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Practitioner Action Researchers Needed! –  A New Role For Thinking About Thinking About Children’s Social Care

Practitioner action researchers needed! – a new role for thinking about thinking about children’s social care

To regenerate RCC we will need more people from more diverse voices involved than currently.

We need to purposely change what we are doing, who is being involved.

We need to consciously understand the idea of the ‘public sphere’ in relation to the generation of RCC knowledge and its dissemination.

It is not a question of expanding what we do now as this sort of greater inclusivity will mean a greater burden being placed on a few, and this piece argues this will likely not include the diversity of views that will be beneficial.

We need to think about things, and do, differently.

It is observable that the discussion and publications regarding RCC, of recent times, have routinely been concerned with instrumental action, purely goal-oriented behaviour, often primarily with the economics of children’s social care rather than the effects of children’s social care.

We have developed a thoughtfulness on some matters and as a result a thoughtlessness on others; we have left undone some important things whilst doing other things.   

Scientific (research and policy) thinking has been kept separate from our reflective thinking, that this occurs prevents the critical thinking from the position of a reflective researcher-practitioner.

This doing differently will need arguing for in the current Value-For-Money accountancy perspective that sees little return on this task and role.

Some starter questions to reveal the place of research in your organisation?

  • Who has the research role in your organisation?
  • How is development of your organisation driven by research?
  • How is research disseminated in your organisation?

In the UK we scrimp on research, often it is deployed to prove a case, often to gain an ascendancy in a discussion.

We then do its development and dissemination by default rather than by design.

One means of moving on from this impasse is the role of an intermediary organisation to ensure everyone gets everything necessary to meet needs all of the time. 20 years ago NCERCC was funded by government to provide this service. In today’s world such knowledge distribution is not seen as a state responsibility. Knowledge becomes commodified. Knowledge has become income and is protected rather than distributed. To regenerate RCC practice and thinking needs free access.

New task and role needed – practitioner action researchers

There are few practitioner action researchers. There are few RCC specific journals linking social theory and practice. RCC is a lesser presence in the professional journals, understandably as social work focus is their prime focus. Often the papers are accounts of practice or evaluations of providers/projects.

NCERCC