SCIE 10th anniversary

Introduction from the Chairs.

What SCIE is fantastic at is picking up bits of information that we find difficult to digest – like personalisation.

Miranda Wixon, Executive Director, Ceretas

Now we are ten

What a momentous decade it has been for social care – and for the Social Care Institute for Excellence.

Demographic changes have increased demand. Personalisation and consumer choice have altered the nature of support. Child protection remains a concern for society. More services are delivered by the independent sector and the way we learn has been transformed by new technology. And of course economic pressures means it is crucial to invest limited resources to best effect.

What remains constant is the need to understand the evidence about what works from the perspective of people who use services and their carers. That’s where SCIE comes in.

When we were first established by Government as an independent charity in 2001, we took on many of the responsibilities of the National Institute for Social Work. Crucially, however, we were tasked with improving social care as a whole – including social work.

From our early work on fostering and managing practice, through to recent work on personalisation and safeguarding, we have helped the sector to tackle the new and the difficult. Uniquely, we work across adults’ and children’s services and throughout the UK, helping to share learning across sectors and nations.

We have moved with the times. Our early work was about building the knowledge base. Recently, we have focused more on translating that knowledge into practical resources and developing the workforce, including social workers. We are now expanding our role to identify innovation, help implement good practice, support consumer choice, and smooth the joins between care and related services, particularly health.

Building on our work with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), we are now collaborating on quality standards that affect both health and social care. We also offer tailored training and consultancy services, focusing first on mental capacity and children’s and adults’ safeguarding. And we are planning an online service to enable people to understand the support they need, and the options available.

I can think of no other organisation nationally or internationally that manages to bridge the gap between research and hands-on practice so effectively.

Sean Holland, Chief Social Services Officer, DHSSPS, Northern Ireland