design for social work practice. This includes an overview of a range of research methods and approaches. The unit also shows how ‘research’ is an important part of the relationship between ‘theory’ and ‘practice’, in all its forms: as direct service, policy and program development and evaluation. The unit provides a basis for HSW322.

ULO These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this unit. At the completion of this unit, successful students can:
ULO1

Differentiate between anecdotes, blogs, personal opinions and scholarly research in undertaking search strategies on a research topic of one's choice online and via the library website.

GLO3: Digital literacy
GLO4: Critical thinking

ULO2

Discuss the social, political and ethical contexts in which social work research occurs.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO2: Communication

ULO3 Critically analyse and evaluate the different approaches to research methodology and research design in terms of their application to social work research.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO4: Critical thinking
GLO6: Self-management

ULO4 Critically evaluate social work research in terms of coherence of research methodology and design.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO4: Critical thinking
GLO6: Self-management

ULO5

Critically evaluate the research literature on a topic relevant to social work practice and develop a research question which references a particular research methodology

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO4: Critical thinking
GLO5: Problem solving
GLO6: Self-management

Assessment description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week
Assessment 1: Critical reflection on key issues in social work research practice 1000 words 30%
Assessment 2: Literature review planning exercise 1000 words  30%
Assessment 3: Literature review presentation with infographic 2000 words 40%

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via the link below: HSW221 Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

Fees and charges vary depending on the type of fee place you hold, your course, your commencement year, the units you choose to study and their study discipline, and your study load.

Tuition fees increase at the beginning of each calendar year and all fees quoted are in Australian dollars ($AUD). Tuition fees do not include textbooks, computer equipment or software, other equipment or costs such as mandatory checks, travel and stationery.

Use the Fee estimator to see course and unit fees applicable to your course and type of place.

For further information regarding tuition fees, other fees and charges, invoice due dates, withdrawal dates, payment methods visit our Current Students website .

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Why Are Ethics Important in Social Work?

How would you address these ethical dilemmas?

  • Should a case manager accept a Facebook friend request from their client?
  • A school counselor has been helping a student overcome their social anxiety, and the student’s parents want to know how it’s going. Should the social worker give them details?
  • As they get to know their clients, should therapists conduct Google searches for information?

Social workers find themselves in situations like these each day, and the right answers aren’t always clear. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) states that these professionals should embrace basic values, ethical principles, and ethical standards as they carry out their responsibilities. 1 But who determines what ethical means when an issue has no precedent?

Whenever they have a question or concern, those in the field turn to the NASW Code of Ethics, which provides information to guide their conduct. 1 It takes an intricate understanding of the Code of Ethics to implement it successfully, and most professionals gain this expertise in advanced degree programs such as an online MSW .

Ethics Inform Social Work Practice

The issues listed above are only three of the countless scenarios that social workers face, and each person might handle them differently. While one person might ignore the friend request, for example, another might accept the request but limit the client’s access. Most social workers know that it’s imperative to maintain personal boundaries with clients, but what about the specifics of social media? Should the boundary be drawn at a friend request, at a profile view, at access to posts, or at a personal message? Furthermore, do professionals know how much of their information is publicly accessible? Without evaluating privacy settings, social workers could unknowingly share their location in posts and display their phone numbers on their profiles.

Social media is just one example of an evolving concern – the pitfalls multiply as fast as advancements in technology. Even if there were a field-wide rule book, it would be impossible to keep up with the multitude of potential ethical dilemmas. According to the International Social Work journal, professionals should handle these grey areas with contextual awareness and critical self-reflection so they can provide ethical, contemporary services. 2 To help, social workers can learn from experience and explore contextual nuances in advanced degree programs. Then, they can make the most ethical decisions moving forward.

Examples of Ethical Dilemmas in Social Work

Everyone in the field will come to an ethical crossroads eventually, and some of the most common examples span the following categories.

Accessibility

Not all clients have reliable access to an internet-enabled device, which means that online services won’t always be an option; sometimes clients will also live too far away for in-person meetings and programming. Social workers should strive to provide equitable access to their services and to community resources.

Confidentiality

Office staff members can’t assume that everyone who calls has good intentions. For instance, someone could call the office pretending to be a housing administrator while seeking a client’s address. Social services professionals should retain clients’ privacy by taking all measures to secure sensitive information online, in physical records, and otherwise.

Individuality

Suppose that a client seeks help for a substance misuse problem, and is told, “You need help.” This phrase could be fully applicable but makes room for self-judgment if the client is unable to do what they “need to do.” A better option might be, “I’ve made a list of all the support groups in your area in case you’d like to attend.” Social workers should respect their clients by communicating with empathy and compassion.

Imagine that a family has come to a community center to ask about Hindu worship centers. The resource specialist feels uncomfortable looking into it because they believe in Christianity, so the family now feels self-conscious. Social workers should address how their religious beliefs, biases, cultural norms, and personal experiences affect their livelihood; critical self-reflection is a great way to make sure that these differences don’t compromise the high standards of the field.

