How Does Research Mindedness in Social Care Link to Continuing Professional Development?

Research-mindedness may seem like a bit of a mouthful, but its the new buzz word in social care research circles.  So why and how is research-mindedness useful to social care practitioners interested in Continuing Professional Development?

According to SCIE (Social Care Institute for Excellence), these are the questions you need to ask yourself when assessing your own level of research-mindedness …

  • Do you recognise the importance and relevance of research to social work practice?
  • Are you aware of the broad principles involved in research?
  • Can you identify the ethical issues involved in research?
  • Do you know how to access, understand and summarise research studies?
  • How do you make use of anti-oppressive practices in evaluating research and practice?
  • Do you know how to identify research which is relevant to practice in your own field?
  • Do you feel able to relate research to practice issues and demonstrate how relevant research informs practice?

So how does learning about research-mindedness help directly with implementing the Continuing Professional Development strategy and framework developed by Skills for Care, the Childrens Workforce Development Council (CWDC) and other partner agencies?

Here are some ideas …

  • Understanding more about how research relates to practice will help practitioners show they have kept up to date with research within a chosen specialism
  • Being research-minded means learning the skills to locate credible, up-to-date research findings. This helps to demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of research studies relating to complex areas of work
  • Increased confidence about how to use research findings in practice will enable practitioners to critically evaluate sometimes contradictory evidence in relation to specific areas of complex practice
  • Greater understanding of research methods will support practitioners in carrying out their own small scale research, evaluation or monitoring projects, including the perspectives of service users, families or the community

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