Social Work

Enhancing well-being and self determination.

Research at the Department of Social Work

Our aim for research in the Department of Social Work is to optimise the health and wellbeing of the communities we serve. Our research aligns closely with the three School of Health Science research hubs:

In our Department, our research spans three complementary and intersecting themes:

Within these three priority areas we work across the innovation phases of discovery, implementation and evaluation. We seek to understand social challenges and lived experiences, develop and implement changes for the better practice and social policy reform, and evaluate the success of new initiatives.

Our researchers have reputations for excellence and impact in fields such as child protection and out-of-home care, family violence, trauma, disability and chronic disease, and community-based corrections. They have experience and specialised skills in qualitative methods, the use of administrative data and mixed method research designs and are experts in implementation approaches such as trials and action research and outcome evaluation designs. Our researchers connect their science and research findings to teaching and learning and research training.

Meet our researchers

Our approach to research is to match research and evaluation designs to research questions to get the most useful insights, often working in a co-operative way with research partners from a range of disciplines.

We utilise Indigenous leadership to ensure our research advances the interests of Indigenous people and communities and fosters self-determination. We nurture emerging Indigenous leaders through our Graduate Research programs, collaborate with Indigenous organisations and enable Indigenous people to govern, design and carry out Indigenous research projects.

Our research is applied for relevance to our research end users and to create good for people and communities.

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Our research funders are government agencies and philanthropic organisations as well as a wide range of non-government agencies that deliver health and human services. We stay connected to the research needs and priorities of our government and industry research end users through joint appointments and secondments and participation in cross-sectoral networks, committees and policy processes

Our Graduate Research and PhD programs strive to improve health and wellbeing through national and international collaboration. Underpinned by Indigenous leadership and methodological pluralism, the department aims to reinforce community ties and connect research to practice in areas of policy, teaching and training.

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