SCIE Annual Review 2010-11

SCIE’s support to the social care workforce

The computers are so much more than just computers...they bring people together, help to boost confidence and make new friends...We have [also] managed to get people back into work.

Louise McKiernan, Chief Executive, Birmingham Disability Resource Centre

Developing skills and services

Good quality social care relies on a skilled workforce, with the knowledge and support to make good decisions.

This year, SCIE focused on supporting frontline social work, with new web resources for social workers and newly-qualified social workers. We are supporting the development of The College of Social Work, which has now recruited prospective members.

We produced significant work to help commissioners and providers to plan for and deliver efficient, high-quality care and support. Our Good Practice Framework has developed as a place to audit, share and learn from examples of good practice. This encourages integrated working and learning, which can be more cost-effective, as well as improving outcomes.

In addition, our Athens service grants access to a wealth of academic resources which support practice. Reflecting on and evaluating practice is vital for both professional development and improved services. We updated our Social care governance workbook based on practice in Somerset and Bath. We have a version of the workbook specific to practice in Northern Ireland.

Knowledge of legislation is particularly important with regard to safeguarding adults at risk. SCIE’s new Training and Consultancy services provide support with translating knowledge into practice. This year, we have implemented training on the Mental Capacity Act for independent sector providers.

Sometimes service closures are unavoidable, and it is important to ensure good practice and continuity of care in such situations. SCIE’s Short-notice care home closures guidance was produced to support local authorities to manage closures whilst prioritising the needs of residents and staff.

This year we have seen the impact of the Get Connected project, which has provided access to information and communications technology (ICT) to 950 care providers. Thanks to Get Connected, people using services are keeping in contact with friends and relatives via email and Skype, creating ‘life stories’ to help staff get to know them and personalise their care, and increasing in confidence as they learn new skills. Staff are able to develop their skills at their own pace through e-learning, which is also having a positive outcome on those they care for.