Happy New Year to you all!
We hope you had a stellar festive period and are set for the new year ahead. You will be no-doubt be interested to read some of our highlights for 2013 – we've made them available here as an out-of-this-world timeline. We hope you enjoy it and we look forward to a productive 2014.
Into the spirit
January saw the publication of our first Insight (evidence review) of 2013. Based on the subject of spirituality and ageing, it encouraged reflection on the implications for the care and support of older people.
'This is where it starts'
Eight case studies to capture experiential knowledge of professionals working in the early years were produced, as well as an overview report which explored the learning from the case studies. View the 'This is where it starts' collection.
Marking World Social Work Day
Iriss was one of the partners contributing to the first Social Services Expo to mark World Social Work Day 2013. It was a big success, so much so that it will run again in 2014. Read more about SSEC 2013.
A toolbox of all things outcomes
An Outcomes Toolbox of resources relevant to an outcomes-focused approach in social services was developed in partnership with Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland (CCPS). A new guide in the Leading for outcomes series was also produced - Leading for outcomes: Integrated working.
Getting WITTY with it
We ventured into app development, producing WITTY (What's Important To You?) for iPad, a tool to help people understand the positive assets and factors which individuals have and can better use in day-to-day life.
Creating spaces for discussion between people from a variety of organisations and backgrounds is not an easy task. D-Cards (Difficulties, Decisions, Deliberations) were published to provide practical help in facilitating diverse groups.
An exciting new resource was created entitled Research Unbound - a place for sharing research whether completed or in progress. The first addition was Young People Creating Belonging, which explores how young people who are looked after feel that they belong.
Practitioner Research and Older People
Final reports from the Practitioner Research: Older People (PROP) project were published, a partnership between the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships (CRFR) and Iriss focusing on reshaping care for older people. The project blog provides additional information.
Exploring how creative arts are currently being used across social services forms a core part of our project work for 2013/4. The Creative Quarter project is producing a lot of great work, including SEE sessions (Share | Enlighten | Engage) to highlight evidence and provide practical demonstrations of arts work and the Creative Care and Support project in Pitlochry. There's more to come in the New Year! Another creative initiative was the publication of an animated report, entitled, Supporting peer support, which provided thoughts for people wishing to set up, run or participate in a peer support group.
Social services in full voice
The Social Services Choir, a mix of those providing and accessing support, kicked off early this month and has been singing strong ever since. Encouraging and embedding ideas was also in full swing. An animated guide to frameworks, tools and practical examples to help grow ideas was also produced as part of the Embedding Innovation project.
Some 'Food for Thought'
The routines and rituals that surround food - shopping, preparing, cooking, serving, cleaning up - are important parts of our lives, yet often we fail to recognise their symbolic or hidden meanings. Iriss, in partnership with the University of Stirling and other organisations, produced a suite of tools and training materials for foster carers and residential staff involved in the day-to-day care of looked after children and young people.