The giving and receiving of support and care is intensely personal and intimate. At the same time, support and care is formed by context and history. Its ethical, political and philosophical dimensions are highly contested.
In Australia, there is a growing demand for attention to support and care, for example in relation to future provision for older people, the contribution of unpaid carers, and the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Parallel developments are seen in many other countries. Support and care is rapidly emerging as an urgent research and education challenge for the coming decades.
Social Policy & Practice Research Program brings together researchers and educators within RMIT’s Social and Global Studies Centre. Its objective is to create new understandings and practices that benefit citizens and communities in situations of vulnerability and precarity.
The key aims of the Social Policy & Practice Research Program are to
The program engages with the complexities that give shape to the lives of people in situations of vulnerability. Inter-disciplinary perspectives and principles of inclusive research are central. Members of the research program are drawn from across RMIT University. The research proceeds through strong collaboration with community service organisations and consumer groups.
The research interests of the program span support and care in relation to older people, people with disabilities, mental health, children, youth and families, unpaid carers, and Indigenous communities. It attends to multiple identities and interdependency in our social relations. Integrated models of policy, planning and service delivery are of special concern.
Particular areas of research focus include:
The main activities of the program include
RMIT University & CPA Australia (2018), Mergers, Amalgamations & Acquisitions in the Australian Not-for-Profit Human Services Sector; N Subramaniam, A Lowe, Y Nama and R West, School of Business-GAL, RMIT University, Melbourne
Durham, C.,Ramcharan, P. (2017). Insight into brain injury: Factors for feeling and faring better, Springer, Singapore
David, C.,Nipperess, S.,Maylea, C. (2017). Submission to the Joint Standing Committee Inquiry into Transitional Arrangements for the National Disability Insurance Scheme In: Refugee Council of Australia Canberra, Australia
West, R.,Ramcharan, P. (2017). Evaluation of the Financial Consumer Rights Council – dignity and debt: financial difficulty and getting older initiative In: Financial Consumer Rights CouncilMelbourne, Australia
Connolly, M.,Williams, C.,Cooper, L. (2017). Strengthening the knowledge base: a research framework for social work education? In: Advances in Social Work and Welfare Education, 19, 25 – 36
David, C.,West, R. (2017). (In Press) NDIS self-management approaches: opportunities for choice and control or an Uber-style Wild West? In: Australian Journal of Social Issues, , 1 – 16
Egan, V.,Maidment, J.,Connolly, M. (2017). Trust, Power and Safety in the Social Work Supervisory Relationship: Results from Australian Research In: Journal of Social Work Practice, 31, 307 – 321
Grant, G.,Pollard, N.,Allmark, P.,Machaczek, K.,Ramcharan, P. (2017). The social relations of a health walk group: an ethnographic study In: Qualitative Health Research, 27, 1701 – 1712
Rollins, W.,Egan, V.,Zuchowski, I.,Duncan, M.,Chee, P.,Muncey, P.,Hill, N.,Higgins, M. (2017). Leading Through Collaboration: The National Field Education Network In: Advances in Social Work and Welfare Education, 19, 48 – 61
West, R.,Ramcharan, P.,Basser, L. (2017). Apparently we have human rights to health? Health and human rights frameworks of people with disabilities in Victoria In: Australian Journal of Human Rights, 23, 24 – 41
David, C. & West, R. (2017) NDIS Self-Management Approaches: Opportunities for choice and control or an Uber-style wild west? Australian Journal of Social Issues, 52:4 pp331-346
West R A and Jones M (2017) ‘Support & Care Research Program: Opportunities, barriers and strategies for cross-disciplinary collaboration’, Feb 2017; School of Global, Urban and Social Studies (GUSS); College of Design and Social Context (DSC), RMIT University, Melbourne
Costello, S.,Raxworthy, J. (2016). Educating for urban social work In: Social Work and the City: Urban Themes in 21st Century Social Work, Palgrave Macmillan, London, United Kingdom
Westhorp, G.,Stevens, K.,Rogers, P. (2016). Using realist action research for service redesignIn: Evaluation, 22, 361 – 379
Williams, C. (2016). Beyond the soup kitchen In: Social Work and the City: Urban Themes in 21st-Century Social Work, Palgrave MacMillan, United Kingdom
Williams, C.,Graham, M. (2016). Emergent theory for practice In: Social Work in a Diverse Society, Policy Press, Bristol, United Kingdom
Williams, C. (2016). Making sense of the city In: Social Work and the City: Urban Themes in 21st-Century Social Work, Palgrave MacMillan, United Kingdom
Williams, C. (2016). Reconstructing urban social work In: Social Work and the City: Urban themes in 21st Century Social Work, Palgrave Macmillan, Australia
Williams, C. (2016). Social issues and the city: New directions in practice In: Social Work and the City: Urban Themes in 21st-Century Social Work, Palgrave MacMillan, United Kingdom
Williams, C. (2016). Social work education and the challenge of race equality In: Routledge International Handbook of Social Work Education, Routledge, Abingdon, United Kingdom
Williams, C. (2016). Social work and the urban age In: Social Work and the City: Urban Themes in 21st-Century Social Work, Palgrave MacMillan, United Kingdom
Williams, C. (2016). Social work research and the city In: Social Work and the City: Urban Themes in 21st-Century Social Work, Palgrave MacMillan, United Kingdom
Egan, V.,Jane, M.,Connolly, M. (2016). Who is watching whom? Surveillance in Australian social work supervision In: British Journal of Social Work, 46, 1617 – 1635
Egan, V.,Maidment, J.,Connolly, M. (2016). Supporting quality supervision: insights for organisational practice In: International Social Work, , 1 – 15
Laragy, C.,David, C.,Moran, N. (2016). A framework for providing information in individualised funding programmes In: Qualitative Social Work, 15, 190 – 208
West R A and Ramcharan P (2016) Evaluation of the Financial Consumer Rights Council (FCRC) – Dignity and Debt: Financial Difficulty and Getting Older Initiative Report, Centre for Applied Social Research (CASR), RMIT University, Melbourne
Research assistant on disability workforce report ‘making it work’ – Laragy C, Ramcharan P, Fisher K, McCraw K, Williams R (2016) MAKING IT WORK A workforce guide for disability service providers: A Practical Design Fund project funded by the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, RMIT University Melbourne, Australia.