28 March 2009McCrae, N., Murray, J., Huxley, P. & Evans, S. (2005). The Research Potential of Mental-Health Social Workers: A Qualitative Study of the Views of Senior Mental-Health Service Managers, British Journal of Social Work, 35 (1): 55-71 The purpose of this paper is to explore research capabilities within mental health care contributed by the social workers. The main aim of the paper is to analyze the potential that social workers can contribute towards ensuring that research activities are championed in mental-health social work. The authors carried out a qualitative research in London boroughs bringing into consideration views of the senior service managers and other important people within the mental-health social area.
The initial number of expected participants was 33 but later were increased to 51, bringing into consideration their diverse views towards social workers in health facilities view towards participating or been involved in research activities. The authors found out that economic, structural and academic constraints played a major role in preventing the development of social research work bringing into consideration three categories of respondents: traditionalist, eclecticist and genericist. Social workers play an important role in accomplishing and sustaining community development goals.
It is paramount and crucial for the social health workers to understand means and ways to contribute towards fulfilling the requirements of mental-health patients. However, the authors have shown that research capabilities of the social workers towards their relevant fields are minimal. Social workers understanding their patients will improve the ways that they will offer their services and ensure that mental-health conditions are given paramount capabilities both in terms of academic, economic and structural propping. Literature review and background knowledge on the research topic plays an important role in understanding the requirements/ development of the problem.
The authors have extensively divulged in which they trace academic training in mental-health social work to 1929. Moreover, they traced the development of psychoanalytic work conducted by psychiatric social work, which gave birth to the 1959 Mental Health Act. The authors further explain that by 1980s, introduction of Diploma in Social Work (DipSW) played a crucial role in preparing the social workers in their endeavors. Moreover, the authors explore the importance of the 1971 Seebohm Report, which shifted the responsibilities of social workers to the social services departments (SSDs), an aspect that its success was restricted.
Thus, because of poor success of this approach, the government in 1999 developed a framework that transferred mental-health social workers into been a multi-disciplinary service. Nevertheless, the authors conquer through review of literature that mental health care contrasts sharply with social services. This is because health professionals carry out most research in mental health while contribution by social organizations is sparse. Moreover, it is evident that there are shortcomings in the field of academics and policies.
The authors utilized the services of mental-health service managers within London region who were responsible for the social workers. The researcher utilized interview in collecting the views on the standards and development of research activities by mental health social workers. The open-ended interviews were recorded, and with the help of specialized software (N6 Software), helped in the electronically managing the data and sorting them to ensure that it is useful. However, the utilization of interviews is prone to bias by the way that the interviewer presents the questions, lack reliability, lack consistency and in most cases are not replicable.
A total number of 50 people (participants) were interviewed. Originally, it was expected that 33 boroughs could participate but only 31 participated. Most of the participants had an understanding of the social work services. This helped improved the quality of results and gave a taste to the questions that were asked.