Promoting Practitioner Research through a Social Work Teaching Partnership

Gillian Buck, Nicola Whiteside, Andrea Newman, Helen Jones, SELWYN STANLEY, JULIE FEATHER, Wayne Millard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
68 Downloads (Pure)


Research is critical for effective and innovative social work practice, yet social workers do not always have time to engage with research and there are limited accounts of how practitioners can undertake research in practical and meaningful terms (Mitchell, Lunt, and Shaw 2010). Using a reflective, storytelling methodology (Beresford 2016), which centres experiential knowledge, we describe how one regional social work teaching partnership nurtured practitioner research over a three-year period. We introduce a regionally administrated ‘hub’, that connected social workers and academics and supported the development of seventeen research teams. The studies that resulted, focused on a range of important issues including child protection, young people in transition to adult services, adults in community and residential settings, lived experience-led provision, and social work education. In terms of limitations, our reflections are descriptive and illuminative, rather than critical, our findings are also not representative but rather reflect a snapshot of practice. Despite limitations, this commentary reveals the feasibility and value of proactively nurturing practitioner research and offers a blueprint for cultivating similar initiatives in other regions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
JournalPractice: Social Work in Action
Early online date29 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sept 2022


  • practitioner research
  • reflective practice
  • evidence-based practice
  • teaching partnership


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