The discipline of social work at the University of Helsinki conducts research on topical social phenomena and their backgrounds. Research themes include wellbeing at different stages of life, relationality and community activity, as well as social problems and everyday challenges.
A special strength of the discipline of social work at the University of Helsinki is practice research which incorporates the development of social services, the production of new knowledge and the provision of academic teaching. Practice research produces knowledge and methodological skills that benefit society and have practical relevance for work in the social services sector by establishing the different stages of the research process on an innovative basis that combines academic research with practical expertise.
Current research themes include the Finnish social and healthcare reform and its impact, the integration of immigrants, the provision of functional services for children and families, and the social exclusion of the elderly.
Social work researchers are involved in several research projects. All research projects and publications involving the discipline are listed in the research portal.
Key organisations involved in public engagement in connection with the University’s discipline of social work include the Heikki Waris Institute and Mathilda Wrede Institute; the Praksis network in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, within which the University of Helsinki cooperates with municipalities in the region; the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa; centres of excellence in the social welfare sector; and NGOs such as the Kalliola Settlement (in Finnish) and Osallisuuden aika association. Important partners in research and development also include the National Institute for Health and Welfare, centres of excellence in the social welfare sector in the Uusimaa region, and the FSKC.
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