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What else counts as evidence in evidence-based social work?

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Elizabeth Humphries
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/02/2003
<mark>Journal</mark>Social Work Education
Issue number1
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)81-91
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


It has been argued in a number of publications in the social work field that the current preoccupation with evidence-based practice is problematic, in that it offers a restricted and sometimes inappropriate understanding of the fundamentals of research in the social sciences. As a result social work and social care are at risk of deprivation of appropriate knowledge to inform practice. This article takes up this critique, in particular pointing out that the tendency for the debate to be reduced to one of competing (qualitative and quantitative) research methods is unhelpful. The issue is an epistemological one about the nature of knowledge and the authority of 'knowers'. The article gives examples of participatory approaches to research that start from a valuing of a range of kinds of knowledge. This opens the way for both quantitative and qualitative methods to have a place in social work research and social work education.