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Change and continuity in children's services$
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Roy Parker

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447322221

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447322221.001.0001

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Evidence, judgement, values and engagement*

Evidence, judgement, values and engagement*

(p.137) Chapter 10 Evidence, judgement, values and engagement*
Change and continuity in children's services

Roy Parker

Policy Press

There is a clamour for evidence-based practice; but how good is the evidence, what are its limitations and how should those who would use it determine its worth? The problems associated with these issues are reviewed and suggestions made about how best they might be confronted. One of the limitations of research and the evidence that it offers is that, explicitly or implicitly, it is couched in terms of probabilities. It deals with generalities and with categories. The uncertainties that it leaves inevitably require judgement to be exercised; but what is the nature of that judgement and how is good judgement to be cultivated? Even when the evidence is sound it may still not resolve sensitive questions of values, especially those associated with political conviction, religious beliefs or prevailing sentiments. Both the ends and the means have to be considered in this light. Finally, there is the matter of the will to apply good evidence and that turns on many factors, not least the prevailing attitudes of the potential users.

Keywords:   quality, limitations, probabilities, engagement

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