Working towards better care
Summary of annual report 2019/2020

This is a brief summary of SCIE's year for 2019/20. For a more detailed look, download the full annual report.

Chair's report

SCIE Chair

This has been an enormously challenging year for social care. As I write this, COVID-19 continues to impact severely on those who use and work in social care services. Looking back to 2019/20, I am pleased to report that SCIE had another eventful and impactful year.

Through an extensive programme of writing for publications, events, public speaking, policy papers, webinars, blogs and social media, we have continued to grow the number of people who we interact with, and our national profile.

In our annual programme of work for the Department of Health and Social Care, we were pleased to be able to produce a wide range of evidence-based guidance, support tools and e-learning. More people now visit our website than ever before – we had 4.5 million visitors last year.

Co-production remains a guiding principle for SCIE. This year we were delighted to hear from Lemn Sissay MBE, the broadcaster, who spoke eloquently at our main festival event about the importance of giving people a voice over how they receive services and care. I am also pleased to see that we are helping a growing number of organisations, like Oxfordshire County Council, the NHS Leadership Academy and NHS England, to develop and embed co-production.

This year we have seen our long-serving Chief Executive Tony Hunter retire, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for all of his contributions to SCIE and to social work. I would also like to welcome our new Chief Executive, Kathryn Smith. I am confident that our Kathryn and her excellent team, supported by the Board of Trustees, will deliver another successful year.

Chief Executive's report


This has been a strange year to start my role as Chief Executive of SCIE. Since I started in May 2020, arriving from Alzheimer's Society where I was Chief Operating Officer, I have yet to be face to face with my colleagues!

I knew this before I arrived, but it has since been confirmed, that SCIE has a really strong reputation nationally. Since I arrived, we have been at the forefront of influencing the national policy agenda, particularly in relation to COVID-19. It is also clear that this is a very tough time for social care. The sector suffers from inadequate levels of funding, a poorly paid and under-valued workforce and a fast-growing demand it struggles to meet. COVID-19 has served to amplify these weaknesses.

In the coming year SCIE will remain at the forefront of efforts to influence social care policy; support the adoption of evidence-based and innovative models of care, and support organisations and individuals to implement evidence-based practice.

Our purpose


A society where care and support maximises people's choices, removes social inequality, and 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

To fulfil its charitable object, SCIE conducts its work under three core functions:

  • Building a knowledge base about what works in social care
  • Translating the findings into resources to support improved practice and the quality of service delivery
  • Disseminating good practice across the social care sector.

What we do

Commissioned to deliver research and consultancy

  • Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC)
  • Department of Health in Northern Ireland
  • Social Care Wales

The Think Local Act Personal partnership brings together over 50 organisations to convene and adopt new approaches to high-quality, person and community-centred models of support.

Work across children’s social care

  • supporting case reviews
  • providing training and consultancy
  • producing resources.

Work with national organisations supporting the delivery of integrated care

  • DHSC
  • NHS England
  • Local Government Association
  • NHS Confederation

Influence through high-quality research, information and evaluations, evidence-based practice and policy

Co-production is at the heart of everything SCIE does.

Boy in wheelchair

Advise many different organisations on both children and adult safeguarding.

Promote and train frontline care sector staff on providing person-centred care.

Help local authorities transform care and support in collaboration with citizens to deliver greater impact.

Our year in numbers

Man wearing headphones at PC


Views of social posts

SCIELine subscribers

Visitors to website

Webinar registrations

Woman in meeting


e-Learning delegates

98 %
Positive feedback

Training delegates

TLAP event presentations

Our impact



  • Provided advice to Social Finance, a not-for-profit social enterprise, on its Leaving Well digital tool.
  • Part of the consortium to deliver the Strengthening Families support programme.
  • We led a co-production panel and undertook interviews for the NHS England’s Personal Commissioning (IPC) programme.
  • Our Integration logic model is included as a framework in the Better Care Fund Policy and planning requirements in 2019.


  • We successfully delivered large-scale skills development programmes to over 15 local authorities in a range of topics.
  • Delivered a two-year improvement programme for Surrey County Council.
  • Trained a group of Young Advisors to support the strategic direction of the newly formed What Works for Children’s Social Care
  • Evaluated everyLIFE Technologies’ PASSsystem digital care planning.
  • Trained all senior managers in Barnardo’s in co-production skills.
  • We continued to support Oxfordshire County Council to deliver its


  • Co-designed, a module on co-production with the charity National Voices
  • Worked with the Government of Jersey to develop a children’s social care practice model.
  • Supported Staffordshire County Council and Clinical Commissioning Groups to develop an evidence-based joint strategy for the market management of residential and nursing care homes in Staffordshire.
  • Worked with States of Jersey to codesign and implement a new children’s social care practice framework.
  • Think Local Act Personal worked with key organisations, such as the LGA, Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Quality Matters, promoting our flagship approach, Making it Real.
  • We developed with our partners BASW, for Health Education England, a new national digital practice framework.

Future plans

We have just agreed our next three-year strategy in which we will work for fairer and more equal social care, where we challenge the structural inequalities in our society. In the strategy, we will focus on three strategic outcomes:

  • Driving improvements in social care locally
  • Influencing better policy and practice nationally
  • Supporting better safeguarding everywhere