Why do We Need Social Work Research?

Social work research informs professional practice. Through social work research, the profession can:

  • Assess the needs and resources of people in their environments
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of social work services in meeting peoples needs
  • Demonstrate relative costs and benefits of social work services
  • Advance professional education in light of changing contexts for practice
  • Understand the impact of legislation and social policy on the clients and communities we serve

Associations Collaborate to Promote Diversity in Science

The NASW Social Work Policy Institute joined with other professional and scientific societies in the Collaborative for Enhancing Diversity in Science to host the workshop, Enhancing Diversity in Science: Working Together to Develop Common Data, Measures, and Standards on May 24, 2012. SWPI Director Joan Levy Zlotnik facilitated the opening session which included NIH Deputy […]

May 13th, 2013 at 2:51 pm


Partnerships to Promote Evidence-Based Practice Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a process in which the practitioner combines well-researched interventions with clinical experience and ethics, and client preferences and culture to guide and inform the delivery of treatments and services. The practitioner, researcher and client must work together in order to identify what works, for whom and […]

June 16th, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Social Work Services in Nursing Homes: Toward Quality Psychosocial Care

Federal requirements for social work services Addressing psychosocial needs Are psychosocial needs adequately met? Monitoring Psychosocial Care Measures to Assess Resident Quality of Life Culture Change in Nursing Homes References Web Resources This NASW research page focuses on social work contributions to quality psychosocial care in nursing homes. Included is an overview of the topic, […]

May 18th, 2010 at 9:12 am

High Caseloads: How do they Impact Delivery of Health and Human Services?

The NASW Social Work Policy Institute reviewed research related to caseloads, especially in child welfare agencies, and found that high caseloads can negatively impact both worker retention and service delivery outcomes. In addition worker turnover is costly to agencies in terms of training and recruitment costs as well as the added stress on workers who […]

April 4th, 2010 at 10:49 am


References Toward Understanding Homelessness: The 2007 National Symposium on Homelessness Research Research Articles Web Resources In 2005, an estimated 744,313 men, women, and children were homeless in the United States (National Alliance to End Homelessness, 2007). The Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act of 1987 defines people as homeless when they lack a fixed, regular, […]

March 24th, 2010 at 11:15 am

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Child Trauma

About Childhood Trauma Effects of Childhood Trauma References Web Resources Research This research Web page seeks to provide a general overview of childhood trauma, along with some resources for further research, training, and understanding. About Childhood Trauma According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network—funded by the Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and […]

March 24th, 2010 at 11:10 am

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Social Work And Cancer Research

Social workers practice and conduct research in cancer-related services and concerns including treatment adherence, survivorship, caregiver issues, and cancer-related health care policy. Two recent research reports and tools are noted below. Also, NASW has developed a report on practioners’ use of cancer related research. (NASW NCI report) Additional resource references provide an array of social […]

March 24th, 2010 at 10:56 am

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Anxiety Disorders

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. It helps one deal with a tense situation in the office, study harder for an exam, keep focused on an important speech. In general, it helps one cope. But when anxiety becomes an excessive, irrational dread of everyday situations, it […]

March 24th, 2010 at 10:54 am

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Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse

Social work’s history in the field of alcoholism and alcohol abuse ranges from providing food, temporary shelter, and the encouragement to practice “temperance” in the early 20th century, to today’s sophisticated treatment approaches involving medication, consumer-driven supportive treatment, abuse group-specific targeted prevention, and inpatient and outpatient treatment of alcoholism along with co-morbid conditions. The field […]

March 24th, 2010 at 10:33 am

Social Work Research and Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER)

A Research Symposium to Strengthen the Connection Background Information and Preliminary Considerations Introduction On November 16, 2009 the Social Work Policy Institute (SWPI) will convene a think tank meeting, Social Work Research and Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER): A Research Symposium to Strengthen the Connection. This symposium will examine how the social work profession might best […]

January 27th, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Posted in Research