Research affects every aspect of work within social welfare services. This includes evaluating performance, undertaking service audits, assessing needs, and enabling service users to be consulted and involved. Providers and users should also be actively invited to look at the implications of research reports and studies. This book can help you to explore and understand: the planning of new research; the various mechanisms that help determine the type of research questions posed; how the specific focus of a research study is decided; how and why specific methods and approaches are adopted; how to develop research tools that involve and empower users; how models can be employed for testing and comparison purposes; how and why the belief systems and backgrounds of researchers influence research findings; what checks and fail safe procedures need to be built into a specific programme of research work; what skills are required to properly examine and analyse the collected research data; how both the dissemination and use of research work is controlled. Throughout, the book offers practical advice, worked examples and clearly structured information on the entire research process.
Hopefully this book will improve your ability to both undertake and evaluate the worth of research in whatever area of social research you are involved with.