chapter  7
Moving From Gut Feeling to Evidence
The Case of Social Work
ByGemma Mitchell
Pages 21

This chapter highlights the complex, more informal practices social workers use to respond to the resulting disparity between the messy, uncertain reality of family life and what is deemed 'acceptable' evidence that can help promote change for children and their families. It argues that 'deep expertise' is required in order to share risk knowledges within the same 'epistemic culture'. The chapter also argues that a further sign of deep expertise in child and family social work is the ability to reconcile the use of 'gut feeling' with the evidence-based practice approach that underpins the official rules and guidance they must follow. Prior to the aforementioned, there will be a brief outline of the methodology. The chapter explores one element of the often invisible, more informal practices social workers use as a response to uncertainty in the 'risk society'. Adequate explication is a social worker's pragmatic response to the impossible task of full explication.