evidence-informed practice

Tilda Goldberg was a pioneering social work researcher. She was the Director of Research at the National Institute for Social Work and carried out the first Randomised Controlled Trials in British social work in the 1960s and 1970s. The Goldberg Centre was set-up with core funding from Tilda Goldberg’s bequest to address this problem by developing excellent social care research and supporting the use of evidence-based approaches in practice.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has established a new School for Social Care Research. The aim of the school is to increase the evidence-base for adult social care practice. The SSCR will undertake high-quality primary research and provide a focus for applied research in social care within the NIHR.

The Personal Social Services Research Unit’s (PSSRU) mission is to conduct high-quality research on social and health care to inform and influence policy, practice and theory.

Fergus McNeill discusses a literature review of the management of change within community justice organisations, conducted with Ros Burnett and Tricia McCulloch. The review explored: the nature and character of occupational, professional and organisational cultures in community justice; how such cultures respond to, accommodate and resist change processes; how and why processes of change succeed and fail in criminal justice organisations; and effective approaches to the management of change in criminal justice.

In 2001, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation embarked upon a unique and challenging programme of research that explored the problem of illicit drugs in the UK. The research addressed many questions that were often too sensitive for the government to tackle. In many cases, these studies represented the first research on these issues and the policy implications have been far-reaching. This report outlines the results of the largest independent programme of drugs research of its kind within the UK.

Report of a study which aimed to describe and critically appraise the procedures followed by the National Probation Service to identify and intervene with offenders who have alcohol problems.

Knowledge reviews pull together knowledge from research, practice and people who use services. They describe what knowledge is available, highlight the evidence that has emerged and draw practice points from the evidence. Topics include residential child care, adult mental health services, improving social and health care services, social work education and looked-after children.

SCIE has developed systematic mapping of social care research. Systematic mapping is a way of taking stock of the existing literature on a particular topic. It is a tool that offers policy makers, practitioners and researchers an explicit and transparent means of identifying narrower policy and practice-relevant review questions. It also enables the identification of gaps in the evidence base and the assessment and comparison of in-depth systematic literature reviews within the broader literature.

The most trustworthy knowledge comes from systematic reviews where a whole body of work on a given topic is examined, using set ways of deciding what is relevant, how the quality of different studies should be judged and how the messages should be brought together. Looking at a whole body of work in this way means that there is less potential for the messages from research to be unduly affected by single studies.

Practice papers that summarise recent research on important issues pertinent to residential child care and which draw out possible practice applications.