See More

Opportunities for research participation

Opportunities for members to participate in research

The AASW National Research Committee; as part of its commitment to promote and encourage social workers' involvement in research; reviews and approves various research projects to be advertised to members. Both conducting and participating in research are considered to be key professional development activities and can be counted towards your annual CPD. If you participate in any of the research activities listed below, you can record this as a Category 3 activity (Professional Identity) in your online CPD record.

Current research projects

Young People with Cognitive Disability Transitioning to Adulthood: Experiences of Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation.

Key dates

July – August 2021

Participants sought

Practitioners working with young people with cognitive disability
Young person with cognitive disability aged 15 to 30

About

This research project will explore the risk factors that lead to abuse of young people with cognitive disability, as well as examine what protective factors can prevent violence towards this group. This research project has been funded by the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. The research has ethical approval through the University of Queensland Ethical Clearance: 2020/HE002805

What is involved

Practitioner participants are asked to participate in an individual or group interview lasting approximately 60 minutes. All of the interviews will be conducted by a member of the research team. To ensure physical safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, all interviews will be held either via phone or via an online platform such as Zoom.

Young people participants (aged 15-30) who will participant in one to two interviews approximately 1 hour duration, at a place where the young person feels comfortable by a researcher who has practice supporting young people with cognitive disability.

How to get involved

Please call Dr. Kathy Ellem
University of Queensland
M: 0426 816 595

Institution and investigator contact

University of Queensland
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work
Dr. Kathy Ellem
M: 0426 816 595

Regulating Emotions in Daily Life after Trauma

Key dates

15 October – January 2022

Participants sought

Adults in Australia. Study will help improve C/PTSD treatment.

To be eligible, participants must: (1) currently be residing in Australia; (2) own an iPhone (iOS 8 or above) or an Android (Android 6.0 or above), which is NOT an Oppo or Huawei phone; (3) be comfortable installing and allowing notifications for the SEMA3 smartphone application; (4) have previously been exposed to a traumatic event

We are aiming for a mix of people with and without PTSD symptoms

You are also welcome to share this study with clients/people that you may work with

About

Help us improve PTSD treatment AND learn about how you respond to your emotions! This research project aims to understand how people who have been exposed to trauma manage their emotions in daily life. In this study, participants sign up to receive surveys twice a day on their smartphone, which ask questions about mood and strategies used to manage emotions. With this information, we hope to better understand what people do to regulate the way they feel, how trauma might affect this, and use it to inform PTSD treatment.

At the end of the study, you will be sent a link where you can access your responses. This may show patterns in how you’ve managed your emotions throughout the study period.

PTSD symptoms are NOT required and no specific information is asked about the nature of the traumatic event(s).

What is involved

Eligibility Screening (10-20 minutes)

An online Qualtrics survey to confirm you meet our eligibility criteria.

To be eligible, participants must: (1) currently be residing in Australia; (2) own an iPhone (iOS 8 or above) or an Android (Android 6.0 or above), which is NOT an Oppo or Huawei phone; (3) be comfortable installing and allowing notifications for the SEMA3 smartphone application; (4) have previously been exposed to a traumatic event

**You do not have to provide any details of the trauma. PTSD symptoms are not required**

The Study: SRB + Smartphone surveys

Once found eligible, the study involves two main tasks:

  1. Completing the self-report booklet (SRB) on Qualtrics (25-40 minutes). The SRB has several surveys that ask about your mental health, trauma related symptoms, attitudes and beliefs about emotion, and demographic information.
  2. Answering daily smartphone surveys. For 7 days, you’ll receive a series of very short smartphone surveys asking questions about your emotions. Scheduled surveys will be sent 2 times per day and should only take about 2-3 minutes to complete. You’ll also complete the same survey if you experience an intrusion, or unwanted memory.

10 Weeks later, you’ll repeat these previous two steps. You’ll do the same self-report booklet and then complete another 7 days of the smartphone surveys.

How to get involved

Complete the eligibility screening here : https://melbourneuni.au1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5bDNXRPiczGgXL8

For more information about the study, you can contact Hope O’Brien at hoob@unimelb.edu.au.

Institution and investigator contact

Hope O’Brien (PhD student), University of Melbourne
Supervised by: Kim Felmingham, University of Melbourne

Exploring end-of-life decision-making in the Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit. What do health professionals know about the law and how is it applied?

