social care professionals

This research project, commissioned by the Scottish Government, looks at how advocacy for children in the Children's Hearings System compares with arrangements in other UK systems of child welfare and youth justice and those internationally, and what children and young people and the professionals who work with them think about advocacy arrangements in the Children's Hearings System and how these can be improved.

There is a growing realisation that service uses and carers should be involved in developing the services they receive. Their expertise as users of services and what they want from services should be heard. It is particularly important that service users are involved in the national organisations that regulate services, the workforce, education and training n social care.

This report has been undertaken by the Scottish Social Services Council as part of the Sector Skills Agreement process being carried out by Skills for Care and Development. It sets out a summary of the current and future skills needs of the social services workforce in Scotland. The assessment of current training provision to the sector is set out in the Stage 2 report.

Evidence-based policy and practice increasingly demands the use of research as a key tool to improve practice. However, little research can be directly applied to practice, many practitioners aren't equipped to digest research and appropriate support systems are lacking. What is needed is a better understanding of the relationship between social care research and the work of social care practitioners, including what organisational structures are needed to enable the use of research.

SCIE, in the formation of its good practice guidance for the social care sector seeks to include all relevant kinds of knowledge and strongly believes that it is only through looking at the sector from a whole perspective - including the views of service users and practitioners - that we can truly advise social care workers on what works best.