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).