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Abstract

The gap between knowledge generated by systematic inquiry and its eventual use by practitioners has been a concern in social work for several decades. Explanations for the gap have been identified as the orientation or attitudes of practitioners, the character of professional education, and the nature of scientific inquiry. The structural character of both practice itself and its knowledge base have been overlooked as an explanation. By comparing legal and social work practice, we suggest that characteristics of social work practice and knowledge also impede research utilization.

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