SCIE extended its remit to cover Northern Ireland in 2005. Since this time SCIE has undertaken a range of projects, and participated in social work and social care initiatives within Northern Ireland. These include:
- Provision of independent perspective as external ‘critical friend’ to various social services working groups.
- Participation in NISCC’s Review of Social Work Roles and Tasks – briefing the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety in Northern Ireland (DHSSPSNI) on the England review ‘Social work at its best’, and the experience of the Scotland and Wales reviews
- Support on the evaluation of the impact of social care workforce registration and the implementation of codes of conduct and practice standards.
- Production of a report on user involvement in health and social care in Northern Ireland. This report, produced in partnership with the Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC) and the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA), looked at the development of the service user and carer involvement movement in Northern Ireland.
- The implementation of the regional pilot of Guide: Think child, think parent, think family (2009). Northern Ireland and five sites in England piloted the implementation of the recommendations outlined in the guide. An evaluation of this project was also undertaken.
- An evaluation of therapeutic approaches used in residential childcare (in partnership with Queen’s University, Belfast).
- Involvement in the establishment of an information hub, Safeguarding Adults at Risk Information Hub (SAaRIH) which brings together information on research, law, guidance, practice and policy on safeguarding adults across the four UK countries and the Republic of Ireland on one site.
- Updating of the social care governance workbook for Northern Ireland. An evaluation of the impact of the workbook was also undertaken.
The SCIE Board of Trustees and the SCIE Co-production Network have representatives from Northern Ireland. Sean Holland, Chief Social Worker for Northern Ireland, is a member of SCIE’s Board of Trustees. The work programme is supported by a steering group. DHSSPSNI contributes funding to SCIE that enables access to SCIE services, and supports the member of SCIE staff based in Northern Ireland.
Current projects are underway as part of the SCIE Northern Ireland work programme commissioned by the Department for Health Social Services and Public Safety and others. A range of SCIE products are reviewed to ensure they reflect the Northern Ireland legislation and policy context. SCIE resources are disseminated within Northern Ireland to inform practice and service developments.