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Decision making is of crucial importance to the social work profession. Lives and liberty depend on decisions undertaken in crises and high risk situations. Daily we support clients in more mundane, everyday, risk-taking decision making. Professional judgments and recommendations have to be based explicitly on evidence and sound reasoning, utilising robust assessment tools and collaborative (and sometimes contested) decision making processes. There are challenges in creating, synthesising and using best evidence to inform social work policy and practice.

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Programme: DARE 2014

This biennial DARE conference series brings together researchers, educators, policy makers and senior practitioners to share developments on these related topics of decision-making, assessment, risk and the creation and use of evidence. The conference series aims to promote collaborative research, organisation development and teaching initiatives to improve professional knowledge and skills for the ultimate benefit of clients, families and society.

DARE II in 2012 brought together over 110 people from nine countries across Europe and North America. A link to information and a brief report on that conference is below.

Plenary Speakers:

-Professor Eileen Gambrill, Hutto Patterson Professor of Child and Family Studies at the School of Social Welfare, University of California at Berkeley, USA, who has an international reputation for her research and scholarship on critical thinking, decision making and evidence based practice.

-Dr Martin Webber, Reader in Social Work, Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of York, UK, well-known for his passion for rigorous research in social work, including experimental studies of effectiveness and the application of evidence to practice decisions.

-Mr David Carson, Visitor, School of Law, University of Southampton,a well-known international speaker on the interface between law and risk in human services including defensible decision making and the management of risk and decisions in organisations.

Further information will be added to this website over the coming months. TO be put on our mailing list for further information please email Mrs Sharon Lucas at:

Sponsored by the Institute for Research in Social Sciences

Event info

This event has ended

Tuesday 1 July to Wednesday 2 July

9am to 5pm

Templeton Hotel, Templepatrick, Northern Ireland

Mrs Sharon Lucas