Widening health inequalities are a major cause of avoidable suffering for social work service users internationally. This has been a neglected issue within social work practice and research but should be an important consideration for social workers in all settings, as the primary causes of health inequalities are social, economic and environmental factors. Four seminars were funded by the Economic and Social Research Council in the UK in 2006 and 2007 to place this issue on the social work research agenda.
The aim of the seminar series was to create the basis for establishing national and international collaborative programmes of social work research on health inequalities.
The objectives of the seminar series were to:
- Explore theoretical and conceptual issues informing social work research on the causes, consequences, alleviation and redress of health inequalities within countries and globally
- Generate an agenda of key themes, issues and priorities for research
- Examine and develop ethical and methodological approaches to social work research on health inequalities
- Explore the inter-disciplinary, inter-professional and inter-agency context of social work practice and social work research in relation to health inequalities
- Build international collaborative working relationships to co-ordinate research programmes
- Support the development of post-graduate and doctoral social work research in health inequalities.
The papers given at the seminars are available by clicking these links: