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Those who practise, manage and pay for social work have increasingly to provide evidence of its quality and effectiveness. There is therefore substantial interest in the promotion of evaluative research, in a variety of forms and locations, and in the dissemination of its conclusions. This book aims to:present in an accessible and lively format recent research of direct relevance to key issues in social work policy and practicepromote understanding and use of research methods appropriate for both academic, practitioner and agency based research.The studies, all of which were undertaken in the last two or three years, have been carefully selected to illustrate the adaptation and development of research designs and methods which are appropriate to the exploration of central and enduring questions in the delivery of effective social work services. These include strategies for dealing with poverty, with the maltreatment of children and elderly people and methods for developing child centred practice and culturally/ethnically sensitive services. The chapters show how questions of policy and practice have influenced the research strategies and how research based practice can be promoted through practice driven research.