Raising awareness of transformative ecosocial work: Participatory action research with Australian practitioners

Heather Boetto, Wendy Bowles, Kati Närhi, Meredith Powers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This article reports on Participatory Action Research with social work practitioners who collaboratively explored the effects on professional practice when practitioners raise their awareness of an ecosocial work approach. Although contemporary research in the profession has contributed to the ongoing development of ecosocial work, there is a notable lack of collaboration with social work practitioners. Using a transformative ecosocial work model of practice, researchers together with social workers from a range of practice contexts met as co-inquirers to plan, implement and evaluate ecosocial work interventions. As part of a larger international study, this article reports on research outcomes within the Australian context. Overall, results indicate that practitioners incorporated interventions across personal, individual, group and organisational levels of practice, but were constrained by structural elements at broader levels. Continuing the development of ecosocial work requires further collaborative exploration with practitioners, which takes into consideration communities and broader social and political systems. Key Practitioner Messages: • This research endeavours to contribute to the evidence-base for progressing transformative ecosocial work in professional practice; • Using Participatory Action Research (PAR), this research was done in collaboration with social work practitioners as co-inquirers to develop ecosocial work interventions; • A range of ecosocial work interventions were implemented at the personal, individual, group and organisational levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-309
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Social Welfare
Issue number4
Early online date29 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sep 2020


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