Student Research/Enquiry

An aspiration of The CPEL programme is to contribute to the development of good social work practice across Wales. Participants on the Experienced Practice in Social Work and Senior Practice in Social Work programmes will have the opportunity to carry out a piece of enquiry/research in which they apply their learning to their own area of expertise. Further down on the page you will see a list of projects completed to date; the purpose of posting these titles is:

  1. To establish the CPEL’s programmes progress in the involvement of practitioners in research
  2. To share with prospective students and employers the broad range of ideas as to where their own interests might take them
  3. To provide the beginnings of a network of interests across Wales so links may be made across counties where thematic commonalities are evident. (It is intended that after permission has been granted contributor details will be included so that contact can be made. In the meantime if you are interested in the piece of work concerned please contact the CPEL coordinator – – for more details)

Projects Completed to Date

Below you will find a list of items of Research/Enquiry carried out by Social Workers as part of their CPEL studies. We have divided them by year although as the list develops the intention is to build them thematically as well. As a start in 2017 we have divided by Adults/Children.


  • An examination and evaluation of the impact of a service redesign based on the ‘Reclaiming Social Work’ model.
  • How can the organisation devise better ways of supporting newly qualified social workers to become competent practitioners?
  • How best can we introduce the goal re-scoring by the social care team for phase two of the TANS intervention?
  • Social Workers experiences on gathering family’s wishes and views when their case is progressing to a child protection conference. Consideration of any difficulties in gathering this information.
  • A study of life story books for adoptive children.
  • Social worker’s experience of working with teenagers who self-harm and/or threaten suicide, and any implications in relation to client gender.
  • A study of statutory social workers’ knowledge and experience of honour based violence.
  • To consider how best to gain the views of the parents/carers of the YOS involvement with their young people, at the end of YOS interventions.
  • Does the current Matching Process support a child’s journey through placement?”
  • A Study of Children’s Services Social Workers’ Experience of Involving Children In Care Planning and Plan Implementation, with particular reference to children on the Child Protection Register.
  • An exploration of statutory Children’s Services social workers’ views on ways to implement the assessment framework as part of The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 focussing on the 5 elements of assessment.
  • Do qualified child care social workers make use of research based literature in written reports?
  • A study as to area of improvement to support services for male survivors of domestic abuse and violence.
  • Are social workers failing male victims of sexual exploitation?
  • A study establishing if social workers feel confident when assessing risk in children who display sexual harmful behaviour.
  • A study of Statutory Children’s Services social workers experiences of completing parenting assessments within court proceedings.
  • How can the use of goal setting and scoring in IFST reviews be improved upon?
  • Why are Mental Health Social Workers reluctant to use Direct Payments?
  • How to improve the participation of disabled children and their families in short break care reviews?
  • How can we reduce homelessness amongst our care leavers?
  • How to help improve the use of the Mary Glover handbook?
  • Examination of an introduction to the team of a new measuring tool as part of initial assessment process.
  • Increasing accessibility to direct payments for the over-65s.
  • How can practitioners working with older adults overcome barriers to the disclosure of abuse?
  • Can job rotation improve social worker’s knowledge and competence and is this beneficial for practice?
  • Is there unmet need on the part of social services for those with Acquired Brain Injury in (county) ?
  • What do practitioners want to achieve from regular peer group supervision?
  • What is the suitability of the SERAF tool in successfully identifying Child Sexual Exploitation
  • Evaluating the involvement and role of children in the placement decision making process
  • An examination of the possibility of widening the ways in which social workers may work with young people who sexually offend.


Children and Families

  • Does the current placement-matching process work for disabled children and foster carers?
  • The development of a toolkit in Pre Birth Assessments.
  • A study into the experience of social workers working within the ‘County Lines’ phenomenon.
  • Life story books and what facilitates their use by adopters?
  • The agreement of birth parents to letterbox contact and potential for enhanced commitment.
  • To identify the key features of a practitioner-led audit tool that would be realistic to undertake and which would contribute to the evaluation of …. (a particular early years service).
  • Social workers confidence and ability in producing court assessments in the PLO process in relation to sibling attachments in preparation for adoption.
  • What support is required to enable staff within education to improve the quality of referrals to children’s services?
  • How do Children’s Services social workers work with parents with learning disabilities?
  • Understanding the role of the ‘Corporate Parent’ in the formation of children and young people’s autobiographical narratives: A biographic narrative interpretive method exploration of young people’s experiences of being ‘Looked After’ and of leaving care.
  • Does the current placement request forms used by the local authority offer adequate information for positive placement matching?
  • A study into ‘Looked After’ children’s statutory visits undertaken by the Local Authority and the timescales these are completed in.
  • Defining meaningful and measurable outcomes for young people with severe autism.
  • An exploration of Social Workers experience of working with children diagnosed with autism (ASD) and the overlap with ‘atttachment disorders’.
  • A study exploring the factors influencing the engagement of fathers in preventative services : A practitioner perspective.
  • A study of the adoptive parents’ awareness of the provision of adoption support services.
  • A study of how social workers view the benefits of and difficulties in meetings between potential adopters and birth parents.


  • A study into the experiences of Service Users and Life Story Work in the transition from home into a care facility.
  • An analysis of how to identify and achieve outcomes for individuals with Learning Disabilities through a new Assessment Framework pursuant to the Social Services and Well Being Act 2014.
  • Are timely hospital discharges carried out at the expense of service user participation?
  • Undertaking capacity and best interests – exploring the confidence of social workers.
  • Does completing Accreditation following attendance at integrated family support services modular skills training have an impact on the retention and implementation of learning for course participants from the ‘wider workforce’?
  • A survey into the history, development and application of the consultant social worker role in Wales with a focus on the use of mentoring in the role.
  • A study to explore the quality and components needed for a successful rehabilitation facility for younger adults with a physical disability.

The content of these projects and the experience of completing them may be of interest to students, social workers and managers. The projects are worth 30 credits at Level 7, mostly with an action enquiry/research orientation, and are modest in scale compared to a dissertation. Additionally, many are completed with a view to giving a presentation rather than writing a report. As such their usefulness is more likely to lie in conversation with the social worker who completed them rather than as a simple reading. The CPEL Co-ordinator would be happy to facilitate this, although any discussion remains at the discretion of the social workers/employers concerned.

We are also developing links with other initiatives designed to promote practitioner-led research across Wales, including Exchange Wales and Wales School for Social Care Research at Swansea University.