The National Institute for Social Work (NISW) closed in 2003; its archives (including the personal archives of Dame Eileen Younghusband, 1902-1981) are held at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick. Reasons for the closure included the loss of central government funding and a desire among some to focus on the wider social care workforce. NISW's resources went in three different directions:
- The NISW library (one of the few resources in the UK taking a variety of international journal subscriptions) went to the University of the West of England.
- The NISW Research Unit was 'offered' to the academic community through the Department of Health's research tendering process. The contract was won by King's College London, which had no history of qualifying social work education, but whose interest in mental health social work arose from the work of Professor Peter Huxley. Huxley was to head up the newly-created Social Care Workforce Research Unit, which took on the employment of two members of the NISW Research Unit, Jo Moriarty and Stephen Martineau. In 2003, leadership of the new unit was taken on by Professor Jill Manthorpe, who worked with Peter Huxley as Co-Director until Peter left KCL for the University of Swansea. The unit has since been core funded by the Department of Health's Policy Research Programme and by other funding from the ESRC, NIHR and charitable funds. In 2005, it became the London lead for the knowledge translation network, Making Research Count, which is a major provider of continuing professional development (CPD) in the London area. Making Research Count is now located at the University of Befordshire.
- The third part of the dispersal of NISW was the creation of and investment in the Social Care Institute for Excellence, a UK resource of good practice and knowledge aimed at improvement of social care services with a focus on the central role of people who use services.
Source: Professor Jill Manthorpe, Director of the Social Care Workforce Research Unit, KCL.