Making Ethical Decisions in Social Work

With several layers of context to each scenario, it becomes impossible for social workers to predict or plan for all possibilities. A published code of ethics can help guide these professionals as they carry out their duties, which is the norm for several other fields as well:

  • Education: The National Education Association (NAE) provides the Code of Ethics for Educators 3
  • Medicine: The American Medical Association (AMA) maintains the Code of Medical Ethics 4
  • Nursing: The American Nurses Association (ANA) publishes the Code of Ethics for Nurses 5

The benchmark for social work is the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics, which applies to all professionals and students, no matter where they work or the populations they serve. 1 The Code is made up of four sections: the Preamble, the Purpose of the NASW Code of Ethics, Ethical Principles, and Ethical Standards. Plus, the NASW publishes updates to the Code every few years.

Social Work Code of Ethics: Core Values and Principles

The Code consists of six core values, each with an overarching principle. 1

  • Service – Principle: Social workers’ primary goal is to help people in need and to address social problems.
  • Social Justice – Principle: Social workers challenge social injustice.
  • Dignity and Worth of the Person – Principle: Social workers respect the inherent dignity and worth of the person.
  • Importance of Human Relationships – Principle: Social workers recognize the central importance of human relationships.
  • Integrity – Principle: Social workers behave in a trustworthy manner.
  • Competence – Principle: Social workers practice within their areas of competence and develop and enhance their professional expertise.

How to Become an Ethical Social Worker

The NASW’s Code of Ethics is a living document that responds to social change to meet the needs of the profession. The latest update, in 2021, includes language that addresses the importance of professional self-care. 1 Given these regular updates, social work students and seasoned professionals should continually review the Code and apply it in their day-to-day practices.

Learn how to decipher the Code in an online MSW program such as Utica University’s, which explores values and principles in the Code and shows how they impact real-world situations. Plus, Utica’s online MSW is the only clinical social work program in the nation that centers on recovery theories, values, and skills. You can learn how to support clients using ethical, proven trauma-informed interventions.

Complete the traditional online MSW in two years or choose the 12- to 16-month online MSW: Advanced Standing option if you already have a BSW. Discover all the benefits of Utica University’s social work program with a quick visit to the MSW page or submit your information to talk with a member of our team.

  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW). Code of Ethics. Retrieved March 6, 2024, from https://www.socialworkers.org/About/Ethics/Code-of-Ethics/Code-of-Ethics-English
  • International Social Work. Disrupting Social Work Ethics. April 25, 2023. Retrieved March 6, 2024, from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/00208728231170078
  • National Education Association (NEA). Code of Ethics for Educators. Retrieved March 6, 2024, from https://www.nea.org/resource-library/code-ethics-educators
  • American Medical Association (AMA). Code of Medical Ethics. Retrieved March 6, 2024, from https://code-medical-ethics.ama-assn.org/
  • American Nurses Association (ANA). Ethics and Human Rights. Retrieved March 6, 2024, from https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/nursing-excellence/ethics/code-of-ethics-for-nurses/

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COMMENTS

  1. Social Work Research in Practice: Ethical and Political Contexts

    Chapters. Chapter 1: Research, Social Work and Professional Practice. Chapter 2: The Research Question. Chapter 3: Different Ways of Knowing and their Relevance for Research. Chapter 4: Methodology. Chapter 5: Designing Research. Chapter 6: Generating Data. Chapter 7: Making Sense of Data: Analysis. Chapter 8: Reporting and Disseminating Research.

  2. Social Work Research : Ethical and Political Contexts

    Books. Social Work Research: Ethical and Political Contexts. Written in an engaging and accessible style, this book bridges the gap between theory and reality by discussing a range of research paradigms and placing them in the context of professional social work. It also discusses the political and ethical contexts that are intrinsic to social ...

  3. Social Work Research : Ethical and Political Contexts

    It succeeds in bridging the gap between theory and reality by discussing a range of research paradigms and placing them in the context of professional social work. It also goes beyond other textbooks to discuss the political and ethical contexts that are intrinsic to social work practice. Other key features of the book include: · Fulfills QAA ...

  4. Social work research : ethical and political contexts

    Download Citation | Social work research : ethical and political contexts | Written in an engaging and accessible style, this book bridges the gap between theory and reality by discussing a range ...

  5. Social Work Research in Practice: Ethical and Political Contexts

    This new edition of Social Work Research in Practice: Ethical and Political Contexts explores the intrinsic connection between knowledge, research and practice in social work. The authors argue that through a better appreciation of research, the highest standards of social work can be achieved. The second edition investigates contemporary approaches which impact on the discourses of social ...

  6. PDF ONE Research, social work and professional practice

    The title - Social Work Research: Ethical and Political Contexts - encapsulates what we see as impor-tant aspects of social work research, ones that are fundamental to achieving ... Finally, social work research can meet political objectives, of addressing broader social, organizational and cultural differences manifested as inequali- ...

