This paper describes 'Safe at Home', a creative research project being conducted by social workers and artists and examines its theoretical underpinnings in light of contemporary theory on knowledge production. It uses the framework of Mode 1 - scientific research - and Mode 2 - problem-focused, practice-oriented, cross-disciplinary, and engaged research. The latter is portrayed as compatible with social work and creative - art - research, which recognises the importance of practical, experience-based knowledge and practice-based participatory action and intervention research. Using this framework, we explore research as a vehicle to develop useful knowledge to inform practice while also engaged in a form of experiential, action or problem-based learning. Such situated knowledge is more useful for professions which draw crucially on everyday tacit understanding and peoples' lived experience. We discuss the importance of practice wisdom in creative social work practice and illustrate its application in the 'Safe at Home' project, which employs a social intervention research approach and seeks to measure the effectiveness of a community arts intervention in changing community attitudes about domestic violence. It is a collaborative study, with partners from a community-based anti-violence network. It asks: 'Is art an effective medium for achieving attitudinal change in the community?' We offer the Safe at Home project as an example of Mode 2 research which has the potential for producing significant knowledge and practice outcomes for social work, as well as for relational and dialogical community arts practice.
EKSIG 2009: Experiential Knowledge, Method & Methodology: International Conference 2009 of the DRS Special Interest Group on Experiential Knowledge, EKSIG 2009: Experiential Knowledge, Method & Methodology: International Conference 2009 of the DRS Special Interest Group on Experiential Knowledge: Conference Proceedings (London, UK 19-19 June, 2009) p. 1-14