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Top Paying Social Work Jobs: #6 Social Science Researcher

Social Science Researcher

#6 Social Science Researcher

By David Lasuertmer

Average Salary: $63,561
Job Outlook: Average (Little or no change expected within a decade)

Social work research informs professional practice. Through social work research, the profession can: assess the needs and resources of people in their environments; evaluate the effectiveness of social work services in meeting peoples needs; demonstrate relative costs and benefits of social work services; advance professional education in light of changing contexts for practice; and understand the impact of legislation and social policy on the clients and communities we serve. Research is a critical tool for all social workers. There is great need for hard data and quantifiable information in every area of social work including homelessness, domestic violence, recidivism, and mental health, to name just a few.

One of the tasks of social work researchers is to help build the body of evidence-based practice (EBP). EBP is a process in which the practitioner combines well-researched interventions with clinical experience and ethics, and client preferences and culture to guide and inform the delivery of treatments and services. The practitioner, researcher and client must work together in order to identify what works, for whom and under what conditions. This approach ensures that the treatments and services, when used as intended, will have the most effective outcomes as demonstrated by the research. It will also ensure that programs with proven success will be more widely disseminated and will benefit a greater number of people.

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