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Why learn about research?

As part of your practice, you may find yourself asked or given the opportunity to undertake a study related to your work. You want to be in a position to make an informed choice rather than having to say 'I don't know how to do it'!

Research and research methods are not things to be anxious about. Many of the skills you use as a good social worker are also used in good research. For example, the inter-personal skills which you develop and practice in your professional relationships will help you to be a sensitive research interviewer.

Your ability to set up a service user chronology will help with the skills needed for systematic recording of qualitative research data. The skill you have in handling sensitive emotional situations will help you to ask personal questions. As a social worker you read and draw conclusions from records and other documents: this is also a vital part of research.

Whether you want to learn from research done by others or carry out research yourself, there is an argument that this will enhance your knowledge and capacity to perform your professional role.

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