Research proposal: The participation and involvement of social workers and users’ satisfaction in UK
The study seeks to investigate the participation and involvement of social workers and user satisfaction. Research about users’ satisfaction or dissatisfaction and more general views about the services the social worker offer or would like to will be examined. Research relevant to social work will deal with broad questions for example, the relationship of life chances, health and education with social class, and with access to health and social service provision (Clarke, 2005). It will also address the effectiveness in child and older people protection and in models of community care and acre management. The results of the study would provide an understanding of the financial and social effects on families of caring for children and older people as experienced by users in the United Kingdom.
Research questions or hypotheses
- The research will have one research question in mind: are the beneficiaries of social services satisfied with the services offered by the social workers.
Aims and objectives of research proposal
Building understanding of the situation can provide insight on the problem areas and support system needed by social workers and users, the best way for users to meet these needs, and the role of social workers and the community in delivering support. The study will further address and identify particular problems or drawbacks in social work service and practice delivery. For instance, it will examine user participation and involvement in decision-making process plus other areas in connection with social work.
The methodological framework of the study will be mixed method combining qualitative and quantitative study. Combining the qualitative and quantitative study ensures thorough data collection on the effects of the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the users of social work and the social workers as well (Kabala, 2005). A qualitative study aims to derive a detailed description of the phenomenon studied. The researcher will take a key role in the data collection process. The outcome is data in the form of words and other descriptive forms. The qualitative study supports the purpose to investigate the problems faced by both social workers and users. It will be expected that some effects will be measurable while other effects might not (Charmaz, 2006). Using the qualitative study ensures that the effects that are not measurable will be collected.
A quantitative study aims to classify, count and use measures to explain the condition or situation being studied. Data collection instruments, which are prepared beforehand, comprise the tools in collecting data (Mandan, 2005). The result is data in the form of numbers and statistical measures. Using quantitative study ensures that the measurable effects of satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the users and social workers in The United Kingdom are examined. To align with the mixed method, two data collection methods will be used. One method is qualitative and the other method is quantitative (Camilla, 2003). Using both these methods supports the collection of thorough data on the suitability of the social workers.
Methods of data collection
The quantitative data collection method is survey using a questionnaire. A survey is best used in studies seeking answers for How, when, problems and to what extent. It is also useful in collecting data from a large number of participants. A survey is the appropriate quantitative method for the study because it supports the gathering of data on the measurable effects and it enables the researcher to collect data from 100 respondents.
The survey questionnaire takes about 35 minutes to finish. The questionnaires will be sent prior or in advance to the selected respondents together with a return address and envelope, after contacting them and obtaining their participation in the study. Duration of one week will be allowed for the questionnaire completion. They will be contacted during the mid-week to follow-up on the questionnaire (Clarke, 2005).
The qualitative data collection method will be interview. The interview supports the gathering of responses on all question types, especially on how and why questions. This method is useful in collecting in-depth data. This is the appropriate qualitative data collection method because it enables the researcher to draw the non-measurable effects of user satisfaction or dissatisfaction, descriptions and explanations will also be included (Charmaz, 2006).
The interviews serve as a follow-up on the responses to the survey questionnaire to obtain in-depth accounts. The questions focus on accounts of the level of satisfaction, social relations of social workers and beneficiaries, as well as on areas of need and recommendations in addressing these areas. The interview takes around 40 minutes to complete for each beneficiary. The researcher will make interview notes and asks follow-up questions depending on the answers of the respondents (Munhall, 2007).
The data collection instrument is a semi-structured survey questionnaire. It has six sections intended to address the aim and objectives of the study. The first section asks about the socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents, including income, residence, occupation, and hours worked outside of the home. This section provides information about the characteristics of beneficiaries (Mandan, 2005). The socio-demographic characteristics of families affect the ability to care for social workers, the difficulties that could arise, and the means of addressing these difficulties. The sections are divided further to numerous areas whose data will lead directly or indirectly to answering or fulfilling the research objective (Caldwell, 2003).
