Leading the way for improved social care - SCIE annual report summary

This is a brief summary of SCIE's year for 2021-22. For a more detailed look, download the full annual report.

Chief Executive's report

SCIE CEO Kathryn Smith

SCIE has faced many challenges to our finances over the last few years, I know that the two years I have now been at SCIE have been at times particularly difficult for staff as we have undertaken a range of measures to turn our financial performance around. I am incredibly proud and grateful to all the team in that our efforts have been fruitful, as this year we are really pleased to record a surplus for the first time in a long time. We have also successfully delivered a range of organisational improvements – such as to our IT and finance systems.

Looking ahead, I see an exciting year for SCIE. Setting out policy direction is important, and we welcome the intent contained in the White Papers, but the hardest part, as always, is implementing changes on the ground. This year we will continue to work with national organisations and local commissioners, partners, providers and people who draw on support: we will aim to implement what works, providing evidence, consultancy support and development to help organisations and individuals to help them in turn build healthier, safer, more connected and better supported people and places.

Kathryn Smith, Chief Executive, SCIE

Chair's report

SCIE Chair Paul Burstow

This year, the Government set out its plans for the future of adult social care and the integration of health and social care – all of which promised the creation of better resourced, more joined-up, preventative and person-centred care and support. The Government have said that they want care and support that “offers people choice and control over the care they receive and promotes independence and enables people to live well as part of a community.” These are important statements of intent, but they will take investment and sustained effort to be delivered. As a leading national improvement agency and charity, SCIE plays an important role in helping organisations and local people to turn aspirations into lived experience.

Over the next year, we aim to build on these successes, with plans for growth. Whilst the Board is tremendously proud of the work of SCIE, we feel the charity can achieve more. In particular, we will be strengthening our skills and capabilities in policy and influencing and growing our consultancy business, which is thriving.

Rt Hon Paul Burstow, Chair, SCIE

Our purpose

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) is a leading values-driven charity and improvement agency. In recent years SCIE has evolved from a largely government-funded body to a fast-moving, high-profile and more commercial organisation and thought leader.


A society where care and support:

  • maximises people’s choices
  • removes social inequality
  • enables people to live fulfilling, safe and healthy lives.


To research, evidence, share and support the implementation of best practice.

We use this evidence and experience to shape policy and outcomes, and to raise awareness of the importance of social care and social work for creating a fair and equal society.

Everything we do is informed by people with experience of care and support.

How SCIE works

Our 2021/22 strategy focused on four strategic areas:

  • Driving improvements in social care locally.
  • Influencing better policy and practice nationally, including the Think Local Act Personal programme.
  • Supporting better safeguarding everywhere.
  • Improving SCIE as an organisation.

Our impact: Key highlights

Improving social care locally

  • Providing consultancy support to over 25 local authorities to enable them to transform care and support for people and communities.
  • Over 80 managers took part in SCIE and the University of Birmingham’s leading strengths-based practice programme.
  • Providing support to local areas across England to help them develop place-based approaches to integrating health and social care.

Influencing nationally

  • Leading the Commission on the role of housing in the future of care and support, which directly influenced the Adult Social Care White Paper.
  • Providing strategic advice to the Department of Health and Social Care to help it shape the Adult Social Care White Paper.
  • Established as a key partner to the University of Sheffield for a new Centre for Care, which will develop new evidence on care provision for people of all ages.
  • Leadership, as part of a key partner, of the new ESRC/Health Foundation-funded IMPACT Centre, a UK-wide evidence implementation organisation.

Supporting better safeguarding

  • SCIE worked with funders, including the Oak Foundation and the National Lottery, to provide bespoke support, so that user-led organisations and voluntary groups that they fund could identify and act on safeguarding incidents.
  • Updating the Safeguarding Adult Review (SAR) Quality Markers which support people involved in commissioning, conducting and quality-assurance to know what a good Safeguarding Adult Review looks like.
  • SCIE launched a support hub for the sector to prepare for the new Liberty Protection Standards (LPS), including briefings, training and videos that seek to support the sector to use LPS.
  • SCIE trained over 1,500 people, to equip them with the skills they needed to take appropriate action in response to safeguarding incidents to ensure people are more likely to be safe.

Improving SCIE internally

  • SCIE delivered a number of reforms to how we work internally - including upgrading our IT and finance systems and moving to a virtual model of working.
  • SCIE posted a healthy operational surplus of nearly half a million pounds.

Our impact in numbers: who we reached in 2021/22

Web, communications, training and learning

Man using a laptop

e-Learning delegates

Subscribers to SCIELine, our regular e-bulletin

Visitors to the SCIE site

Articles written by SCIE and TLAP staff in trade publications

Young people in a meeting

Webinar registrations

Social media followers

Training delegates

TLAP contributions to national policy development

Finance overview: 2021/22

SCIE is pleased to report an operating surplus of £477,134 for the 2021/22 financial year.

SCIE's income increased by £158,486 in 2021/22.
SCIE's expenditure decreased by £945,757 in 2021/22.

Where we got our money from:

Future plans: Key deliverables 2022/23

Improving social care locally

  • Increasing further the number of local authorities and local organisations we work with on strengths-based practice, outcome-based commissioning, co-production and the development of place-based integrated care.

Influencing nationally

  • Follow-up on opportunities arising from the Social Care White Paper and the Integration White Paper, including innovation, assurance, information and advice and unpaid carers.
  • Inform through our work for the Department for Health and Social Care the development of a national integration shared outcomes framework.
  • Increase the diversity across our networks, and understanding ways we can impact health and social inequalities through own policy influencing and research.

Supporting better safeguarding

  • Continue, through our policy work and learning from practice, to influence the national direction of policy, guidance and practice on safeguarding across children’s and adult’s social care.
  • Building on work we do on refining Quality Markers, to support the sector in improving the quality of safeguarding work.
  • Grow our training and support offer, including producing a new training offer for Liberty Protection Safeguard (LPS) implementation.

Improving SCIE internally

  • Invest in and deliver a new SCIE website, to reinforce our role as the leading source of evidence and knowledge on social care in the UK.
  • Continue to work with the SCIE Co-production Network which includes users and carers in shaping and influencing SCIE’s work. The Network works with SCIE on its work programme, priorities, and performance.