The challenges associated with caring for someone who suffers with psychosis - a set of symptoms that include delusions, hallucinations and confused or disturbed thoughts - can be overwhelming. Psychosis is a symptom of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder, and can also be a symptom of dementia, some forms of personality disorder, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease and other illnesses.
Social services, when based on the best available evidence of what works, are more likely to lead to successful outcomes for the people using them. This is what the Iriss aims to champion with the development of its Evidence-informed Practice Portal and the Confidence Through Evidence Toolkit, launched in April 2010.
DotComUnity is a newly developed website that was launched nationally in February 2010. It aims to provide a one-stop online resource and directory of community services, care information and social interactivity for adults and children with a learning or physical disability within local communities throughout the UK.
The tide of social media cannot be turned. To quote Socitm, a professional organisation representing ICT managers in local government, "Failure to engage with the trend is tantamount to decrying the telephone at the end of the 19th century". Social media is here, and here to stay. Web 2.0 tools - such as Twitter, Facebook and Flickr - that make up the social media portfolio are not only providing better ways for people to be 'social', and communicate more effectively, but are also improving the potential productivity and cost-efficiency of organisations and their employees.
Nearly one in ten young people between the ages of 16 and 17 drink at least once a week due to boredom, according to a YouGov poll commissioned in July 2009, by the alcohol charity, Drinkaware. The poll questioned 1,071 teenagers, the results of which also revealed that a third of 16-17 year olds would prefer to get the facts about alcohol from their parents.
Care leavers may feel isolated well into adulthood and some have difficulty talking about their childhood, even to close friends and family.
To help care leavers overcome these difficulties, the Care Leavers Association has recently invested £3,000 in the relaunch of Care Leavers Reunited.
What better way to gain an insight into the current needs of social services other than to ask the service users and carers themselves? The Social Work Education Participation (SWEP) website aims to achieve this by giving a voice to service users and carers -people who are often isolated - on their experiences of, and perspectives on, social care.
Google, possibly the web search engine of choice for most people, is wonderfully efficient at unearthing useful information. But have you ever wondered if there might be something relevant away down there on page 100 of your results? For more effective and efficient searching it's worth looking at some of Google's more advanced features.
Dementia is emerging as a major public health issue with serious implications for social care in the future. According to a report from Alzheimer's Disease International, more than 35 million people worldwide will have dementia in 2010 and that number will nearly double every 20 years, to 65.7 million in 2030 and 115.4 million in 2050.
Getting it Right, Assessments for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Carers and Service Users is a new interactive online learning resource produced by IRISS in conjunction with MECOPP.
It introduces the issues affecting minority ethnic carers and service users with an emphasis on achieving cultural competence within individual practice.