18-20 April 2018 | University of Edinburgh


Pre-conference on Social Work Practice Research at ESWRA 2018 conference

Practice Research and Service Users – why, how and outcome

Wednesday, April 18th, 9.00 am – 3.30 pm

The aim of the pre-conference is to share ideas, conversations and experiences about the process and outcome of service users’ involvement in practice research. What are the costs and benefits of these negotiated partnerships? The morning session of this pre-conference is organized in collaboration with the SIG on Service User Involvement.

Following the Salisbury Conference on Practice Research in 2008 practice research in social work plays an important role in a continuing search for ways to improve social services that promote the well-being of services users. It often involves a close collaboration between service users, service providers and researchers. The negotiated partnership between practice (providers and service users) and research (researchers and educators) is often challenged by differences in power, ethical issues, available resources and methodology. In the preconference we would like to have a particular focus on service users in practice research and the central questions are: What is the relevance of practice research for service users and vice versa? What are the possibilities for service user involvement in practice research? What is the outcome of service user involvement in practice research? 

We welcome papers that will contribute to a wider understanding of the questions of why, how and the outcome of service user involvement in practice research. We invite abstracts that will have a special focus on one of these three topics, but acknowledging that it is difficult to keep them totally separate. Please make it clear in the abstract which topic you will pay special attention to. We kindly ask you to send your research abstract for the preconference for the 1st of February 2018 by the following address: Vera Taube: veataube@gmail.com

We will select four abstracts for oral presentations. The rest of the accepted research abstracts will be presented as posters as part of the preconference. We will announce the results of the abstract review process by the end of February 2018.


Morning session*

09:00-09:30     Welcome and short round introduction

09:30-10:00     Social Work Practice-Research: state of art (prof. Lars Uggerhoj, planned)

10.00-10.30    Service user involvement in Research: state of art (prof. Hugh McLaughlin


10.45-11.45   What are enablers and barriers to integrate service user involvement in practice research? The groups are mixed of people from the SIG of Practice Research and the SIG of Service User Involvement of 6-8 persons.

11.45-12.00 Plenary closing: some conclusions and ideas for follow up.

NB: Morning session is organized in collaboration with the SIG of Service User Involvement


12:00-13:00     Lunch time


Afternoon session

Round 1: Why - what is the relevance of service user involvement in practice research?

13:00-13:15     Presentation 1

13:15-13:30     Presentation 2

13:30-13:45     Opponent

13:45-14:30     Group discussion


Round 2: Outcome –What is the outcome of service user involvement in practice research?

14:30-14:45     Presentation 1

14:45-15:00     Presentation 2

15:00-15:15     Opponent

15:15-16:00     Group discussion


Closing session

16:00-16:15 General lessons


The pre-conference is organized by the ‘Special Interest Group in Practice Research, of which the morning-session is organized in collaboration with the SIG Service User Involvement.

The Special Interest Group in Practice Research in Social Work’ established at the European Conference for Social Work Research, Ljubjana 2015. Members of the pre-conference planning committee chosen at Aalborg meeting 2017 are: Dr. Judith Metz, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands, Sara Serbati, PhD, research assistant University of Padova, Italy, research assistant Vera Taube, University of Applies Sciences Würzburg, Germany and professor Tor Slettebø, VID Scientific University, Norway.