What impacts on social employees attitudes in the direction of evidence-based apply?


Plenty of research, in varied areas of each social work and different associated disciplines, have checked out how totally different professionals view and apply the evidence-base that underpins their apply.

In some ways social work was very late to the celebration, however from the 1970’s onwards it has labored arduous to be seen as a occupation (Hanley, 2020).  An growing vary of analysis and overview now sits inside social work qualifying programmes and tutorial establishments. With this being the case why does there appear to be a disconnect between social employees on the entrance line, working with individuals on a day-to-day foundation, and the analysis and proof that signifies the interventional approaches which might be almost certainly to be efficient is supporting constructive change?

This paper units out the very causes the Nationwide Elf Service exists, and so it appeared like a superb paper to relaunch social care elf and re-start the dialog across the woodland. What’s it about analysis and evidence-based apply that’s seen as by some means threatening or a further strain slightly than a instrument by which we improve our understanding and produce depth to our interventions.

Magnifying Glass With Question Mark In Focus On Wooden Cube.

Why is EBP seen as a further strain slightly than to reinforce and add depth to our interventions?

Different Social Care Elf blogs on the topic embody:


Kagan’s paper begins by offering a story literature overview setting out the varied components which were discovered to impression on social employee attitudes in the direction of EBP. On the outset she offers a useful abstract of labor over the past twenty years of varied research and offers discussions on a number of key themes which have repeatedly been recognized in related research. These aren’t unique and are chosen to assist the angle and path of the examine being reported, however there are a selection, and mixed they’re compelling.

On this examine there’s a give attention to problems with workload, burnout, size of apply expertise, together with whether or not EBP was a part of the social employees preliminary coaching, and the extent of assist offered to them and EBP extra typically of their using organisations, nonetheless Kagan does acknowledge the restrictions of the overview and the areas which might be lacking which is all the time an excellent factor to see in a examine.

The analysis itself is a self-selected pattern of 560 social employees in Israel, recruited through skilled networks, workplaces, and social media, who accomplished a variety of scales and self-assessments in relation to their views and attitudes to EBP and totally different facets of their private traits and organisational environments. It makes use of a variety of various scales, topic to statistical evaluation and the writer experiences that every one information was anonymously collected, with the intention being to establish what drives social employees attitudes in the direction of, and use of, EBP of their work with individuals.

The study aims to identify what drives social workers’ attitudes towards evidence-based practice.

The examine goals to establish what drives social employees’ attitudes in the direction of evidence-based apply.


As with different research earlier than it (e.g. Mathiesen, S.G., 2016; Grady, M.D. et al, 2018; Finne, 2020 ) Kagan’s examine identifies that social employees are much less prone to undertake evidence-based approaches when they’re beneath strain or not correctly supported. Organisational assist is recognized as a key issue, with social employees extra prone to embrace EBP if their friends and colleagues are receptive, and their organisation helps it.

Good psychological well being is likely one of the different key components that’s highlighted, which strains up with what we learn about resilience and wellbeing in different areas, with Kagan making express hyperlinks made that counsel that when a social employee’s wellbeing, each personally and professionally is constructive and supported, they’re extra receptive to EBP as each an idea and a apply; Whereas when they’re feeling burnt-out, overloaded and unsupervised, they’re extra resistant and prone to see EBP as a bureaucratic or controlling course of that interferes with the connection and their capacity to work flexibility with the person and their particular wants.


The paper concludes by contemplating each different issues that may impression on how social employees reply to and use proof in apply and the way enhancing the organisational assist, tradition and talent improvement could all considerably enhance social employees attitudes to implementing evidence-based apply.

As Kagan says in her conclusions:

“Practitioners’ attitudes in the direction of EBP might need elementary penalties for the implementation of EBP course of and its outcomes.” (p.4512)

What’s attention-grabbing in Kagan’s conclusions, and one thing which chimes with what we learn about skilled resilience and wellbeing of social employees and its impression on apply is that private components, reminiscent of demographic and variety components, in addition to psychological well being and general wellbeing at work, all have an effect and must be thought of. It could be that overwhelm and workload pressures act as a barrier to evidence-based apply and that practitioners want the assist of their employers to make EBP a actuality.


Mental health and wellbeing at work of practitioners is important in making EBP a reality in social work practice.

Psychological well being and wellbeing at work of practitioners is necessary in making EBP a actuality in social work apply.

Strengths & Limitations

The examine was carried out in Israel with a pattern of 560 professionals. Amongst this group gender profiles are broadly just like the UK, with a larger variety of girls represented within the occupation, nonetheless age profiles present a youthful common age throughout the cohort than can be anticipated right here at residence (36 slightly than the UK imply of 46). This is likely one of the components that the authors establish as a key variable, and one which is equally prone to impression on attitudes of UK social employees given the growing give attention to evidence-based apply in social work schooling and past that has developed in more moderen years.