Key dates

12 October – 15 December 2021

Participants sought

Queensland members with experience supporting end-of-life decision-making

About

This study explores health professionals knowledge and understanding of the law that underpins end-of-life decision-making in Queensland. It also looks at the factors that influence application of the law. As social workers frequently support families of patients who lack decision-making capacity when these decisions are being made, we’re keen to hear their views. Findings from this study will inform the development of strategies that support health professionals understanding of the law, increase confidence in clinical decision-making and improve end-of-life care experiences for patients and their families

What is involved

Participants are invited to complete an online survey. It will take approximately 20 minutes.

How to get involved

Please click on the link below to access the survey

https://prodsurvey.rcs.griffith.edu.au/prodls200/index.php/113952?lang=en

Institution and investigator contact

Gold Coast Health and Hospital Service and Griffith University
Dr Jayne Hewitt
Phone 07 555 27702

Returning to Wholeness: Social Workers’ Experiences and Implications for Practice in Implementing Yoga for Clients with Depression, Anxiety, Stress or Trauma Issues.

Key dates

1 October- November 15th 2021

Participants sought

Are you a social worker who uses Yoga as an intervention in professional practice?

You are invited to participate in a research study on Social Workers' experiences of yoga in working with clients who have depression, anxiety and stress/trauma related issues, and implications for social work practice.

About

Linda Kennedy is researching Social Workers' experiences of yoga and implications for social work practice. Linda is keen to talk with social workers who are using yoga, or elements of, (e.g. postures, breathing, meditation, relaxation etc.) for clients with depression and anxiety, including stress/trauma issues.

What is involved

Participants will partake in a confidential interview with Linda Kennedy via Zoom Video conferencing.

The interview will be conducted using a semi-structured interview guide using open-ended questions to explore your experiences and perceptions of using yoga in your professional practice with clients experiencing depression, anxiety or stress/trauma related issues. The interview will be recorded and transcribed.

How to get involved

Please contact Linda Kennedy for more information and to arrange a confidential online interview at a time and place suitable to you.

Institution and investigator contact

The study is being conducted by Linda Kennedy from the Faculty of Arts and Education, School of Social Work and Arts, Charles Sturt University.

Please phone for further information

Linda Kennedy, 0422026869 or gwkennel@impaq.net.au

DSW Supervisors

Principal Supervisor – Associate Professor Karen Bell – kbell@csu.edu.au

Associate Supervisor - Dr John Healy – jhealy@csu.edu.au

An exploration of Australian social workers views on the proposed professional registration of social workers in South Australia

Key dates

01/09/2021 – 31/10/2021

Participants sought

Social workers: both AASW members and non-members, including practitioners, managers and researchers

About

Social Work in Australia is an unregistered and self-regulating profession despite extensive lobbying and advocacy efforts from the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) in support of mandatory national registration for social workers.

The Social Workers Registration Bill 2018 is now before the Parliament of South Australia, and the final report of the joint parliamentary committee was released in December of 2020.

To date, there has been no empirical research on the views and opinions of Australian social workers regarding registration. This study will contribute knowledge to a subject which has not yet been researched, and it may illuminate areas in need of further investigation.

What is involved

You will take part in an interview lasting no more than 30 minutes, via an online video chat platform. Audio from the interview will be recorded and transcribed. You will be asked about your thoughts and opinions regarding the registration of social workers in Australia, including the potential benefits and limitations.

How to get involved

Please email student researcher Meghan Tangney at mtan0076@student.monash.edu

Institution and investigator contact

Meghan Tangney

MSW Student, Monash University
Phone : 0413760041
email: mtan0076@student.monash.edu

Professor Philip Mendes
Department of Social Work, Monash University
Phone: 9903 1132
Email: philip.mendes@monash.edu

Exploring practitioner understanding of their relationship with the infant in, or at risk of being in, out of home care

Key dates

August 2021 – February 2022

Participants sought

If you are a practitioner who has worked or are currently working with families with infants (0-2) who is in or at risk of being in out of home care, you are invited to participate in this research project

About

This PhD research seeks an understanding of how the practitioner experiences their relationship with the infant in or at risk of being in out of home care with who they work. The research also seeks to explore an infant-led exploration of the role of the organisation where the practitioner works.

It is anticipated that the research will provide a clearer identification and contextualisation of the relational practices that are present or overlooked in the support of the practitioner as they support infants. There is also an expectation that attention will need to turn more deliberately to policies, programs, and targeted training to address matters confronted by the practitioner and the organsiations to increase capacity to support the infant and their care systems. The research, therefore, seeks to explore the place for attuned responses within relationships for the infant from the practitioner and for the practitioner from the organisations.

