A Few Thoughts on Evidence in Social Work

Gary Holden, Ellen Tuchman, Kathleen Barker, Gary Rosenberg, May Thazin, Sofie Kuppens, Katie Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Social work practitioners must act every working day in the face of uncertainty. This uncertainty arises in part because knowledge is often difficult to locate or sometimes lacking regarding: the systems context the population being served; the particular client system; the set of problems the client system is experiencing; as well as the various interventions that could be selected. It seems reasonable to explore ways to reduce the experience of uncertainty, and narrow, if not eliminate, the knowledge gaps that arise in such situations. The generic idea of evidence-based practice has been advanced for some time as an approach to support practitioners in their day-to-day work. This article has two foci. First, it will briefly and selectively review attempts to make social work practice more evidence based. Second, it will describe one stage in the evolution of a Web-based service (Information for Practice [IP]). IP is a long-term project with the mission of keeping practitioners informed about news and new scholarship in the field, so that they can more easily make their practice more evidenced based.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-505
Number of pages23
JournalSocial Work in Health Care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • best practices
  • clearinghouse
  • evidence-based practice
  • evidence-informed practice
  • grey literature
  • knowledge dissemination
  • literature review
  • open access
  • practice guidelines
  • translational research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'A Few Thoughts on Evidence in Social Work'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this