Essay on Social Work and Social Research Practices

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1183 Words
Date:  2022-03-31


It takes a lot to address the needs and concerns of a particular group, basically families, clients, or communities. A fundamental requirement in conducting a social research practice includes scanning the environment to identify areas to dwell on. Similarly, one needs to note the philosophical underpinnings involved to efficiently address personal and individual problems with a broad perspective to identify the social issues in place. Considering my internship program at Special Health Resources for Texas, some of the areas covered during social work and research include, identification of social research methods used, data analysis, computer, and practical applications, as well as analysis of research ethics.

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Social Research Methods

The social research methods used by Special Health Resources for Texas as identified during the internship are concept mapping, knowledge-based information, and statistics examination (Sue, Rasheed, & Rasheed, 2015. The research was accompanied by the generation of large amounts of data hence effective data collection methods were necessary. In this case, data collection was done through interviews, taking field notes, questionnaires, observation, and surveys. During program evaluation, some of the key concepts included program assessment of need, design, implementation, outcome, cost, and efficiency. The conducted needs survey involved consultations with the agency members on the particular needs to be addressed. Correspondingly, the surveys used to determine client needs were expressed needs, perceived needs, and relative needs surveys. In addition, when making annual reports, the agency used meta-analytic design, whereby results obtained from several studies and researches were combined to come up with a report. The research methodologies were used in tracking the main problem and coming up with a completely compiled report, hence, they were helpful in handling the social problems of the group in question.

The empirical research studies involved in the social work were reconnaissance, descriptive, and meta-studies. Considering health care as the type of service delivered by the agency, the findings reported from the studies involved a consistent admission of children under the age of ten. Empirical studies like descriptive were relevant in the sense that the problem could be analyzed, and its causes identified. The major systems or instruments used in data collection comprised of questionnaires, interviews, observation, and cohorts. The workers in Special Health Resources for Texas were capable of providing important information through interviews, that were used in data reports. Additionally, the program activities were observed to examine information necessary for outcome generation. Generally, data collected by these instruments were qualitative and quantitative in nature. In addition, research and data analysis methods were integrated through analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data to permit a more synergistic use of data during the ongoing social work practice in the agency.

Data Analysis

With reference to reconnaissance, descriptive, and meta empirical studies, the major statistical procedures used in data analysis were identified as hypothesis testing, mean and sample size determination. The statistical procedures applied in this case were inappropriate because they did not lead to accurate results. For instance, hypothesis testing consisted mainly of perceived results that in many cases were not attained. Specifically, some of the hypothesis statements generated through observation consisted of skewed results as clients noticed that they were being studied. The agency generated qualitative reports whereby statistical procedures applied were mean and sample size determination.

Computer Usage

Special Health Resources for Texas abundantly employs the use of computers in their daily operations. Through the computers, various technological aspects are explored to come up with important strategies for handling social problems hence helping the clients (Sue, Rasheed, & Rasheed, 2015). Patients' data reports are also stored in the computers and regular references made to monitor their health. However, the computer system also poses a risk to some of the agency operations. For instance, during data entry, information may be lost due to overloading of data in the computer. Moreover, the computer system does not provide adequate security especially when the system is hacked leading to alteration and loss of essential information. As a social worker, one of the common computer problems encountered are eye and back straining. Due to long hours of data collection and compilation in the computer, health issues like back and eye problems are frequently reported. However, the computer plays a major role in service enhancement by availing an easy and fast way to reach the client through emails. Similarly, interviews can be conducted through videos by use of computers.

Practical Application of Research

The main issue arising from the agency is concerning the high rate of children admitted to the healthcare facility. Based on the collected data, partial answers can be provided to the arising issue. Therefore, the research question related to the stated issue is, "What are the causes of high rate admission of children with Special Health Resources for Texas. Given this research question, a cohort design is the appropriate research study design to use because it enhances the application of many methodologies and reliability on a variety of sources during the investigation of the research problem (Birnbaum, & Lach, 2014). For effective implementation of the study sample, an appropriate design method is used in data analysis. For instance, children being received in the healthcare facility are monitored and records made. To address the issues of diversity and at-risk population in the study, sample collection is given much attention by ensuring that all kinds of children are included in the sample in terms of gender, color ethnic group, among others. Sample size determination is considered in the evaluation of study data. If implemented, this particular study would uncover the probable causes of children's high rate admission to health care services.

Generalist Application of Research

Generally, the research study is beneficial within generalist social work practice as it aids in pursuing economic and social justice for a particular group of people. For instance, the generalist practitioners are capable of engaging in community development activities to ensure that the provided services are ethical, effective and useful. Similarly, they can interact with groups like families and help them in identifying and tackling some of the social issues.

Research Ethics

The agency's collection and use of collected information are consistent with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) code of ethics as provided by section 5.02. The code states that social workers should employ evident research evaluation throughout their professional work (Lennon-Dearing, & Delavega, 2015). The agency responds well to the code by making use of emerging knowledge provided by social workers. Based on sections 4 and 5 of NASW code, research knowledge is critical to the social worker in the sense that, he/she is required to critically inspect the emerging knowledge based on social work in a responsible and professional manner.


Birnbaum, R., & Lach, L. (2014). Teaching about what ethical social work practice means: Responsibility starts with schools of social work. Intervention 2014, 140, 37-43.

Lennon-Dearing, R., & Delavega, E. (2015). Policies Discriminatory of the LGBT Community: Do Social Workers Endorse Respect for the NASW Code of Ethics? Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, 27(4), 412-435.

Sue, D. W., Rasheed, M. N., & Rasheed, J. M. (2015). Multicultural social work practice: A competency-based approach to diversity and social justice. John Wiley & Sons.

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