IRISS

For more outcomes-focused resources, see the Outcomes Toolbox.

One of a series of reports providing the social services workforce with brief, accessible and practice-oriented summaries of published evidence on key topics. This Insight, written by Dr Emma Miller, Honorary Senior Research Associate at Glasgow School of Social Work, considers some of the challenges of measuring outcomes and emerging responses to these.

The Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRISS) has three programmes through which it delivers its work: evidence-informed practice, innovation and improvement, and knowledge media. This is a research paper, which examines attitudes, approaches, use and barriers to innovation and improvement and evidence-informed practice in the sector, which could be used as a baseline for future research to track and monitor attitudinal change.

Case study which describes the use of Talking Mats at Stenhouse Child and Family Centre (Edinburgh City Council) with very young, vulnerable children and their parents.

Talking Mats is a low-tech communication tool originally developed by the Alternative and Augmentative Communication Research Unit to support people with communication impairment including those with stroke, learning disability and dementia.

Study that examines the relevance of social media to the development of personalised social care in general, and to self-directed support in particular.

The focus of the report is the UK but, given the global nature of web-based communication, it does include some international initiatives.

Report that presents the results of a small qualitative study undertaken between February and March 2011. It considers the role of evidence in decision making around risk in social work and what affects this process.

The research aims to shed light on the relationship between evidence and practice wisdom (as an evidence type or integrating vehicle) or professional judgement, and how this relationship shapes decision making.

Strategy document which illustrates IRISS's activities – through examples of its work – from 2009-11, and sets out its planned strategy for 2012-15.

The current structure of three interconected programmes – knowledge media, evidence-informed practice, and innovation and improvement – which has established IRISS's unique identity will be built upon to create the concept of IRISS as both a hub for expertise and knowledge, and a bridge between research and practice and between ideas and implementation.