To all the direct practice social workers, the ones who are trying to find the time and the energy and the ongoing motivation to conduct research, I am calling out to you. I know that you feel alone, but you are not. I’m just like you. I know that you finished your Master’s degree with some great ideas for research, and the belief that you would have the time and the energy to develop those ideas because you are passionate. You are passionate about finding answers and serving your clients, and you have high hopes about adding to the social work knowledge base.
But you’re also tired. You know you’re not going to be offered protected time to do research. And you’ve been conducting EBPs all day, or driving around and seeing clients in their homes, and you’re already exhausted. And even though you have that one, tiny grain of energy left, you’re struggling to remember those research skills. It’s been five years since you’ve had to use statistics, and you wouldn’t recognize a regression model if it bit you on the butt. And you’ve asked everyone at your facility about how to get in touch with the nearest IRB, and nobody knows what you’re talking about. And those research journals are expensive, and you have no access to an agency subscription. You probably feel a little daunted. And all of that passion and enthusiasm is leaking out of you, because all of those obstacles feel too big to surpass.
I hear you, and I’m just like you. I’m a social worker, and a trauma therapist. I’ve been fortunate enough to help people who struggle with PTSD for the past 9 years, and it’s the best thing that ever happened to me. I love what I do. This is my second career. Before this, I had a long and happy career in the world of technology, which I also loved. I love computers, and software, and data. I seem to understand those things at least as well as I understand people, and that makes me happy, too.
I also happen to be a non-traditional doctoral candidate. When I started my program, I was determined to find a way to combine all of these things that are meaningful to me. This website is the result. Right now, you can count on a blog, some community support, and the gradual introduction of some basic skills. We’re also going to spend some time focusing on learning data science, using R Programming, because this is an important skill for social workers to integrate into their skill sets. In time, we’re hoping to offer CEUs around the research-related skills that you learn. So please stick around. Bring your ideas and your hopes, and grow with us. Let’s focus on building social work practice research, together.
Gina G. MSW, LCSW