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Social work practitioners must act every working day in the face of uncertainty. This uncertainty arises in part because knowledge is often difficult to locate or sometimes lacking regarding: the systems context the population being served; the particular client system; the set of problems the client system is experiencing; as well as the various interventions that could be selected. It seems reasonable to explore ways to reduce the experience of uncertainty, and narrow, if not eliminate, the knowledge gaps that arise in such situations. The generic idea of evidence based practice has been advanced for some time as an approach to support practitioners in their day to day work. This paper has two foci. First, it will briefly and selectively review attempts to make social work practice more evidence based. Second, it will describe one stage in the evolution of a web based service (Information for Practice [IP]). IP is a long term project with the mission of keeping practitioners informed about news and new scholarship in the field, so that they can more easily make their practice more evidenced based.


This work was originally published in Social Work in Health Care, available at doi: 10.1080/00981389.2012.671649.



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