JDM-Conference [09/2016]

International conference on Judgment and Decision-Making in Social Work, September 22–24 2016, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, funded by the German Research Foundation

Social Work as a professional practice is a field where people continually have to make professional judgments and decisions. It is striking that in social work theory judgment and decision-making is hardly or superficially addressed, even though the importance of professional judgment is highlighted in theoretical debates.

Therefore the conference will offer an occasion to discuss the issue in the context of different and even controversial positions, as well as to contextualize them in the light of empirical research. The goal is to give more consideration to professional judgment in social work theory and research and establishing a network between future possible projects on judgment and decision-making in social work.

Organizing Committee

  • PD Dr. Pascal Bastian, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
  • Prof. Dr. Mark Schrödter, Universität Kassel
  • Katharina Freres, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz


  • Models for Professional Judgment in Social Work
  • Standardization and Professional Discretion
  • Evidence based Social Work and Decision-Making
  • Actuarial vs. clinical Decision-Making
  • Transnationalization and Decision-Making
  • Demands on Judgments and Decision-Making in Professional Social Work
  • Processes of Professional Categorization
  • Professional Judgement and Decision-Making in Law
  • Ethical Aspects in Judgement and Decision Making


  • Roland Becker-Lenz (Professor of Social Work, Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz)
  • Britta Buschmann (PhD Student in the research training group on “Transnational Social Support”, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz)
  • Mandeep K. Dhami (Professor of Decision Psychology, Middlesex University London)
  • Tony Evans (Professor of Social Work, Royal Holloway, University of London)
  • Katharina Freres (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz)
  • Eileen Gambrill (Professor of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley)
  • Philip Gillingham (Senior Lecturer in Social Work, University of Queensland)
  • Kim Holt (Professor of Social Work and Family Law and Head of Department of Social Work and Communities, Northumbria University)
  • Will Johnson (Associate Professor of Sociology and Social Services, California State University, East Bay)
  • Claudia Olivier-Mensah (Postdoctoral researcher in the research training group on “Transnational Social Support”, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz)
  • Edward Omeni (PhD Student in the research training group on “Transnational Social Support”, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz)
  • Peter Schäfer (Professor of Family Law and Youth Welfare Law for Social Work, Hochschule Niederrhein)
  • Cornelia Schweppe (Professor of Social Pedagogy, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz)
  • Yvonne Smith (Assistant Professor of Social Work, Syracuse University)
  • Trevor Spratt (Professor in Childhood Research, Trinity College Dublin)
  • Brian Taylor (Professor of Social Work, Professor University of Ulster)
  • Nina Thieme (Visiting Professor of Social Work, Universität Kassel)
  • Holger Ziegler (Professor of Social Work, Universität Bielefeld)