The participants of the study are parents, both fathers and mothers, or other users who are not parents. The participants (to fill the questionnaires and to be interviewed) will be selected randomly. After identifying the beneficiaries or families with social workers, 100 participants (50 fathers and 50 mothers) will be selected using stratified random sampling. This method of selection considers criteria in selecting the respondents. The criteria comprise the classification of the respondents and the number of respondents needed to represent each classification (Kabala, 2005). The specific respondents to fill the number required for each classification are selected randomly. Using this sampling method ensures that both fathers and mothers of families from different income classes and those living in urban and rural areas are represented proportionally.
After identifying the required number to ensure representation, the selection of the specific participants representing gender, income classes and urban/rural residence will be randomly selected. Out of the 100 survey participants, 10 fathers and 10 mothers will be selected for interview. Stratified random sampling will also be applied in selecting the interview respondents to ensure representation of parents falling under the different income classes and urban/rural residence (Munhall, 2007). The selected respondents will be contacted to introduce the study, explain the participation needed from them, request their participation, and arrange the sending and return of the questionnaire. The respondents selected for the interview will also be contacted for the interview arrangements (Caldwell, 2003).
Quantitative data will be analyzed using descriptive statistics to summarize the responses and determine means and standard deviation. T-test and correlation coefficient will be used to determine differences across groups based on income classes and urban/rural residence as well as determine the significance of measurable level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the social workers’ beneficiaries (Kabala, 2005). Qualitative data will be analyzed by using thematic classification and drawing implications relative to the quantitative data and the research questions. Results will be presented in tables and graphs together with textual explanations. From the analysis, the level of beneficiaries’’ satisfaction and dissatisfaction will be determined.
Credibility of the finding
The study takes both qualitative and quantitative approaches to achieve the desired objectives. The qualitative approach will help in the examination of the current demographic factors exploring the various factors that act as drivers to the effectiveness and satisfaction level of the social workers (Jeon, 2004). This method is appropriate because initially the research aims to examine the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the beneficiaries bearing in mind the diverse nature of the contemporary social workers but using a qualitative approach exploring the perceptions that drive the formulation and adoption of the management strategies.
The literature examines original investigations, other literature reviews, peer reviewed academic literature, research databases, reviews, journals in various academic fields and original manuscripts that relate to beneficiary satisfaction (Charmaz, 2006). One of the most recent studies, which directly involved investigation of customer satisfaction of user is the study carried out by SSP (2006). Since a search in the research databases produces a big number of results, the reviewed literature sources are picked on a random- sample strategy (Camilla, 2003).
Internal validity of the research is low as with most field research. A number of factors are likely to impact on the amount and type of collected data. Some of the factors that have been identified to cause an impact on the internal validity of a study include the following. The variety of information collected from various people and sources might contradict. For instance, in one study, the researchers found out that the management had created different environments for the social workers (Jeon, 2004).
Another notable threat to the research validity is the method of selection that might be (though the probability cannot be determined) biased. Since participation in the study by respondents is voluntary, selection bias is likely to affect the internal validity. Instrumentation is also identified by the scholars as another factor that affects internal validity. In this threat, any change or alterations made in the measurement of variables or changes in the techniques of observation may justify changes in the measurement that is ultimately obtained. This is evident from various researches (Camilla, 2003). A good way of dealing with this threat is to ensure consistency of the data analysis method used and techniques applied by the authors.
In conclusion, the research outcomes will be essential in determining the level of user satisfaction concerning the services offered by the social workers. It will also determine the difficulties that the social workers face when carrying out their duties. In general, the research is important for various users as it will assists in the determinati0n of the best management methods.
Caldwell, E., 2003, Research Designs and their applications: Connecticut, USA: Engage
Camilla, M., 2003, Textbook of basic Research Methods. New York, USA: Lippincott
Williams & Wilkins. Pp. 45-56.
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Clarke, A., 2005, Situational Analysis: Grounded Theory After the Postmodern Turn. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Jeon, Y., 2004, The application of grounded theory and symbolic interactionism: Sydney, Australia. University of technology.
Kabala, M., 2005, Modern Research Methods and Techniques. New York, USA: Lippincott
Mandan, S., 2005, Branding and Marketing: Modern salons. New York, USA: Lippincott
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Munhall, L., 2007, Nursing research: a qualitative perspective. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.