About the journal

European Social Work Research (ESWR) is the flagship journal of the European Social Work Research Association (ESWRA) and is dedicated to the development, practice and utilization of social work research. It is the only Europe-wide journal to focus uniquely on social work research and its intended audience is scholars, students, practitioners, policymakers and other researchers who have an interest in social problems, social work and the contribution that social work makes to just and equitable societies.

ESWR seeks to advance scholarship and debate, connecting empirical research with theoretical understandings that may inform, and be informed by, social work.  The journal particularly welcomes innovation in social work research, including the development and application of innovative research methods and theory. As a double anonymous peer-reviewed journal, it provides a forum for high-quality research that contributes to understanding and furthering all aspects of social work. Articles need not originate in Europe, but must be relevant to contemporary European social work contexts and issues.

ESWR seeks to include high-quality research articles examining:

  • All major social work practice areas, including (but not limited to): vulnerable children and families; mental health; addictions; disability; migrants, refugees and immigrants; employment and unemployment; health care and hospital social work; criminal justice; and sustainable social development.
  • Contemporary challenges facing social work and the communities it serves, among them: poverty; social exclusion; discrimination and oppression; inequalities, injustice and relationships of power; abuse, trauma, violence and conflict; cultural, political and environmental hazards.
  • Developing and strengthening effective social work practices, organisations, programmes, policies or movements for achieving positive change and empowerment.
  • Developing and strengthening the social work profession, including social work education and training; professional identity, ethics and values; and interprofessional practice.


    The journal values innovation and diversity, and so embraces research that uses a wide range of methodological approaches and is informed by a wide range of theoretical and conceptual frameworks. Scholarly articles may be literature-based, conceptual or based on empirical research. They may use quantitative, qualitative or mixed empirical methodologies. Innovative methods and high-quality participative and practice research that engages with service users, carers and communities, are encouraged. ESWR also welcomes a variety of perspectives, such as psychological, philosophical, sociological, political, legal, ethical or related to human growth and development, whilst showing clear relevance to practice, management, regulation, policy, research, education or training in social work.

In addition to traditional research articles and book reviews, ESWR features a Research, Policy and Practice Exchange section for shorter articles, critical discussions and reflections. Within this section, short papers relevant to furthering social work research in Europe are welcomed. These may include:

  • reflective, research-informed commentaries on topical issues.
  • reports of significant new research initiatives, conferences or meetings.
  • guidance about, and critical appraisal of research funding sources, research training and capacity development opportunities and resources.

For questions and pre-submission enquiries, please contact the editorial team at: eswr-journal@bristol.ac.uk.