Making Research Count – informing practice through research Making Research Count – informing practice through research

An important part of our impact strategy is our Making Research Count programme at UEA. Through this initiative we are able to share our latest research findings with practitioner colleagues and policy makers throughout East Anglia, contributing to the development of research-informed, evidence-based practice.  

Making Research Count (UEA) is part of a national collaborative research dissemination network, currently involving ten universities throughout England, each of which links with social work and social care agencies in their respective regional localities.  At UEA links have been forged with a number of local authorities in the region, our current partners being:

  • Essex County Council Children and Young People's Services
  • Essex County Council Adult Social Care
  • Norfolk County Council Children and Young People's Services
  • Norfolk County Council Adult Social Care
  • Suffolk County Council Children and Young People's Services
We provide each agency with a programme of events, on topics of their own choosing and delivered individually to them in their own locality. Topics reflect the research interests of the School of Social Work and the priorities of the individual agencies, and recent seminars have covered planning for permanence in foster care; adoption research; intensive family services for families with complex problems; looked-after children and offending; young people and substance misuse; learning from serious case reviews; the timeliness of care proceedings; information sharing vs. confidentiality; reflective supervision in social work; mental capacity, safeguarding and direct payments; and end-of-life issues.  In addition UEA's partner authorities come together from time to time for regional events, enabling those attending to share practice experience with colleagues from other local authorities. The local authorities pay an annual subscription in return for their programme of events.
Making Research Count works alongside its member agencies in bringing together the best of practitioner knowledge and expertise, knowledge from academic research, and information and expertise from service users and carers. Key objectives are:
  • Improving the dissemination and implementation of research findings;
  • Enabling participants from the participating agencies to make sense of research;
  • Helping agencies develop their skills in evaluating their existing practices and policies, and apply research awareness to service development;
  • Involving managers and practitioners in setting research agendas;
  • Encouraging agency responsibility for establishing a knowledge based practice culture;
  • Incorporating service users' and carers' views;
  • Encouraging networking among professionals.
The national network was founded in 1997, with Emeritus Professor June Thoburn as one of its founder members. The network comprises ten universities, each of which provides social work education at qualifying and post qualifying levels and has a proven track record in social work and social care research.  In addition to UEA, Making Research Count programmes are run at the universities of Bedfordshire, Central Lancashire, Keele, King's College (London), Northumbria (with Teesside), Salford, the West of England (at Bristol), York and at The Open University.  Between them they have some 60 member agencies.   
The academic lead for Making Research Count (UEA) is Professor Gillian Schofield, and the project coordinator is Sue Bailey.
If your organisation would be interested in becoming a partner, or you would like further information on Making Research Count at the University of East Anglia, please contact Sue:
Tel: +44 (0) 1603 593557