What is involved

You will be asked to complete an interview with Ms Robyn Kemble, a member of the research team. The interview may be done in-person at a private space of your choosing or online at a mutually convenient time, and, with your permission, the interview will be audio-recorded.

The interview will take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes and will ask questions such as: What is your understanding of your relationship with the infant/s you work with? And what is your understanding of your practice skills and knowledge in your work with the infants?

How to get involved

If you are interested in being involved, please email Robyn Kemble at her research email robyn.kemble@research.usc.edu.au

Institution and investigator contact

University of the Sunshine Coast

PhD Student researcher - Robyn Kemble on above email

Research Supervisor – Dr. Dyann Ross – d.ross@usc.edu.au

This project has been approved by the University of the Sunshine Coast HREC.

Tele-Social Work in the Age of COVID-19

Key dates

11/08/2021 to 31/10/2021

Participants sought

This study invites all practitioners in Australia any social work role or profession who have utilised Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in their practice at any time since in the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in January of 2020.

Participants must:
  • Self-identify as a practitioner in a social work role
  • Engaged/are engaging in tele-social work practices in the context of COVID-19 in Australia since January 2020
  • Aged over 18 years

About

This study investigating the experiences and perspectives of social work practitioners in Australia who have engaged in tele-social work practices in the context of COVID-19. Tele-social work refers to the use of ICTs to facilitate communication in the field of social work.

Examples of tele- social work include the use of telephone calling and texting, video telephony programs like Zoom, and the sending of digital messages through e-mail and Microsoft Teams, and social networking platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

This project aims to produce new knowledge about the effect of COVID-19 on tele-social work, which may impact future policies and practices of social workers. This study has received approval from the UniSA Human Research Ethics committee (Ethics Protocol 203897).

What is involved

Completion a short questionnaire, and then engagement in a one hour-long interview.

Interviews would be undertaken at a mutually convenient time and date. Face-to-face interviews would occur at a mutually agreeable location, or over the videotelephony software platform Zoom.

How to get involved

Please email the student primary researcher Paige Moutzouris at: moupy004@mymail.unisa.edu.au

Institution and investigator contact

University of South Australia

Investigator Contact:
Student researcher:
Paige Moutzouris
Research Supervisor:
Dr Eric Hsu

Supporting carers’ navigation of older adults’ care transitions to the community

Key dates

10/08/2021 to 20/12/2021

Participants sought

Social workers
To participate: the social worker should be:
  • Employed at a healthcare organisation in any Australian state or territory
  • Providing discharge and transitional care to older adult patients (aged 60 years and above)

About

Background: We are conducting a research project about discharge and transitional care for older adults and for their family/carers. As part of this project, we would like to interview ten health/social care practitioners (practitioners) about their experiences of providing discharge and transitional care that includes the older adult’s family/carers.

Ultimately, we intend to develop resources to improve support for carers. Interviews with practitioners will assist us to understand what assists them to include carers in discharge and transitional care for older people and what the barriers are to this care.

What is involved

Each interview will take no more than 30 minutes, will be conducted at a time suitable to the interviewee, and it will be conducted by telephone. Participation in the study is voluntary. The research project has been funded by the Australian Association of Gerontology.

How to get involved

Interested participants should contact Jacqui Allen for more information about the study

Institution and investigator contact

Monash University
0427 940 794

This project has been approved by Monash Health HREC

Comportment, Contention, and Conflict: Identity and Role Dynamics Experienced by Bilingual-Bicultural Social Work Practitioners in Australian Practice Contexts.

Key dates

01/07/2021 to 01/12/21

Participants sought

Qualified social workers with 2+ years of experience, who identify as bilingual-bicultural social work practitioners, who work intra-culturally within an ethno-specific and/or mainstream services, working with their own communities and using their cultural and linguistic skills and knowledge in their practice.

About

The project seeks to understand the lived experiences of professionally qualified Social Workers, who are bilingual-bicultural, and how the intersection of dynamics such as; identity, culture, role and position impact their daily work and practices in working within their own ethno-specific communities.

Aims:

1) To give voice to the lived experiences of bilingual-bicultural social workers who do practice within and across their own non-dominant cultural communities.

2) To explore such practitioner experiences as: potential cultural tensions and/or conflicts within their professional communities, tensions or conflicts between mainstream professional practice expectations and cultural considerations, professional/cultural senses of identity and affiliation, and role-bound identity of being a cultural insider-outsider.

What is involved

Participation in: 1) a virtual Semi-Structured Individual Interview of 45-60 minutes duration, and 2) option to participate in a virtual Focus Group.

