Why did we do this

When social workers work with adults, we sometimes don't know what works best or why one approach is more successful than others.  We call this ‘having an unanswered question’.  Research can help to answer these questions so that we know what works best and can make social work even better.

We wanted to help make sure that research answers the questions that matter to you.

We wanted to understand what works best for different people, including people living with mental health problems, with learning disabilities, physical disabilities and for older people.

"It is really important to do research with social workers and people who have been in contact with social workers about the services they provide, so that social workers can develop their learning and skills further. This will remove barriers people face and make sure that services work well and are equal for all."

Alison, member of the PSP organising group, representing service users 

The Chief Social Worker for Adults in the Department of Health set up this project, following the 2016 report: “Social Work: the state we’re in” by the Social Care Workforce Research Unit at King’s College. The report recommended that research priorities for adult social work are identified by asking everyone involved, and acknowledged the James Lind Alliance process for being able to:

  • find research priorities from groups of interested people;
  • establish clarity in the areas about which little is known; and
  • build agreement about what the most important research questions are.