Our network of university partners is engaged in several project from social work education to practice and implementation of social work.

Cultural competence in social work education

Aim: The aim of the project is to consider how issues of diversity and cultural are dealt with in the curriculum of social work education at the bachelor and master level. We explore for example how working with diverse groups of people is defined or addressed in the curriculums of different social work schools, how the term ‘cultural competence’ is used (if used), and how is it linked with social work education. 

Participants: Janet Anand (Finland); Chaitali Das (Germany); Natalie Joubert (Finland); Guðbjörg Ottósdóttir (Iceland); Lena Robinson (Australia); Ceren Şengül (France); Emme-Li Vingare (Sweden)

Contact person: Chaitali Das (

AIFE - Audit of International Field Education in Social Work: Programs, Models and Best Practices

Aim: The aim of the project is to consider the different ways in which field-placements in social work education are organized and managed. Our starting point is the realization that different schools of social work organize field placements differently, even when the national regulations in place. As academics interested in the transferability of skills as well as international social work, we are examining the different models of fieldwork placements in Nordic Baltic countries and the similarities, differences, opportunities and challenges that these present. The study eventually aims to consider the diverse and different forms of placement models and to further pedagogical practices and theory in social work, and in international fieldwork. Information on these issues is relatively unsystematic and understudied in social work research and education thus far. This research will also contribute to the identification of best practices and a deeper consideration of the role of placements in social work.

The research is a pilot project aimed to explore the different models of field placement in social work education regionally and internationally.

Participants: Janet Anand (Finland), Chaitali Das (Germany)

Contact person: Janet Anand (

Evidencing the Effectiveness of Health Social Work Assessment and Interventions (Sostyö-TerVa)

Aim: The study seeks to address the research question as to how effective social work interventions are in providing integrated service paths, linking hospital services with social care and achieving measurable patient well-being. Aim 1: Develop an evidence base to support a model for social work intervention for service users receiving hospital care. It will be informed by the audit survey data of health social work practice in Helsinki (HUS), Tampere (TAYS) and Kuopio (KYS). This will include a psychosocial assessment, a brief client-centred social work intervention and service and benefits linkage to support patients transitioning from hospital. The model will be applied while service users (patients) are hospitalised and subsequently inform services after discharge. Aim 2: Compare the results (health and social indicators) of the intervention group receiving the evidence informed social work service at the HUS (HCH), the TAYS (Mental Health Service) and the KYS (Cancer Centre) with a comparative group in each site exposed to usual social work care. Aim 3: Compare the process of the implementation of the intervention group (Social Work service Path – SWSP) of Care in HUS (Parents of pediatric service users), TAYS (Mental Health Service) and the KYS (Cancer Centre) with a comparative group in each site receiving usual social work care. Aim 4: To evaluate capacity building in Practice Research for health social workers developed during the implementation of the study. We will use researchers in university-based research centers in Helsinki, Tampere and Kuopio, and health social work practitioners at Helsinki Children’s Hospital, Tampere Hospital mental health service and Kuopio Cancer Centre. The extension of this capacity building for Practice Research in health social work services may be subsequently scaled up for use in hospitals by the House of Effectiveness at University of Eastern Finland and the Heikki Waris Institute (Helsinki).

Participants: University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio University Hospital, University of Tampere, Tampere University Hospital, University of Helsinki, Helsinki University Hospital, University of Melbourne

Contact person: Janet Anand (