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Social Work: Research


Our Plans and Activities

Working with partners, we will use evidence from two key research projects - the Talking and Listening to Children (TLC) cross-UK research study on communicating with children in child protection and the Changing Culture in Children and Families Social Work Scottish knowledge exchange project, as well as other relevant research studies in order to inform the development and implementation of child protection policy and practice in Scotland. Our work has three main audiences: policy makers and government; agencies and practitioners; and service users and the general public. Our work will involve:

Sharing research evidence with policy-makers

As identifed in our project plan, we presented findings from research to those with responsibility in government through a series of seminars in Scottish Government. These events were convened by Alan Baird, the Chief Social Work Adviser. The seminars stimulated discussion between academics, policy makers, social work leaders about child protection social work.

We were represented on the Learning and Workforce Development work-stream of the Child Protection Improvement Programme. We were also involved in the Scottish Government's review of the Vision and Strategy for Social Services in Scotland, first launched in 2015 and the Improving Use of Evidence Strand ​of this work.

We produced three easily-accessible briefing papers on our research, for policy makers, practitioners and the public as a whole. We have also shared widely an IRISS Insight on our research and other evidence about social workers' communication with children.

Engaging with agencies: social work managers and practitioners

We have convened a number of events to present our research findings and stimulate managers and practitioners to reflect on their practice in child protection.

Working in partnership with SASW and SSSC, we are running  and evaluating two pilot training programmes for children and family social workers based in Edinburgh and Fife Councils, between January and April 2017. As well as engaging in the training workshops, we are working to establish a community of practice in children & families’ social work in Scotland, to be taken forward by SASW after the end of this project. We plan to seek funding to 'roll out' the training programmes across Scottish LA's.

In response to an invitation from SASW, to help build its support for independent social workers, we are leading a workshop with independent social workers in Edinburgh as part of World Social Work Week in March 2017.

We are also developing a new post-qualifying course for social workers on communication with children.

Involving service users and the general public

We have conducted a public engagement event to start a conversation about how should we protect Scotland’s children.  The event was held in Glasgow (5th November 2016) and was in partnership with Who Cares? Scotland.

Our blog has sought to raise awareness about the complexity of practising child protection social work. It also stimulates discussion and debate about the future of child protection social work in Scotland. A range of people have contributed to our blog including Alan Baird (Chief Social Work Advisor, Scottish Government).

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Latest Blog Posts

Social workers need to be upfront about what we can and can’t do

by Viviene Cree I watched BBC Scotland’s Fife’s Child Killings: The Untold Story last night with some trepidation. Was this going to be another public humiliation of social work and social workers – another of the ritual slaggings that so … Continue reading →

Published on 5th August 2017 via Revisiting Child Protection in Scotland

A Young Person speaks about 2016: changing policy and practice

As someone who grew up in care in Scotland, 2016 will be a year that I never forget. Currently I work in the policy team at Who Cares? Scotland. Who Cares? Scotland is an independent advocacy and campaigning organisation that … Continue reading →

Published on 24th May 2017 via Revisiting Child Protection in Scotland

Looking back on the Revisiting Child Protection in Scotland project: A View from the Field

In this blog, Trisha Hall, Scottish Association of Social Workers’ manager, talks about what the Revisiting Child Protection in Scotland project – and the TLC resources within it – have meant for her … The Talking & Listening to Children … Continue reading →

Published on 24th May 2017 via Revisiting Child Protection in Scotland