Contemporary issues in the public management of social services in Europe

Paper that aims to look at the potential of research methodologies to test a social policy intervention or social service models. It takes a particular interest in the evaluation of cost- effectiveness, impact and transferability. Research evidence is absolutely vital for social work, yet there are barriers at the interface between research and practice:

• How to use research methods from other sectors (e.g. health) to evaluate social policies
• How to translate research and evidence into practice in a local context
• How to communicate research findings to policy makers, practitioners and other stakeholders

It explores the potential of evaluation methodologies to provide policy makers and public managers with an evidence base, and so to improve the impact and cost-effectiveness of social and related services. It also seeks to make the link with the European social innovation agenda and the implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy. It explores challenges and opportunities for evidence- based practice by drawing on the input of researchers and directors of public social services. It discusses how to understand, measure and increase research impact in social work and care practice.