Our first module in this second of our two-course sequence allows us to become oriented to the focal topic of the course: Research and Statistics for Understanding of Social Work Intervention. This first module extends concepts learned in the first course (SWK 3401: Research and Statistics for Understanding Social Problems and Diverse Populations). Major research and empirical evidence concepts are placed in the context of social work practice and social work intervention at all levels of practice. The topic of research ethics is revisited, placed in the context of intervention research. This attention to intervention research is critically important to social work practice because good intentions are not enough: sometimes interventions are helpful, sometimes they fail to be helpful, some interventions are more efficient than others, and sometimes they actually are harmful. Therefore, social workers have an ethical responsibility for accountability and to engage with evidence to ensure that the best possible outcomes are realized when we intervene. Our entire SWK 3402 course is about learning to ask and answer these types of questions about social work intervention.
After engaging with this module’s reading and learning resources, you should be able to:
- Relate major concepts from SWK 3401 to social work intervention research;
- Understand the principles of evidence-based and evidence-informed social work practice;
- Identify the role of evaluation in social work practice;
- Explain ethical issues that might arise specifically with intervention research studies;
- Define key terms related to social work research and research ethics.