Towards Glocal Practice Research in Health Social Work

A workshop at ESWRA 2019 SIG preconfernece at Leuwen, April 10th, 2019 afternoon session.

 by Mirja Satka, Laura Yliruka, Lybette Joubert & Jenika Heinonen

Workshop Abstract

As part of the current societal trends social work has reached the era of compressed modernity; there is still an individual – or a social worker – in a situation as described by Mary Richmond. However, the situation has been profoundly modified during the past decades. For example, digitalization combined with e.g. the globalized management practices has opened up new challenges and possibilities for the profession and discipline. Living and working in the middle of ongoing transformations makes it difficult to gain a holistic picture of health social work as a global field of research-informed expert activity. We consider it timely to refresh the picture of health social work in its present global and local relations.

Our aim is to explore the realization of one glocally-aware social work practice research process. The session is based on the introduction of our ongoing research of profiling Health Social Work in Finland and in Victoria, Australia.

The methodology adopts a comparative practice research perspective, developed as a co-created design with social work managers in both countries. The same audit tool was translated and modified for the Finnish health care system in 2018. The data collection took place by social workers who audit their practice over a time-window of 24 hours. The Study Results e.g. define the specific tasks, and underlying theories and models informing their interventions and other related professional activities. The aim of the study is to provide evidence of the role of social workers from health social work departments both in Victoria and in Finland.

This session is methodologically built on the pragmatist ideas of practice research, and carried out by applying the method of dialogue with the participants, who will be encouraged to participate in a process of co-creation of practice research methodology.  This will be based on the same co-created process developed in Melbourne Australia and Helsinki Finland.

We wish all interested welcome!





Current stage of Practice Research

– local experiences and general issues

Wednesday March 30’th 9am – 4pm


In connection to the European Conference for Social Work Research, Lisbon 2016 we invite you to participate in a pre-conference on Practice Research.

The goal of the pre-conference is to share ideas, discussions and experiences about practice research among participants. Being both a new and developing area in social work the focus will be on different approaches, understandings and experiences coming out of presentations and discussions. We are not aiming at specific definitions and understandings. On the contrary we hope to open up for new understandings and perspectives – and maybe controversies – in practice research. Hereby we hope to promote cross-national practice-based research projects as well as scholarly debates and knowledge exchange among the various research interested stakeholders related to social work practice. The main activity at the pre-conference will be a series of workshops or work-discussions with paper presentations and discussions. The pre-conference will develop through three clusters of two hours each, during which participants are expected to present short papers of 10 minutes.  Each cluster will contain a maximum of 6 paper presentations within one of the pre-conference themes in order to leave time for discussion and sharing.

Print a flyer from here


Registration and/or submission of abstracts here

The pre-conference is organized by the ‘Special Interest Group in Practice Research in Social Work’ established at the European Conference for Social Work Research, Ljubjana 2015. Members of the pre-conference committee are: Dr. Laura Yliruka, Development manager at Heikki Waris Institute, Finland, Assistant Professor Teresa Bertotti, University of Milano Bicocca, Italy, Professor Tor Slettebø, Diakonhjemmet University College, Norway and Professor Lars Uggerhøj, Aalborg University, Denmark.


JUNE 2015

Development manager Laura Yliruka will defend her doctoral dissertation on the 16th of June in the University of Helsinki! You will find her doctoral dissertation here:


The first comment of our web pages in English arrived on February 27th  from professor Mike Austin, the University of California, Berkeley saying:  “Thanks. This is so important for sharing your wonderful work with the world.”