There are plans this year to commission studies of community care, and work with families, young people and children.
This will include research on the quality of care in residential and nursing homes and an examination of the ways in which homes identify and respond to the needs and views of residents.
There is also a continuing concern to develop more effective approaches to work with offenders. Research will investigate the assessment and management of risk and the development of social work's contribution to community safety.
The statement of research priorities has been welcomed by James Douglas-Hamilton, minister of state at The Scottish Office responsible for social work.
He said: 'It is essential that social work practice is based on firm evidence of what is effective and that we review the results of our policies. This research programme will contribute to both these aims.'
-- Social Work Services Group research priorities 1996-1999 and The Scottish Office research programme on the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 are available from: Social Work Information Point, Room 53, James Craig Walk, Edinburgh, EH1 3BA, E-mail: Marion.McGowan@so008.scotoff.gov.uk.