  7. PDF 00-D'cruz and Jones-Prelims.indd 3 03/06/2013 2:32:23 PM

    ISBN 978-1-4462-0079-7 (pbk) 1. arch, Social Work and Professional PracticeIntroductionFor the new edition of this book, we have slightly changed the book's title to Social W. rk Research in Practice: Ethical and Political Contexts. We believe that by adding 'in practice' to the title, we more clearly reflect our view that social work ...

  8. Social Work Research: Ethical and Political Contexts

    The role of research in social work has become increasingly critical and relevant to training and practice. Social Work Research has been designed to address this and to demonstrate the importance of research for improving social work practice. Written in an engaging and accessible style, this book bridges the gap between theory and reality by discussing a range of research paradigms and ...

  9. Social Work Research in Practice: Ethical and Political Contexts

    Published 10 October 2013. Political Science, Sociology. Research, Social Work and Professional Practice The Research Question Different Ways of Knowing and their Relevance for Research Methodology Designing Research Generating Data Making Sense of Data: Analysis Reporting and Disseminating Research. View via Publisher.

  10. Social Work Research in Practice

    This new edition of Social Work Research in Practice: Ethical and Political Contexts explores the intrinsic connection between knowledge, research and practice in social work. The authors argue that through a better appreciation of research, the highest standards of social work can be achieved. The second edition investigates contemporary approaches which impact on the discourses of social ...

  11. Social Work Research: Ethical and Political Contexts: D′Cruz, Heather

    Social Work Research: Ethical and Political Contexts [D′Cruz, Heather, Jones, Martyn] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Social Work Research: Ethical and Political Contexts

  12. Full article: Ethical considerations in social work research

    Clearly, ethical considerations inhabit each phase of the research process. Initial ethical issues are related to the auspices, funding and directions of research, in which conflicts of interest and influence may arise between funders or sponsors and the principal investigator (McLaughlin, 2011, p. 59).

  13. Social Work Research: Ethical and Political Contexts

    Buy Social Work Research: Ethical and Political Contexts by Heather D'Cruz, Martyn Jones (ISBN: 9780761949718) from Amazon's Book Store. Free UK delivery on eligible orders. Social Work Research: Ethical and Political Contexts: Amazon.co.uk: Heather D'Cruz, Martyn Jones: 9780761949718: Books

  14. Ethical Conflicts in Social Work Practice: Challenges and Opportunities

    Most of the moral distress in current literature stems from the health professions research whereas social work scholarship lags behind. This issue seeks to bridge this gap by exploring in a critical way the moral conditions and ethical praxis of social workers in different national, institutional, cultural and political contexts.

  15. Social Work Research in Practice: Ethical and Political Contexts (2nd

    Australian Social Work Volume 68, 2015 - Issue 3: Applied Research Methods in Social Work. Submit an article Journal homepage. 357 Views 0 ... BOOK REVIEWS. Social Work Research in Practice: Ethical and Political Contexts (2nd ed.) Barbara Fawcett University of Birmingham. Pages 400-402 | Published online: 16 Jul 2015. Cite this article

  16. Social Work and Social Policy Practice: Imperatives for Political

    I have conceptualised a three Ps model consisting of 'personal being', 'people' and 'paper' to promote effective policy practice by social workers. In other words, social workers need to work with these three Ps to effectively engage in policy practice. These three Ps are delineated as follows (see Figure1).

  17. Book Review: Social Work Research: Ethical and Political Contexts

    Book Review: Social Work Research: Ethical and Political Contexts. Sally Holland. Qualitative Research 2005 5: 4, 547-549 ... Book Review: Social Work Research: Ethical and Political Contexts Show all authors. Sally Holland. Sally Holland. Cardiff University, UK, [email protected]

  18. Social Work Research in Practice: Ethical and Political Contexts

    This new edition of Social Work Research in Practice: Ethical and Political Contexts explores the intrinsic connection between knowledge, research and practice in social work. The authors argue that through a better appreciation of research, the highest standards of social work can be achieved. The second edition investigates contemporary approaches which impact on the discourses of social ...

  19. Book Review: Social Work Research: Ethical and Political Contexts

    Share access to this article. Sharing links are not relevant where the article is open access and not available if you do not have a subscription.

  20. Social Work Research in Practice: Ethical and Political Contexts

    This new edition of Social Work Research in Practice: Ethical and Political Contexts explores the intrinsic connection between knowledge, research and practice in social work. The authors argue that through a better appreciation of research, the highest standards of social work can be achieved. The second edition investigates contemporary approaches which impact on the discourses of social ...

  21. Social Work Research : Ethical and Political Contexts

    It also goes beyond other textbooks to discuss the political and ethical contexts that are intrinsic to social work practice. Other key features of the book include: · Fulfills QAA benchmarks in social work training - social work research is a required topic on undergraduate degrees.

  22. HSW221

    Discuss the social, political and ethical contexts in which social work research occurs. GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities. GLO2: Communication. ULO3. Critically analyse and evaluate the different approaches to research methodology and research design in terms of their application to social work research.

  23. Importance of Ethics in Social Work

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