Document Detail

Social workers as "experts" in the family court system: is evidence-based practice a missing link or host-created knowledge?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  24066636     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
The graduate school curriculum for social workers requires that students learn to critically distinguish between opinion-based knowledge and evidence-based practices, or empirically-supported interventions. Once graduated, licensed social workers are often called upon to offer diagnostic and predictive opinions as experts in a variety of macro-environments. When the family courts are that "host" environment, social workers proffer expert opinions that may categorize and label parents or children for purposes of a judge's allocation of physical or legal custody. In this article, it is suggested that the social work profession, within all three domains of education, practice, and research, should more precisely link the design and fidelity of an evidence-based practice (EBP) with its potential misapplication or warping when proffered as science in "host" environments like family courts. As Foucault and other scholars warn, the failure to verify that an intervention is applied correctly may actually enhance the risk of social injustice by interpreting and translating EBP knowledge in the non-empirical form of authority-by-license. This article, therefore, proposes that the social work profession, from the classroom to the field, has an obligation to thoroughly understand and engage interdisciplinary practices that assure respect for the strengths and limits of social work knowledge.
Dana E Prescott
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of evidence-based social work     Volume:  10     ISSN:  1543-3722     ISO Abbreviation:  J Evid Based Soc Work     Publication Date:  2013 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-09-26     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101197676     Medline TA:  J Evid Based Soc Work     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  466-81     Citation Subset:  IM    
a Prescott, Jamieson, Nelson, & Murphy, LLC , Saco , Maine , USA.
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