All social work research is intersected and connected within a framework of vulnerability, the service system and human interaction. Vulnerability refers to the lack of resources and social insecurity that is associated with people and groups of people in difficult life situations. The social and health care system provides a key context for the social work profession, and the system’s ability to support and help people in insecure circumstances plays an important role in the effort to prevent vulnerability and inequality. The results of social work manifest in the interactions between clients and their friends and family, partners and decision-makers, which is another key area of research. We take a long-term approach to questions of vulnerability, the service system and human interaction, studying them as phenomena related to childhood, adulthood and old age.

The frameworks realise in following research areas: children, families and young people and child welfare; adult, mental health, substance abuse and homelessness; old adults, aging and questions related to support needs. Also quality and effectiveness of social services and their research-based assessment/evaluation is central in developing social work practices.