Institute for Research in Social Sciences

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Third International Symposium


Health and Social Care Board

Date: 01 and 02 July 2014

Venue: Templeton Hotel, Templepatrick, Northern Ireland
            (convenient to Belfast International Airport)


Decision making is of crucial importance to the social work profession. Lives and liberty depend on decisions undertaken in crises and high risk situations. Daily we support clients in more mundane, everyday, risk-taking decision making. Professional judgments and recommendations have to be based explicitly on evidence and sound reasoning, utilising robust assessment tools and collaborative (and sometimes contested) decision making processes. There are challenges in creating, synthesising and using best evidence to inform social work policy and practice.

This biennial DARE conference series brings together researchers, educators, policy makers and senior practitioners to share developments on these related topics of decision-making, assessment, risk and the creation and use of evidence. The conference series aims to promote collaborative research, organisation development and teaching initiatives to improve professional knowledge and skills for the ultimate benefit of clients, families and society.

DARE II in 2012 brought together over 110 people from nine countries across Europe and North America. A link to information and a brief report on that conference is below.

We are pleased to announce our Plenary Speakers for DARE III in 2014.


Plenary Speakers:

  • Professor Eileen Gambrill, Hutto Patterson Professor of Child and Family Studies at the School of Social Welfare, University of California at Berkeley, USA, who has an international reputation for her research and scholarship on critical thinking, decision making and evidence based practice.

  • Dr Martin Webber, Reader in Social Work, Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of York, UK, well-known for his passion for rigorous research in social work, including experimental studies of effectiveness and the application of evidence to practice decisions.


  • Mr David Carson, Visitor, School of Law, University of Southampton, a well-known international speaker on the interface between law and risk in human services including defensible decision making and the management of risk and decisions in organisations.


Further information will be added to this website over the coming months. TO be put on our mailing list for further information please email Mrs Sharon Lucas at:


For information about the linked International Symposium on Factorial Survey Methods of Studying Decision Making on 03 July 2014 at the same venue click here

For information about our last conference click here

Sponsored by the Institute for Research in Social Sciences


Click here for information about the research cluster on: Decision, Assessment, Risk and Evidence Studies