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Launch of The Routledge Handbook of Social Work Practice Research

Posted on 27 May 2020

The Department of Social Policy and Social Work plays leading role in a new international social work handbook.

Book cover: The Routledge Handbook of Social Work Practice Research

Today sees the international launch of the Routledge Handbook of Social Work Practice Research and social workers in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work have played a leading role putting it together. 

This is the first international handbook to focus on practice research for social work and features leading scholars in the field from Europe, the USA and the Asia Pacific region. 

Professor Martin Webber co-edited the Handbook with Professor Lynette Joubert, University of Melbourne. He wrote chapters on methodological pluralism in practice research and a curriculum for teaching practice research. He also co-authored the first and final chapters with co-editor Professor Lynette Joubert. 

"It has been a huge honour to work on this Handbook with Lynette", he said. "We are really pleased to have brought together so many contributors from around the world highlighting the diverse nature of practice research. We hope that this Handbook inspires students and practitioners to use robust research methods in seeking answers to their practice-based questions."

The Handbook includes 39 chapter with contributions from 94 scholars, practitioners and service users from across the world. It provides the state of the art; discusses methodologies and pedagogies used in research practice; features 11 practice research studies and looks forward to some possible futures in the field. 

Staff and graduates of the Department of Social Policy and Social Work contributed to 10 chapters. These include:

Dr Nicola Moran, Dr Kayonda Ngamaba, and Professor Martin Webber co-authored a chapter on co-production in the Connecting People Implementation Study with members of the Social Work Service User and Carer Participation and Advisory Group and others. 

International Centre for Mental Health Social Research collaborators Dr Saju Madavan, Rajagiri College of Social Sciences, Professor Lynette Joubert, University of Melbourne, and Dr Meredith Fendt-Newlin, World Health Organization, co-authored a chapter with Professor Martin Webber on the capacity-building project they are undertaking in India. They have been developing and training a research team to conduct practice research on the potential for social workers to support people with chronic disease and mental health problems in India. 

Emeritus Professor Ian Shaw wrote a chapter exploring some developments in practice research. He raised the question of whether the field would benefit from the establishment of some wider infrastructure to support its development. 

Three PhD graduates from the Department also contributed chapters to the Handbook on their research:

  • Dr Meredith Fendt-Newlin (now at the World Health Organization) drew on her PhD research in Sierra Leone to explore issues of knowledge translation in practice research. 
  • Dr Johnny Lovell (now College Manager at Constantine College) wrote about his PhD research on sharing lived experience in mental health services. 
  • Dr Tracee Green (now a lecturer at the University of Kent) reported the findings of her PhD research on forensic parenting assessments. 

Professor Martin Webber is writing a series of posts on his blog over the next couple of weeks to discuss some of the chapters he co-authored, including some interviews with authors. 

The Routledge Handbook of Social Work Practice Research is out now published by Routledge.