Evidence-based social work: towards professionalization or deprofessionalization?

PhD student: Werner Schirmer
Summary: The debate on evidence-based practice in social work seems to be a theoretical controversy about the quality of service, the role of knowledge and the identity of social work as a profession. As of yet, very little is known on what actually happens to the social work profession when a social service organization introduces evidence-based methods into their work practice. The project wants to study empirically on the micro-level of daily social work practice how the EBP affects understandings of professionalism. This shall be analyzed in dimensions that became salient in the theoretical debate such as professional discretion/bureaucracy, measurability/"human factors", client-centered/intervention-centered practice, and scientific rationality/normative-ethical rationality. Data material consists of qualitative interviews and focus groups. Target respondents will be practitioners, managers and clients.
PhD in Social Work
Promoter(s): Rudi Roose
Starting date: October 2014