IRISS Insights

IRISS Insights provide the social services workforce with brief, accessible and practice-oriented summaries of published evidence on key topics.

Supporting positive relationships for children and young people who have experience of care (IRISS Insight, No28)

Review that explores the growing emphasis being placed on the relationships of children and young people in care. It examines: the nature and type of these relationships; what indicators are used to define quality; why relationships are beneficial; what barriers there are to their formation; what initiatives have been designed to support relationships; and what evidence there is about their impact.

This Insight was written by Karen Winter (Queen’s University Belfast).

Trauma sensitive practice with children in care (IRISS Insights, No 27)

Evidence review that is intended to summarise the evidence in this challenging area of work and to support practitioners to reflect on their practice in this context. An enhanced understanding of trauma can enable practitioners and managers, from all the agencies working with children in care, to improve their practice with severely distressed children and to reduce the negative impact of trauma not only on children but also on the adults caring for them. 

Extending the housing options for older people: focus on extra care (IRISS Insights, No 26)

Evidence review that seeks to explore the evidence base in respect of housing with care and support, in particular extra care provision, and the extent to which the range of models embraced by this term provide an effective alternative to residential and nursing care.

The aim is to offer a greater range of housing options for older people and to promote a continuum of provision between home and care home. 

Preventing loneliness and social isolation in older people (IRISS Insights, No 25)

Prevention has been identified as a key aspect of Scottish public service reform. In response to the findings of the Christie Commission (2011), the Scottish Government has called for a ‘decisive shift towards prevention’.

This Insight looks specifically at the prevention of isolation and loneliness amongst older people, with a particular focus on what practitioners in the fields of health and social care should bear in mind when working to tackle this important and growing issue. 

Delivering integrated care and support (IRISS Insights, No 24)

Document that is based on a report prepared for ADSW at the time of the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Bill (Petch, 2013) and seeks to distill key evidence to assist health and social care partnerships in Scotland in their delivery of integrated care and support. It works from the premise that structural change by itself does not deliver the improved outcomes sought for service users and communities, unless equal or greater attention is paid to a range of other key factors.

Key points are as follows: 

The role of personal storytelling in practice (IRISS Insights, No 23)

Evidence summary that explores what story and storytelling is, and whether autobiographical, first-person storytelling has a valuable impact on practice, and can engender positive meaningful change for individuals who access support.

It examines how storytelling has been used across social services to date, considers its value, and highlights some considerations for those creating and using stories. Case study evidence is provided to showcase the benefits of storytelling in practice.

Children, food and care (IRISS Insights, no. 22)

Paper that reviews the evidence about how food practices affect children in different care settings, drawing heavily from the experience of children in foster and residential care.

Understanding suicide and self-harm amongst children in care and care leavers (IRISS Insights, No. 21)

Self-harm and suicide are complex issues which arouse difficult and distressing emotions both within people who hurt themselves and those who love and care for them. When children hurt or try to kill themselves, adults responsible for them often feel confused, powerless and overwhelmed.

Advocacy: Models and effectiveness (IRISS Insights, No. 20)

This Insight draws on evidence in relation to advocacy with both children and adults and on literature from the fields of health and social care. It outlines the key elements of the most prevalent models of advocacy and identifies good practice, as well as the limitations of advocacy models.  The Insight will provide an overview of the evidence base of what works in relation to advocacy provision.

Spirituality and ageing: implications for the care and support of older people (IRISS Insights, No19)

It is predicted that by 2033 there will be a 50% increase in the number of people over 60 in Scotland. This is accompanied by increasing longevity.

This evidence review focuses on the spiritual care of older people as one of the ways in which person-centred care can be achieved.