Accepted Paper:

Making social work scientific, standardised and transparent: the idea of evidence-based practice in Sweden  

Author:

Renita Thedvall (Stockholm University)

Paper short abstract:

The idea of evidence-based practice in social work answers both to the trust in scientific knowledge and the increased scepticism against the value of scientific knowledge by advocating standardised, pronounced and transparent knowledge that is possible to examine and evaluate.

Paper long abstract:

It is possible to order a start package in evidence-based practice at the National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden. The package explains what evidence-based practice means in social work. It gives examples of systematic, evidence-based methods that social workers can use in their daily work-life. This is the culmination of a trend that had its beginning with the former General Director of the National Board of Health and Welfare's statement that social work needs to be handled with the same professionalism as medicine and show that social workers use methods that are scientifically proven to work. The trend has its roots in a wider, global trend of implementing evidence-based practice in social work. The paper examines what kind of knowledge that is valued with the arrival of evidence-based practice and how evidence-based practice both answers to trust in scientific knowledge and the increased societal scepticism against the value of scientific knowledge by advocating standardised, pronounced and transparent knowledge that is possible to examine and evaluate.

Panel IW002
Standards and the quest for technocratic certainty