Event Type: Public Lecture
Event Theme: Evidence-based Practice
Speaker: Prof. Donald Forrester (Professor of Child and Family Social Work, Cardiff University)
Lecture video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Uq7LWClEQg
The logic of evidence based or evidence informed practice is compelling: surely services would benefit from being based on solid evidence? Yet the reality seems perpetually disappointing. Often the response is to call for a renewed focus on more and better research. This lecture considers the logic of evidence based practice and the reality, with a particular focus on randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews. Recent critiques of these approaches and alternatives, such as Realist evaluation and systems approaches, are considered. A methodologically pluralist approach to evaluation based on pragmatic engagement, constructive dialogue and modesty in aspirations is proposed as a way forward.
Donald Forrester is Professor of Child and Family Social Work at Cardiff University, where he is Director of the CASCADE Centre for Children’s Social Care Research and Development. Professor Forrester’s research in services for vulnerable children focusses on the relationship between professional practices and outcomes for children and their families. He has led studies and reviews with a combined worth of over £15 million, using a wide range of evaluative methodologies. His particular research interests include adapting methodologies to research complex situations, observing and understanding direct practice and evaluating initiatives to improve practice.