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The Hong Kong Statement on Practice Research 2017: contexts and challenges of the Far EastThis statement on social work practice research highlights the contributions of scholars, practitioners, and conference participants in the Fourth International Conference on Practice Research (ICPR) in 2017, hosted by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in May 2017. It focuses on the contexts and challenges of carrying out practice research in the Far East and beyond as well as raises pertinent questions about the development of practice research. It begins with a brief description of the context of social work practice research in the Far East. The second part explores the organizational and community contexts and challenges of practice research with special attention to the perspectives of practitioners. It concludes with reviewing some of the continuing challenges that will guide the program planning for the Fifth ICPR in 2020 in Melbourne, Australia, located at the crossroads between East and West.
Validity of the Working Alliance Inventory within child protection servicesThe Working Alliance Inventory remains a widely studied measure of quality of therapeutic relationships between the practitioner and client. No prior study has examined the psychometrics and validity of the Working Alliance Inventory–Short (WAI-S) in a sample of families, social workers, and trained observers within child protection services. Surveys were completed by 130 families, social workers concerning 274 cases, and observers following 165 home visits during the first wave of data collected from a randomized controlled trial of child protection services. Confirmatory factor analyses were conducted on three versions of the WAI-S and demonstrated moderate to good model fit. Convergent construct validity was found with other standardized measures. Results support the use of the WAI-S during in child protection services practice and research. Future research into family engagement in child protection social work services should focus on the working relationship.