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March 2010Vol. 11, No. 2Effective University-Community Research Collaborations

Research collaborations between schools of social work and community organizations or agencies can be beneficial to all parties and to the child welfare profession. A recent article in Social Work, "Developing Effective Social Work University – Community Research Collaborations," offers strategies for effective partnerships during the research process. Drawn from the research literature and the authors' experiences, these strategies may be especially useful for investigators new to research partnerships.

Four strategies are discussed:

  • Using a technology exchange perspective to ensure that research is beneficial to both the schools and the community
  • Using a longitudinal perspective that recognizes the evolutionary nature of research partnerships and creates professional development in the participating community agencies
  • Knowing the characteristics of the partners, including the motivation for participants, their organizational systems, and the agency culture of each partner
  • Developing clear contracts and budgets so partners can see who is assigned which components of the project and where money is designated

"Developing Effective Social Work University-Community Research Collaborations," by Audrey L. Begun, Lisa K. Berger, Laura L. Otto-Salaj, and Susan J. Rose, was published in Social Work, Vol. 55(1), and is available for purchase from the publisher: