ESSS Outlines

Outlines are summaries of evidence produced by Iriss's Knowledge Managers in the Evidence Search and Summary Service (ESSS). They are produced using flexible and thorough approaches to identify and evaluate a wide range of evidence — from research, practice and experience — to ensure robust outputs that meet the needs of social service stakeholders in Scotland.

If you need evidence to help improve your work in social services in Scotland, please contact our free Evidence Search and Summary Service.

Capturing social work impact

ESSS Outline

ESSS Outline Capturing social work impact
This Outline looks at evidence around methods for capturing the impact of social work interventions. We identified a large body of literature relating to the value of effectively measuring the impact of social work interventions, particularly in the area of children and families, and many different approaches to doing so, however there is no consensus around the best way to approach impact measurement or any one standard approach. Overall, a key message from the evidence is that the broad range of services provided, outcomes sought and people being supported by social services may not be suited to a one size fits all approach to identification of impact of social work and tailored approaches to measurement depending on each context may be more effective, accurate and robust in determining what changes different interventions have led to on an individual level.

Impact of women specific interventions

ESSS Outline

ESSS Outline Impact of  women specific interventions
This Outline summarises evidence relating to the effectiveness of women specific interventions in addressing complex needs and the role they may play as preventative strategies in children's services. There was an overall lack of research that rigorously demonstrated the effectiveness of women specific interventions in addressing complex needs and a lack of evidence directly connecting the impact of women specific services on children’s outcomes. Different approaches to provision are summarised and evidence of the impact of women specific programmes are identified. Principles and examples of good practice are provided.

Integrated assessments in children’s services

ESSS Outline

Integrated assessments in children's services
This Outline explores the evidence around integrated assessment in children's services, identifies research around children's and families' experiences of the assessment process and recommendations for good practice around how to improve assessment experiences. It also includes some articles focusing on key issues in integrated assessment, including electronic information systems, data protection, privacy and the potential impacts of surveillance, and signposts to some training, learning resources and tools.

Values statements of disability organisations

ESSS Outline

Values statements of disability organisations
This ESSS Outline looks at several issues impacting on values in disability organisations, covering service users, employees, and the organisations themselves. We found that in the face of the escalating challenges posed by funding constraints and the rapidly changing social policy landscape, providers can take steps to influence decisions that affect the future development of the sector, ensuring ongoing improvements in the quality of social care provision for people with learning disabilities.

Transitional outcomes from social enterprise interventions for young people with additional support needs

ESSS Outline

Iriss ESSS Outline: Transitional outcomes from social enterprise interventions for young people with additional support needs
This evidence summary seeks to address the following question relating to the outcomes of involvement in social enterprises for young people with additional support needs: What are the benefits of social enterprise ventures such as cafés for young people with additional support needs? How does evidence from academic research and lived experience back up the approaches taken by [organisation redacted] as examples of good practice? It identifies some key studies relating to the wide range of outcomes for young people with additional support needs from work- and employment-based social enterprise interventions and recommendations for good practice.

Frameworks for child participation in social care

ESSS Outline

ESSS Outline Frameworks for child participation in social care
This summary looks at the participation of children and young people in social care, including examples of recent frameworks. We drew on a wide range of evidence focusing on children and young people's participation, and included literature looking at specific contexts where challenges most commonly occur, such as in child protection, and with BAME and disabled youth. We found that while there was no shortage of resources on participation, there were still limitations around evaluations of the effectiveness of structures and procedures to enable children and young people to have their wishes taken into account.

Service user interviewers in quality assurance

ESSS Outline

Service user interviewers in quality assurance thumbnail
This summary explores the involvement of service users in quality assurance and service evaluation processes. It explores the evidence around what has worked and has not worked, what benefits can be achieved from user involvement in data collection and what can be learned from previous examples.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): educational interventions

ESSS Outline

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): educational interventions
This summary explores the evidence around Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), their impact on educational outcomes and what interventions may be effective in supporting young people with ACEs in educational contexts. It draws on evidence from social care, health and education to provide background information and identify examples interventions with identifiable outcomes for young people, and examples of good practice around ACEs- and trauma-informed approaches that may be relevant in Scotland. It also identifies some key limitations of the evidence around ACEs and the application of the concept in the educational context.

Self-directed support and workforce development

ESSS Outline

Self-directed support and workforce development
This summary looks at how the social care workforce in Scotland can be further developed to deliver self-directed support. In the literature reviewed, there was limited shared knowledge about successful staff training and development to support personalisation, despite an emphasis in several Scottish Government reports on the importance of sharing good practice. The suggested approaches in this summary are involving service users in SDS training; person-centred practice; and further developing workforce understanding of the processes of personalisation. This document also highlights the barriers experienced by the workforce in making the shift towards personalisation.

Community-based activities and young people’s wellbeing

ESSS Outline

Community-based activities and young people’s wellbeing
This evidence summary examines how community-based interventions can support young people's social and emotional wellbeing. Due to a scarcity of robust evaluation and reporting taking place across the sector, we selected a wide-range of materials for this review, including systematic reviews, relevant individual studies and case studies from UK-based organisations. Studies examining a range of different children’s and young people’s interventions were selected, with most aimed at improving social skills, emotional wellbeing and behavioural difficulties.

ESSS Outlines Feedback

Read our Outlines? Let us know what you think