Your participation will contribute to the understanding of bilingual-bicultural social work practitioners lived experiences of role, identities, expectations and insider-outsider dynamics of your daily practice.

How to get involved

Please contact Student Researcher: Tania Ciotti
PhD Candidate

Institution and investigator contact

Student Researcher: Tania Ciotti (PhD Candidate)
Swinburne University
Principal Supervisor: Dr Carolyn Beasley
Swinburne University

Understanding professional development for practitioners working with children, young people and their families

Key dates

This survey will be open until 30 August 2021

Participants sought

This survey invites all practitioners who have a tertiary qualification and who work with children and families. This can be in the context of:

• Employed in a statutory child protection organisation, OR

• Employed within an agency who works closely with child protection providing services such as assessments, family preservation, family reunification, or services to children and young people in out of home care.

You are also eligible whether you provide direct services (case worker, case manager, youth worker) or indirect services (supervisor, manager, consultant).

About

This research aims to identify the training and development needs of practitioners who work with children, young people and families who experience complexities and may also be involved with child protection systems in order to provide a continuum of service provision.

What is involved

You will be asked to complete an online survey identifying your training and professional development needs as a practitioner who works in a context of complexity working with children and families involved with the child protection system.

There are 31 questions following your consent of which 5 require a typed response (3 short answer and 2 open-ended).

The expected time to complete this survey is 30 minutes.

How to get involved

You can access the Participant Information and Consent pages within this survey link.

Access here Workforce Development Survey: Children, Young People and Families

Institution and investigator contact

Dr Carmela Bastian
Social Work Innovation Research Living Space (SWIRLS)
Flinders University
College of Education, Psychology & Social Work
GPO Box 2100 Adelaide SA 5001
P: +61 8 8201 2165

Primary care workforce views on trauma-informed care for clients who are parents

Key dates

Survey will close mid-August 2021

Workshop/s will occur in September/November 2021

Participants sought

The primary care workforce in regional and rural Victoria working in any role (including students studying in a health care field), in the areas of General Practice, Community Health, Child and Family Services and Maternal and Child health

About

This research is being done to learn more about providing trauma-informed primary care services for those clients who are parents (including Aboriginal parents) and impacted by complex trauma

What is involved

A 15-minute online survey

How to get involved

Please complete the survey and forward amongst your networks. Link: Primary Care Workforce Survey

There is a separate option at the end to list your interest in attending follow up workshop to discuss the results.

Institution and investigator contact

La Trobe University

Carol Reid

Exploring social workers’ discourses of home visiting in child protection in the context of COVID-19

Key dates

01/07/2021 to 31/08/2021

Participants sought

Qualified social workers in South Australia who practice in the field of child protection or work with families experiencing child protection concerns, and have undertaken home visits (in-person and/or virtual) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

About

Currently, there is no extant social work literature that explores the specific ways Australian social workers have responded to the pandemic in relation to home visits.

The aim of this research is to investigate the question: ‘what are social workers’ discourses of performing child protection home visits in the context of COVID-19?’

The aims of this study are:

  1. To examine social workers’ discourses of performing home visits with families experiencing child protection concerns

To explore the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on the practice of home visiting as reported by social workers

What is involved

Involvement consists of participation in one individual semi-structured interview of no more than 60 minutes. Interview can be conducted face-to-face where appropriate or via videoconferencing platform (e.g. Zoom). Interviews will involve discussion of the participants’ home visiting practices generally pre- and during COVID-19.

How to get involved

Please contact student researcher Georgia Craggs.

Institution and investigator contact

Student Researcher: Georgia Craggs
University of South Australia
Ph: 0468 547 438
Principal Supervisor: Dr Shepard Masocha PhD
University of South Australia

Restrictive Practices with Youth in Out of Home Care: An Exploration of the Understandings and Approaches of ACT Social Welfare Workers

Key dates

24/06/2021 to 31/8/2021

Participants sought

Participants may be employed by a government or non-government child protection agency in the ACT AND are required to have at least 2 years of professional working experience in the ACT. Participants may have a professional background in areas such as social work, community services, social sciences, psychology, health or another related field. Participation is completely voluntary, and participants can withdraw at any time.

About

A fourth-year honours student in the Social Work program at the Australian Catholic University (ACU) is undertaking a research project exploring how social welfare workers in the ACT understand and approach restrictive practices with children and young people in out-of-home care.

This project is being supervised by academic staff with expertise and experience within this area.

