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Social Work and Social Policy

Research is innovative and interdisciplinary, with a strong commitment to reflecting the realities of people’s lives and providing a foundation for development of policy and practice.

Social Work and Social Policy

Overview - research that makes a difference

Research in this field is led by the School of Social Work, Care and Community, spearheaded by our five research centres and focused on the following broad themes:

  • Children, young people and families – this includes work on children’s rights and participation, child care and protection, support for families, adoption and race, refugee and migrant children, and is led by The Centre for Children and Young People’s Participation and the Connect Centre.
  • Psychosocial wellbeing and mental health – this includes work on policy and practice, including suicide, domestic violence, mental health, innovative service provision, the role of the arts in health and social care and community settings, theoretical and critical work. Work is led by the Psychosocial Research Unit and the Connect Centre.
  • Diversity, inclusion and social justice – this includes work on substance misuse, crime and violent extremism (underpinned by our internationally recognised model of community engagement), the care and wellbeing of older people, and internationally recognised work in cross-language research. Work is led by the Centre for Citizenship and Community and the Psychosocial Research Unit.

We have recently been joined by the Centre for Volunteering and Community Leadership, which will work with us across all the above themes.

    To find out more about research within Social Work and Social Policy, contact Professor Nigel Thomas.

    Tel: +44 (0)1772 894514 
    Email: npthomas@uclan.ac.uk

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    IMPACT AND COLLABORATION

    In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework we submitted 30 staff under Social Work and Social Policy; 57% of our submission was assessed as internationally excellent or world leading, with 94% internationally recognised. We were particularly commended for the wider impact of our research.

    All of our research aims to inform policy and practice, and most of it is carried out in partnership with providers and users of services. Our research has been influential in the reform of child care in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and we are part of an international research group on independent children’s rights institutions. UCLan led the national evaluation of independent social work practices in England, the largest research project ever funded by the Department for Education or its predecessors.

    Our Knowledge Transfer Partnership is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and Technology Strategy Board to develop evidence around recovery-based drug and alcohol treatment services. We are part of ‘Making Research Count’, a national collaborative research dissemination initiative to promote knowledge-based practice.

    Our Centre for Children and Young People’s Participation hosted the 2012 conference of the International Childhood and Youth Research Network. In 2011 the Psychosocial Research Unit won a prize from The Royal Society for Public Health for research on the outreach work of six regional museums.

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