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  • BJSW_Methodology_paper_revised_and_resubmitted_30.5.19

    Rights statement: This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in British Journal of Social Work following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Harry Ferguson, Jadwiga Leigh, Tarsem Singh Cooner, Liz Beddoe, Tom Disney, Lisa Warwick, Gillian Plumridge, From Snapshots of Practice to a Movie: Researching Long-Term Social Work and Child Protection by Getting as Close as Possible to Practice and Organisational Life, The British Journal of Social Work 50, (6) is available online at: https://academic.oup.com/bjsw/article/50/6/1706/5613082

    Accepted author manuscript, 350 KB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 5/11/21

    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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From snapshots of practice to a movie: Researching long-term social work and child protection by getting as close as possible to practice and organisational life

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
  • Harry Ferguson
  • Jadwiga Leigh
  • Beddoe Liz
  • Tarsem Singh Cooner
  • Lisa Warwick
  • Tom Disney
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/09/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>British Journal of Social Work
Issue number6
Volume50
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)1706–1723
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date5/11/19
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Research into social work and child protection has begun to observe practice to find out what social workers actually do, however no such ethnographic research has been done into long-term practice. This paper outlines and analyses the methods used in a study of long-term social work and child protection practice. Researchers spent 15 months embedded in two social work departments observing organisational practices, culture, and staff supervision. We also regularly observed social worker’s encounters with children and families in a sample of 30 cases for up to a year, doing up to 21 observations of practice in the same cases. Family members were also interviewed up to three times during that time. The paper argues that a methodology that gets as close as possible to practitioners and managers as they are doing the work and that takes a longitudinal approach can provide deep insights into what social work practice is, how helpful relationships with service users are established and sustained over time, or not, and the influence of organizations. The challenges and ethical dilemmas involved in doing long term research that gets so close to social work teams, casework and service users for at least a year are considered.

Bibliographic note

This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in British Journal of Social Work following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Harry Ferguson, Jadwiga Leigh, Tarsem Singh Cooner, Liz Beddoe, Tom Disney, Lisa Warwick, Gillian Plumridge, From Snapshots of Practice to a Movie: Researching Long-Term Social Work and Child Protection by Getting as Close as Possible to Practice and Organisational Life, The British Journal of Social Work 50, (6) is available online at: https://academic.oup.com/bjsw/article/50/6/1706/5613082