The primary strategies employed when choosing an intervention include gaining a thorough understanding of the psychological, sociological, and/or other scientific theories that may apply to the clients individual situation. These theories are fundamentally linked to the various methods that could apply. An additional strategy involves the use of observation to perform appropriate social work assessments. The results of these assessments will help in many aspects of case study, including analysis and forming outcome hypotheses in addition to intervention selection.
While scientific theories are the backbone of interventions, we cannot assume that all theories are scientifically sound. Keeping to articles found in peer reviewed publications is a common method for avoiding "bogus" research, but sadly we again cannot always trust even those established sources. The only sure way to be confident of the theories that support interventions is to become familiar with the critiquing of scientific research and to employ this technique when evaluating research related to the concept. Good theories are backed up by good research.
The use of research that is not considered ethical would be completely detrimental to the mission of social workers. It is paramount that social work research and studies considered by social workers meet the high ethical standards associated with the field. According to a 2002 article by Peled and Leichtentritt, there are four general categories in which we can classify necessary ethical considerations. A primary concern is the prevention of harm to the subject, and a study should ensure that all possible discomfort be minimized and, in most cases, eliminated prior to commencing research. A similar consideration is the impact of the experiment on subject empowerment, as good research should empower those involved. Additionally, research should have benefits for subjects and as many others as possible. Finally, and