Practice development

Improving social work practice through better use of evidence

We are working with partners on a number of projects to improve social work practice through better use of evidence. 

Health Check 2.0: Social Work Organisational Resilience Diagnostic Workbook

With our partners at Research in Practice and the University of Bedfordshire, we are working to improve the social work health check and create a standardised survey that Principal Social Workers can use for all children and adults’ social workers in England. The new survey will improve the reliability of results and will enable a national picture of workforce wellbeing in the social work profession. The Health Check 2.0 will launch in Spring 2020, with thanks to the Social Care Institute for Excellence and the Local Government Association for their support on this project.

Practice Database

Existing national data can tell us about outputs and outcomes in children’s social care, but it does not tell us about how local authorities are doing social work. We believe that a central practice database that shows how organisations are delivering services and supporting their staff will be a valuable resource. We are working with the Social Care Institute for Excellence to build this database by pulling together existing information and working with local authorities to learn about their ways of working. The database will help guide our research priorities and will enable WWCSC to signpost local authorities to other organisations who are practicing in a similar way, in order to share learning.

Social Work Training and Education

We have heard through engagement with key stakeholders that social workers would like more training and education on research methods. Increased skills and confidence in this area could lead to greater demand for evidence about what works. To support cultural change in the profession and improve evidence-based practice, we are working with partners to develop training and education programmes on research methods to be delivered to students and qualified social workers.