Strengths of qualitative research in social work’s “policy practice”
In this article we defend the argument that the immersion of qualitative research in social worker’s daily practice, allowing its supra immediacy comprehension and analysis, can increase social work’s “policy practice”. The possibility to influence policies, to assess and build renewed responses to structural constraints and social injustices, and to critically discuss and influence service’s functioning and power structures is very connected with the ways of construction and use of practice-based evidences. Qualitative research can be used by social workers in daily practice to achieve these goals. By the use of comprehensive approaches qualitative research gives significance to politics’ concepts and highlights the impacts of policies and intervention on people and territories. This argument is based on two main assumptions: (i) The qualitative research allows joining analytically fragments of social reality, identifying common patterns under the appearance of daily practice heterogeneity, and (ii) It permits the systematization of data over the apparent chaotic discourses without neutralizing the uniqueness of personal narratives.