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Translating Practice Wisdom to Research - Building Social Work Research Capacity

  • Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, UCC
  • 9.30 Registration, 10.30 Event
  • 22 Apr 2016

Price €15 members/€30 non-members

Price includes lunch and refreshments. The conference has been organised by the IASW Practitioner Research SIG, and will be held in UCC on Friday 22, April.




'Connecting Research to Action: Perspectives on Research Utilisation' presented by Professor Elaine Sharland


In contemporary knowledge societies, scientific research is seen to be one of the keys to effective and accountable human services. In social work, this means bridging the well- recognised gap between research and practice. Elaine Sharland’s presentation will look at the similarities and distinctions between two discourses of research utilisation: ‘evidence-based practice’ and ‘knowledge production/utilisation’. The former is much more talked about in social work; the latter is less familiar, but has much to offer.  In particular, Elaine will highlight how these discourses are now coming together, through a common focus on ‘knowledge mobilisation’, ‘implementation’ and ‘innovation’, and a shared emphasis on the role of organisations in bridging the research/practice gap. She will argue that recognising this convergence should allow us to promote greater research engagement and use in social work, and enable us to strengthen the connections between research and action. 

Elaine Sharland is Professor of Social Work Research, Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange and Deputy Head of the School of Education and Social Work at the University of Sussex. She has worked in social work and interdisciplinary research and teaching since 2001. Her main areas of research interest and publication have been child protection, young and risk, research methodologies, disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity and knowledge production and utilisation. As ESRC Strategic Adviser for Social Work and Social Care Research (2008-10) Elaine led a nationwide initiative to develop a strategy for growth and improvement in the research discipline and field. She is Co-Founder and Secretary of the European Social Work Research Association and former Co-Chair of the UK JUCSWEC Research Committee.


Directions to Brookfield:

Brookfield Health Sciences Building is on College Road, and not on the main UCC campus.

To get there from the City Centre if driving or walking, take the direction westward, through Patrick St on the Grand Parade and take a right at the first set of lights at the Grand Parade (Singers Shop will be at one corner and Finn’s Sport’s Shop at the other).

Go out Washington St  and keep going straight, passing the Lancaster Lodge on the left hand side and then the River Lee Hotel, also on the LHS. At the next main set of lights, take a left (there will a Coffee Station to the right).

Go up the hill on a road called Donovan’s Road. Come to a T Junction and another set of lights. Take a right there. Keep going along  that road (passing the main University Campus on the right) on through another set of traffic lights. You then pass the Cavanagh Pharmacy Building and the Bons Secours Hospital, all on the right. Brookfield Health Sciences is the next large building on the right.

Note: A number 5 bus from the train station and/or outside Marks and Spencer Shop on Patrick St will drop you right outside Brookfield-just ask the driver to be let off at that spot. €2.10 for the fare, exact change not required.



9.30-10.30 am



10.30 -10.45am

Opening Address By Professor Alastair Christie, UCC



Professor Elaine Sharland, University of Sussex.

Keynote address: Connecting Research to Action: Perspectives on Research Utilisation.’


Coffee Break



Louie Maguire ‘Participatory Research with Service-Users’



Lunch - Will include a brief lunchtime seminar, ‘Preparing for Publication’ by Dr Carmel Halton,UCC



Parallel Workshops 1 and 2


Workshop #1    Chair- Prof Jim Campbell


  1. Benefits for All: Combining academic and practice resources to develop and evaluate ‘Just for Dad’s- a groupwork programme for fathers in a family support setting’-Lynda Monahan
  2. ‘She felt so held’ - Listening to the Voice of the Practitioners Responding to Child to Parent Violence - Declan Coogan
  3. A snapshot in time: stakeholder’s perspectives of Tusla’s Meitheal Model - Louise Mc Cormick
  4. A retrospective study on the responses by Child and Family Agency to referrals of domestic abuse from a children’s hospital    -  Emma Thompson
  5. Hearing the voice of bereaved parents – service users influence change in an Irish Hospice community bereavement service - Estelle Mc Ginley

3.15-3.30   Coffee Break

 6. Homelessness in Ireland; is a new social work intervention method required? - Diarmuid Twomey

7. Prevalence of housing needs among inpatients: A one year audit of housing needs, in the acute mental health unit in Tallaght Hospital - John Cowman and Peter Whitty

8. IA meets PIU – Assessing Problematic Internet Use within the Standard Assessment Framework -  Steven Peet

9. Social Work in the context of integrated health and social care planning - Gerard Phillips

10. Overcoming the ethical problems of researching Organisational Silence: the use of the vignette technique.- Anne O’Loughlin



Workshop #2   Chair - Dr Carmel Halton, UCC


  1. Social Work and Asylum Seekers in Ireland: Providing an Equitable Service - Maeve Foreman and Muireann Ni Raghllaigh
  2. Lives lost in limbo: Research findings from a narrative study of the experiences of asylum seekers and social workers in the Republic of Ireland - Dr Colletta Dalikeni
  3.  ‘Learning with’: Promoting cultural competence through participatory approaches in research and practice -Nerilee Ceatha
  4. The Empowering Practitioners and Practice Initiative project -John Leinster
  5. Community Based research projects for Masters in Social Work students: A Platform for Embedding Practice Based Research in Social Work Practice Cultures.- Caroline McGregor & Declan Coogan

3.15-3.30   Coffee Break

 6. A Pilot Study of Social Workers’ Experiences of Supervision: Linking Experiences of Supervision with Social Work Practice - Marie Kinsella

7. What motivates practice teachers’ sustained engagement in fieldwork education?’- Brian Donnelly, Adult Mental Health Social Worker

8. The Research Journey of a Social Work Student- Louise Mc Cormick

9.  Narrative Continuities: Reflexivity in Action Between Research and Practice - Susan Flynn



Concluding Remarks and Close