Overview of the SARs library project
The sector has long demanded a library of Safeguarding Adults Review (SAR) reports. The Department of Health has commissioned SCIE and RiPfA to develop this resource. The aim is to maximise the value of individual SARs through two different kinds of resource. One will support the quality of individual SARs and the other will enable more widespread and effective use of the learning from SARs. This will support a virtuous circle whereby as the quality of individual SARs goes up, it also supports their being used to better effect.
What are we doing?
In the use strand we will be:
- bringing together all published SAR reports
- developing a category scheme to make the SARs library searchable
- producing a one-off collation of the learning captured in SAR reports
- bringing together and signposting other SAR-related research
In the quality strand we will be:
- adapting the Serious Case Review quality markers developed by SCIE, for adult safeguarding
- producing a one-off report on the kind of learning SARs reports are currently capturing and how easy is it to identify
Who is involved?
The library is being developed jointly by Research in Practice for Adults (RiPfA) and Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), working closely with colleagues from the sector.
RiPfA and SCIE are pleased to be working with the Social Care Workforce Research Unit (SCWRU) at King's College London on this project. The work of the SCWRU on SARs and SCRs is funded by the Department of Health's Policy Research Programme.
The SAR library project is designed to bring together, build on and add value to relevant SAR activity that colleagues are already undertaking. Resource development is involving SAB chairs, SAB managers and agency safeguarding leads.
Frequently asked questions
What are the terms of reference for this work? Open
Specific tasks include:
- creating a website
- designing and populating a library of SAR reports and means of accessing the learning
- conducting a national collation of systemic issues identified in SAR reports in the library, and associated report on the quality of current SARs and the learning produced
- adapting the children’s Serious Case Review quality markers commissioning tool for SARs
- bringing together and signposting related SAR research and resources.
Further information can be found in the proposal submitted to the Department of Health. See downloads.
Will the resource just be a library of SARs or will it also collate themes and patterns? Open
The funded work includes a one-off national collation of learning that focuses on systemic issues. The methodology builds on the Learning into Practice Project (LiPP) focused on children’s Serious Case Reviews, funded by the Department for Education’s Innovation Programme. It also builds on subsequent work of the London Safeguarding Children’s Board, in commissioning a pan-London collation of learning from SCRs.
Will SCIE/RiPfA be carrying out any regular analysis? Open
Sustainability of the programme is central to the approach we are using for the library. We will use the current funded period to set up processes that can be maintained at minimal cost. Additionally, we will be exploring options for income generation, which may include the possibility of a mixed revenue made up of both direct contributions, as well as income generated indirectly. As a result, our hope is that regular analysis will be possible.
Will we be able to drill down to regional themes and issues? Open
We hope so. Working with the London Children’s Safeguarding Board, SCIE has pioneered an approach that enables users to drill down into findings of reports, and allows themes to be identified. Building on that work, the set-up of the SAR library involves developing and testing a method for coding and categorising SAR reports and learning, and a means of making that database accessible. We ran a series of events in September to share a preliminary proposal and get feedback from end users of this resource at the design stage. Board chairs, managers and safeguarding leads attended, and we are reviewing the feedback to make sure we incorporate views of key stakeholders.
Will this repository be solely for completed SARs? Open
The focus is initially on completed SAR reports. We are keen to hear feedback on what else, if anything would be useful, and in what ways.
Will there be any link to Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs)? Open
The library will initially contain only SAR reports. We will be exploring whether and how learning points for safeguarding from DHRs can be included. We are not anticipating at this stage that full DHR reports would be included in the SARs library.
How can I get involved?
Send us your SARs Open
The aim is for the library to hold all SARs commissioned under the Care Act requirements. The learning will be richer if non-statutory ‘learning’ reviews are also included. We need your help to identify all these reports. Please note we do not need SCRs which were commissioned pre-Care Act for the library.
Please send any completed, published SARs which your Board is happy to share to Lindsey Pike (RiPfA) and Sheila Fish (SCIE) and we will add them to the library list, and include them in our analysis of the quality of SARs.
View which SARs we are already aware of.
Watch the webinar Open
In September 2017 SCIE and RiPfA held two open access workshops and a webinar for professionals in relevant safeguarding roles to contribute to the design of the library. This included discussing:
- How would a library of SARs be useful?
- What content is needed and how it should be accessed?
- What level of commonality in SAR reports is desirable and/or feasible?
- How should SARs be submitted to the library?
- Are there other priority issues to address?
You can watch the webinar and review and download the presentation to gain further information about the development of the library.
Comment on our proposed cover sheet for SARs Open
We are developing a cover sheet for SARs for us in the submission of SARs to the library. This will help to categorise them. and make them searchable within the library. The cover sheet will be open for comment until 8 January 2018.
Spread the word Open
The development of a library that is useful and usable will only work with the support of the sector, and the collaboration of colleagues from the safeguarding sector. Please get in touch if you have any questions, and encourage colleagues to support the library by sending in their SARs.
Quarter 1: April – June 2017
- Project set-up; book event dates; begin planning website architecture
- Consultation with stakeholders
- Begin work adapting LIPP Quality Markers for use with SARs
Quarter 2: July – September 2017
- Web architecture outlined, pilot website launched
- Event planning; two Knowledge Exchange events and webinar
- Finalise cover sheets for new SARs to be added to library
Quarter 3: October – December 2017
- Develop reports and briefings about quality and use of SARs
- Add SAR reports to website
Quarter 4: January – March 2018
- Project summary webinar
- SAR library website launched
- Review and forward plan
Governance and reporting
This project is reporting progress to:
- Lyn Romeo (Chief Social Worker, Department of Health)
- National Safeguarding Network
- National Network for Safeguarding Adults Board Chairs
For more information please contact: