'This 'must read' volume will challenge every researcher to re-examine their assumptions and approach to research with families. Munford and Sanders emphasise the positive contribution research can make through the development of an inclusive research process. Their model extends the principles of the action research method by emphasising the contribution of families at each stage of the research, and dissemination of results through an easily assessable 'range of research products'. The thought-provoking case studies articulate the strengths and realities of applying their model in a wide variety of settings in different countries.' - Angeline Barretta-Herman, Professor of Social Work, University of St Thomas

'This book tackles the hard issues which are becoming of vital importance for all researchers. How our research can make a difference to research participants and our communities, and also satisfy the needs of other players, are some of the difficult questions this book addresses. The book's direct approach, and its inclusion of work from around the globe, make it widely applicable.' - Professor Jan Fook, La Trobe University

Doing research with families poses particular challenges in social work and welfare. The families are generally clients of social services, and can be in a vulnerable position. Also, it is important that family research contributes to improving practice in clinical and community work.

Making a Difference in Families discusses key approaches to research with families, including action research, focus groups and participant observation. Contributors explore both qualitative and quantitative methods, and examine ways in which researchers can involve participants in the research process. Detailed case studies are provided of research in a variety of settings, and with different kinds of family situations.

chapter |14 pages


Making a difference
ByRobyn Munford, Jackie Sanders

chapter 1|20 pages

Empowerment-based evaluation: Research and social change

ByPauline Raven, Michelle Rivard, Yolande Samson, Madine VanderPlaat

chapter 2|20 pages

Optimising the relationships between research, policy and practice: A systemic model

ByJohn Canavan, Pat Dolan, John Pinkerton

chapter 3|19 pages

A model for Maori research: Te whakaeke i te ao rangahau o te Maori

ByWheturangi Walsh-Tapiata

chapter 4|19 pages

Disabled people and research: Putting families first

ByAnne Bray, Brigit Mirfin-Veitch

chapter 5|20 pages

Action research with families/whanau and communities

ByRobyn Munford, Jackie Sanders, Ann Andrew, Peter Butler, Leland Ruwhiu

chapter 7|21 pages

Mandatory social work: Research with vulnerable families

ByJill Worrall, Margaret McKenzie

chapter 8|20 pages

Strengthening practice through research: Research in organisations

ByJackie Sanders, Robyn Munford

chapter 10|18 pages

Comparative family policy research

ByCelia Briar, Mike O'Brien