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New directions in evidence-based policy research: a critical analysis of the literature

Despite 40 years of research into evidence-based policy (EBP) and a continued drive from both policymakers and researchers to increase research uptake in policy, barriers to the use of evidence are persistently identified in the literature. However, it is not clear what explains this persistence – whether they represent real factors, or if they are artefacts of approaches used to study EBP. Based on an updated review, this paper analyses this literature to explain persistent barriers and facilitators.

What social workers do in performing child protection work: evidence from research into face-to-face practice

Little research has been done into what social workers do in everyday child protection practice. This paper outlines the broad findings from an ethnographic study of face-to-face encounters between social workers, children and families, especially on home visits.

User involvement in mental health services: a case of power over discourse

Public participation in planning and implementing health care has become a government mandate in many states. In UK mental health services, this 'user involvement' policy dates back nearly three decades and has now become enshrined in policy. However, an implementation gap in terms of achieving meaningful involvement and influence for service users persists.

Modelling the relationship between needs and costs: how accurate resource allocation can deliver personal budgets and personalisation

Resource allocation systems based upon measures of need are one widely adopted approach to estimating the cost of the individual service user’s care package in a manner directly proportionate to individual need. 

However, some recent studies have questioned the feasibility and utility of such systems, arguing that the relationship between needs and costs cannot be modelled with sufficient accuracy to provide a useful guide to individual allocation. In contrast, this paper presents three studies demonstrating that this is possible.

Creation myth

This is an article from the New Yorker that looks at innovation and creativity in the context of the development of computers and printers.  

Science, policy, and practice: three cultures in search of a shared mission

Shonkoff argues that Science, Policy and Practice are distinct cultures with their own approaches to research and evidence.  However, since they have a common goal (in this case, improving interventions for children) we need to find creative ways of blending these cultures.  He introduces the reader to the main differences between these cultures, and some of the challenges facing evidence-based approaches in this context.

Evidence-based practice in the social services: implications for organisational change

This article provides a useful histoy, and discussion of the key debates surrounding, evidence-based approaches in a social service context.

Preventing sexual abusers of children from reoffending: systematic review of medical and psychological interventions

Article that evaluates the effectiveness of current medical and psychological interventions for individuals at risk of sexually abusing children, both in known abusers and those at risk of abusing.