Researchers at CASCADE are currently conducting two research studies related to social worker decision-making and are seeking social workers to take part. 

Registered social workers in England are eligible to take part in Study 1 and registered social workers in Wales or anywhere else in the UK are eligible to take part in Study 2.

Study 1: for registered social workers in England

This study aims to explore ways of mitigating cognitive bias in social work by testing an intervention and measuring the difference it makes to confirmation bias and forecasting abilities. 

The study is held online via Qualtrics and will take approximately one hour to complete. Participation will involve: 

  1. Reading referrals and predicting what happened next 
  2. Random allocation into a control or intervention group 
  3. For those in the intervention group, reading through a case study and using a checklist with the aim of prompting reflection about the decision-making process
  4. Reading more referrals and predicting what happened next 
  5. Completing a short online task  

If you would like to take part, please follow this link.  

Study 2: for registered social workers in Wales and elsewhere in the UK

This study is being undertaken across the UK and internationally, being jointly run between Cardiff University and the University of Otago (in New Zealand). The study is exploring whether students and qualified social workers from different parts of the UK and in New Zealand have different or similar responses to the case study. 

Participation will involve completing an online survey, during which you will be asked to read an unfolding case vignette about one family, and answer questions about the level and nature of risk to the children, the family’s needs, and what you think should happen. The aim of the study is to help explore variability in decision-making, based on the idea that variability is an inevitable part of the social work system, yet also raises important questions about social justice and equal treatment.

If you would like to take part, please access the survey

For more information or questions regarding the studies, please contact Melissa: