Matthew Cohen, MSW

Matthew Cohen, MSW

Social Justice Solutions | Staff Writer
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Evidenced Based Practice Stifles Innovation

Post Submitted by Chelsey O’Hare:

I was just reading about Evidenced Based Practice and I can see why it’s controversial in social work practice. From my understanding it seems too stringent and bureaucratic. It’s as if we have to conform to a practice/research style in order to be micro-managed by the bureaucracy that is providing us funding. I also think that it does not leave much room for us to be innovated in social work practice at all; it does not promote our creativity.  Studies supporting the effectiveness of interventions typically do not find that the tested interventions are guaranteed to work with every client or situation (Rubin & Babbie, 2013), that statement leads me to believe that social work is trying too hard to prove itself as a science. I also think that there should be a more balanced approach to this while including the dodo bird verdict and including our capacity to be creative and innovative. It seems obvious to me that as a professional we will base our practice on proven to an extent methods.

Learning about EBP has caused me to become more and more disenchanted with social work. I feel like it undermines the ideals and ethics of the social work profession as a profession of change. If we see a problem we are suppose to work for change, and I do not understand how we are supposed to do that if our practice depends on following a practice that occasionally worked for someone else. And it goes back to the complaint I have had for awhile now, which is the focus on clinical work. If we aren’t working towards large social change through advocacy efforts than we are not fulfilling the social work standards of ethics, EBP does not apply to advocacy efforts. The bureaucratic aspect of Evidence Based Practice seems  to be for the sake of capitalism. This leads me to conclude that when put so much emphasis on EBP rather than innovation and creativity, social work just becomes another business.

Posters email:

There are valid concerns here, this is in important topic that each social worker should consider. Is an obsession with EBP taking the emphasis away on from macro social work? Many thanks to Chelsey for this submission.




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