From snapshots of practice to a movie:Researching long-term social work and child protection by getting as close as possible to practice and organisational life

Ferguson, Harry and Leigh, Jadwiga and Liz, Beddoe and Singh Cooner, Tarsem and Warwick, Lisa and Disney, Tom (2019) From snapshots of practice to a movie:Researching long-term social work and child protection by getting as close as possible to practice and organisational life. British Journal of Social Work. ISSN 0045-3102

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Abstract

Research into social work and child protection has begun to observe practice to find out what social workers actually do, however no such ethnographic research has been done into long-term practice. This paper outlines and analyses the methods used in a study of long-term social work and child protection practice. Researchers spent 15 months embedded in two social work departments observing organisational practices, culture, and staff supervision. We also regularly observed social worker’s encounters with children and families in a sample of 30 cases for up to a year, doing up to 21 observations of practice in the same cases. Family members were also interviewed up to three times during that time. The paper argues that a methodology that gets as close as possible to practitioners and managers as they are doing the work and that takes a longitudinal approach can provide deep insights into what social work practice is, how helpful relationships with service users are established and sustained over time, or not, and the influence of organizations. The challenges and ethical dilemmas involved in doing long term research that gets so close to social work teams, casework and service users for at least a year are considered.

Item Type: Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title: British Journal of Social Work
Additional Information: This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in British Journal of Social Work following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Harry Ferguson, Jadwiga Leigh, Tarsem Singh Cooner, Liz Beddoe, Tom Disney, Lisa Warwick, Gillian Plumridge, From Snapshots of Practice to a Movie: Researching Long-Term Social Work and Child Protection by Getting as Close as Possible to Practice and Organisational Life, The British Journal of Social Work ?, (?) is available online at:
Uncontrolled Keywords: /dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3301
Subjects:
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
ID Code: 138042
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 17 Oct 2019 14:05
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2020 04:03
URI: https://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/138042

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