It is a small-scale examine of self-selected members however makes an attempt to be sturdy by utilizing validated structured questionnaires. A few of these are actually fairly outdated, and whereas nonetheless relevant and related in isolation, aren’t meant to be utilized to the myriad of social work apply settings that are actually established each within the UK and internationally. Kagan identifies self-selection bias and the slim scope of the examine when it comes to choosing the variables to check and acknowledges that there are a selection of different potential areas of examine recognized that present path for increasing on the restrictions of those findings.

Implications for Apply

Social work has a wierd love/hate relationship with proof and analysis typically and this paper reveals us that present apply and practitioners are perpetuating these attitudes slightly than discovering a approach to simply hyperlink analysis findings into their day-to-day apply toolkit.

Social work is outlined as a occupation, with registration and regulation, however one of many key defining components of a occupation is mostly recognised to be its data and evidence-base (Saks, M., 2012; Williams, J.H., 2015)  and plainly throughout the worldwide stage social work and social employees nonetheless have an extended approach to go on this space of their skilled tradition and identification. Kagan cites ambiguity and speedy social care and unclear roles as all key components in selling social employee well-being and therefore supporting EBP. This aligns with different work carried out nearer to residence and the commonalities within the occupation in numerous jurisdictions seem like based mostly on very related challenges the world over, regardless of big variations in day-to-day apply environments.

In a interval the place position ambiguity, top-down authorities management and blame cultures, are all components current in UK social work (Garratt, P.M, 2021; Rogowski, S, 2020), it’s seemingly {that a} related examine right here at residence would yield related outcomes and Kagan identifies a variety of different components that warrant additional examine, together with any variations in apply context or space of specialism. This made this elf take into consideration the totally different areas within the woodland and the way far more common analysis and EBP discussions are in multi-disciplinary providers (for instance Psychological Well being providers) the place there may be the affect of different disciplines, slightly than extra conventional social work or providers crew, possibly that’s a chat we’ll have with psychological elf and are available again to it later 😊

Whereas this examine came about in Israel, which could appear one million miles away from the city demographics of a neighborhood authority in England or Wales, the difficulty is widespread throughout social work internationally, and the research Kagan attracts on to contextualize her personal examine contains small scale analysis within the UK, America, and Norway amongst others.

For Social Staff in England, the transfer to a level degree qualification and post-graduate degree publish qualification framework from 2010 onwards has meant {that a} separation has been occurring between those who see the evidence-base and the hyperlink to academia and analysis findings as core to and informing their apply, and those who understand it as one thing summary or for college students slightly than these in day by day (significantly) statutory apply.

Kagan’s examine provides to what we learn about the advantages of studying cultures, it reinforces that private well-being is a key issue within the practitioner’s willingness to embrace an evidence-based method and that social employees want assist, management that fashions the method, and a transparent understanding of the advantages, for each themselves and the individuals they’re supporting, to enhance their engagement with evidence-based apply as an expert instrument.

Conflicts of Curiosity



Major Paper:

Kagan, M. (2022). “Social Staff’ Attitudes in the direction of Proof-based Apply: A Multidimensional Perspective.” The British Journal of Social Work 52(8): 4497-4517.

Different references

Finne, J. (2020) “Attitudes towards and utilization of evidence-based apply amongst

Norwegian social employees”, Journal of Proof-based Social Work, 17(2), pp.149–62.

Garrett, P.M. (2020) Dissenting Social Work: Important Principle, Resistance and Pandemic. London & New York: Routledge

Grady, M. D., Wike, T., Putzu, C., Subject, S., Hill, J., Bledsoe, S. E., Bellamy, J. and Massey, M. (2018) “Current social work practitioners’ understanding and use of evidence-based apply and empirically supported therapies”, Journal of Social Work Training, 54 (1),163–79.

Hanley, J. (2022)” Social Work England: A regulator that has earned our collective dissent.” Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 34 (3), 48-60

Mathiesen, S. G. (2016) “Social work college students & evidence-based apply: A global comparability”, Worldwide Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 6 (4), 1–6.

Rogowski, S. (2021) Social Work: The Rise and fall of a occupation? Bristol: Coverage Press.

Saks, M. (2012). “Defining a Career: The Function of Data and Experience”. Professions and Professionalism, 2 (1), 1-10.

Williams, J.H. (2015) “Unification, Crafting Imperatives, and Defining a Career.” Social Work Analysis, 29 (2), 67 – 69.

Picture Credit


Supply hyperlink

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply