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About us

Who we are…

The Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRISS) is a charitable company with a mission to:

…promote positive outcomes for the people who use Scotland’s social services by enhancing the capacity and capability of the social services workforce to access and make use of knowledge and research for service innovation and improvement.

Programme strands

To realise our vision of a high quality, continually improving social services sector, renowned for its effective use of knowledge and research-based innovation, our work is organised into three inter-related programmes:

Our approach

We support people to use what works, try out new ideas, and embed new ways of working.

For policy makers, we:

  • Encourage 'doing things differently' to bring about cultural change in organisations in order to improve outcomes for people who use social services
  • Promote evidence-informed, decision-based policy
  • Aim to influence policy to create a social services workforce that embraces change and uses knowledge and evidence more effectively.

For practitioners, we:

  • Support the workforce to develop their skills, learning and development
  • Provide resources that will help practitioners save time and improve efficiency
  • Support and advise the workforce on how to work in new ways.

Working with us

Our ethos is collaboration and we are committed to working in partnership with other agencies involved in care and support and with service users and carers. See our Policy on Payment for Collaborators for further information.

An important part of this approach is the Champion Network, set up to strengthen links with local authorities, voluntary and private sector organisations and academic institutions teaching social work.

The Learning Exchange is a digital library containing audio, video and text based materials to support learning and development. Unlike other digital collections, we invite and encourage third parties to deposit materials in the Learning Exchange as a way of sharing with the wider community. Find out how to become a contributor.

To find out more about working with us, contact IRISS or any member of the team.