Restrictive practices continue to be present when behaviours of concern endanger the safety of the individual or those around them. In the ACT, The Senior Practitioner Act 2018 was introduced to reduce and prevent the use of restrictive practices, with positive behaviour support strategies to be implemented instead. This project will explore how restrictive practices are understood, approached, and implemented by social welfare workers (practitioners) providing support to children and young people in out-of-home care settings in the ACT. It provides an opportunity for practitioners to share their first-hand knowledge and experience regarding restrictive practice and positive behaviour support, with the intention of generating knowledge to inform policy and practice that will enhance service provision to youth in out-of-home care.

What is involved

Practitioners who provide support to youth in out-of-home care settings are invited to partake in a 45 – 60-minute conversational style interview, either face-to-face or via an online platform such as Zoom, Ms Teams or Skype. The interview will be focused on what informs practitioners’ understandings and approaches to restrictive practices and positive behaviour support. Interviews will be transcribed with the main themes, ideas and findings being presented in a student thesis.

How to get involved

If you wish to participate in this project and you meet the requirements above, you can send an expression of interest to the research team via Carly McIntyre at carly.mcintyre@myacu.edu.au or Dr. Aniqa Farwa at aniqa.farwa@acu.edu.au or Dr. Amelia Wheeler at amelia.wheeler@acu.edu.au and receive further information about the project.

Institution and investigator contact

Australian Catholic University

Student Investigator: Carly McIntyre – carly.mcintyre@myacu.edu.au

Principal Investigator: Dr. Aniqa Farwa – aniqa.farwa@acu.edu.au

Co-supervisor: Dr. Amelia Wheeler – amelia.wheeler@acu.edu.au

Exploring social work practices in trauma informed service delivery

Key dates

17/05/2021 to 30/08/2021

Participants sought

Social workers with a completed BSW or MSW qualification who are currently working in the field of domestic and family violence services, and have worked in this field for at least 12 months.

About

The research project investigates social workers’ perspectives and experiences when engaging with trauma informed service delivery in the field of Domestic and family Violence (DFV) services.. The aim of this study is to gain a deeper understanding of social workers’ conceptualisations and views on trauma and trauma informed service delivery. It also aims to explore how social workers understanding of trauma impacts on their practice in conjunction with social work core values.

What is involved

One semi-structured 30-60-minute online interview in English (by Zoom or telephone), with a possibility of another 10-15 minute follow-up interview.

How to get involved

Please email Bronwyn.reimer@myacu.edu.au

Institution and investigator contact

Australian Catholic University

Investigator contact:

  • Student researcher – Bronwyn Reimer
  • Lead researcher – Dr Alankaar Sharma
  • Co-researcher – Dr Lobna Yassine

Inclusion of animals in social work practice – Exploring social worker's current approaches to practice

Key dates

5th of May 2021 - 29 September 2021

Participants sought

Qualified social workers working with animals

About

The purpose of this research project is to explore social worker's perspectives of the strengths, challenges and approaches to including animals as part of social work practice. If you are qualified social worker, and worked or have worked with clients who have animals or consider animals as part of their family, are involved using animals in any type of therapy, or you are interested in this area, you are invited to participate in this research project. Social workers need to be at least 18 years of age and involved and interested in human-animal interactions in their practice.

This study has three objectives:

(a) to explore the extent of exposure of social workers to and knowledge of HAB in social work practice;

(b) to investigate how much social workers have included companion animals in their assessment and treatment of clients; and

(c) to identify the degree of professional education and/or training received by social workers to include companion or other animals in their practice.

What is involved

Taking the survey of 20-30 minutes.

How to get involved

For more information go to https://uniofsunshinecoast.syd1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1NecAU0ZHgXKPrM or contact bbennet1@usc.edu.au

Institution and investigator contact

Dr Bindi Bennett University of the Sunshine Coast and Dr Polly Yeung, Massey University (NZ)

Empathy in Therapeutic Contexts: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

Key dates

Recruitment is now open

Participants sought

Social workers, occupational therapists, and psychologists, who are delivering counselling under the Medicare Australia Scheme are invited to participate in new research into the meaning, phenomenon, and experience of empathy in therapeutic practice contexts.

About

This research is exploring how professional’s use and describe empathy in their professional work. The research will examine the implications of empathy and empathic experiences in practice for professional workers.

What is involved

One semi-structured interview that will take about 60-90 minutes to complete.

How to get involved

Please email; tracy.s.watson@postgrad.curtin.edu.au

Institution and investigator contact

Curtin University
Student researcher – Tracy Watson
Chief researcher – David Hodgson
david.hodgson1@curtin.edu.au

Curtin University Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) has approved this study (HRE2020-0442).

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers