Our social media presence


Up 559 on previous year


392 page likes
Up 106 on previous year
442 follows
Up 137 on previous year


Up 75 on previous year

Website statistics


Up 91,010 on previous year


74.6% new visitors
25.4% returning visitors

Page views

Up 135,663 on previous year


HOW to communicate with impact

A total of 14 ‘HOW to communicate with impact’ workshops were delivered across the year in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness.


We ran co-production workshops at the Social Services Expo, Healthier Futures Forum, Firestarter Festival, Jam For Justice and What Works Scotland event.



Social pedagogy and its relevance for Scottish social welfare book covers

We published seven new Insights taking us to a total of 49.


Scotland's social services podcast

We broadcast 43 episodes on the Iriss.fm podcast, taking us up to 241 episodes in total.

By the end of the business year the podcast was migrated to a new platform making it available through other services such as Google Podcasts and Spotify.

A new series of interviews – Freshly Squeezed – was launched to profile key influencers in social services in Scotland. Other topics covered topics ranged from self-directed support and co-production to community care and disability.

Evidence Search and Summary Service

research books in a pile

The Evidence Search and Summary Service (ESSS) received and responded to over 20 enquiries and produced a total of 17 Outlines on topics ranging from disability, domestic abuse and mental health, to Adverse Childhood Experiences, assessments and self-directed support.


Our work supports the delivery of the Vision and strategy for Scotland’s social services 2015–20.

Improving use of evidence

researcher working on laptop

Online learning

A three-week ‘Finding and using evidence’ online course was launched, which continues over 2019-20. Over 100 people have signed up to date.

Making evidence meaningful

A collection of evidence papers that detailed an evidence into action scoping methodology was published.

A ‘Making Evidence Meaningful’ event was attended by 40 practitioners from across social services in Scotland, which explored the ways in which a wide range of evidence perspectives and voices influence the delivery of social support and care in Scotland.

Supporting improvement

illustration of people

Supporting the emerging workforce

We contributed to the planning and delivery of the fourth annual conference for final year social work students and newly-qualified social workers. Event report.

The second national ‘What Matters to Us’ conference aimed at final year HN students in social care and early years and college staff from these courses, came together for a very well-received conference, with key themes on person-centred care and leadership.

Four stories of everyday leadership were produced in partnership with UWS students on the Integrated Health and Social Care programme.

New Care Standards

A project that aimed to test and refine an understanding of the new care standards within two local areas, each within adult services - East Renfrewshire and Perth and Kinross. It launched as a collaboration between Iriss, the Health and Social Care Standards Implementation Team and the Care Inspectorate.

As a result:

  • An evaluation toolkit was produced to support organisations evaluate their activities
  • Organisations involved had a deeper understanding of the new care standards, as well as the challenges and opportunities they presented
  • A learning report was published

Service user and carer involvement in social work education

Seven stories were published which illustrated service user and carer involvement in social work education across the Scottish universities.

An event was co-planned and delivered an event on 17 April 2018, with thoughtful and inspirational contributions from Scotland, Sweden and Belgium, to share and promote learning and to look to the future of service user and carer involvement. Event report.

Community social work

A critical history of community social work was commissioned by Iriss to mark the 50th anniversary of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968. A limited edition print version was jointly published by Iriss, SASW and Social Work Scotland.

A series of seven case studies were created to demonstrate what community social work is and has to offer, all grounded in real-life context and experience.

A 'Talking Social Work' event was held at the University of Dundee to promote the publication with the author, Colin Turbett. His and others’ contributions were captured on our Iriss.fm podcast.

Self care and wellbeing

We were approached by Early Years Scotland to run four half-day workshops with them. Some of the workshops used a community of enquiry approach to support practitioners and managers across the services meet together and discuss issues that were important to them, and to explore and find practical ways to support themselves in their roles.

As a result:

  • The Early Years Scotland team has a new understanding of the evidence behind self-care and well-being in the workplace
  • The team was able to employ different strategies to reflect on their own well-being and to make positive changes

Drumchapel Early Years Network

In partnership with the Village Storytelling Centre, we produced the story of the Drumchapel Early Years Network, a network which aims to improve the lives of children and families in Drumchapel.

As a result:

  • A multimedia story of the network was created, which included a creative and engaging animation and the perspectives of those involved
  • The impact and achievements of the network were recorded and promoted
  • Learning about this network model was shared with the wider sector

Participatory budgeting

We were contracted by Glasgow City Council to plan, develop and deliver full-day workshops (including meetings and planning sessions) with the citizens panels. It included post-workshop evaluation and reporting.

As a result:

  • Calton participatory budgeting citizens panel was informed on visioning and mapping of co-production for their context
  • North West Glasgow Voluntary Sector Network participatory budgeting citizens panel gained knowledge about co-production and community engagement

Improving digital skills

Careers in Care photography

Careers in Care

The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) approached us to support them with filming and photography for their Careers in Care website. Films and photographs were produced to support the recruitment and retention of staff in social services.

Timeline visualisation tool

CELCIS approached us with a tentative idea for an online child-placement timeline builder. We undertook to help them assess the viability of such a tool and to specify and design an interface and user experience that could potentially form the basis of such an application, should they determine to proceed with its development.

As a result:

  • We worked with CELCIS to scope and prototype an online tool that would enable local authority social work staff to create anonymised visual timelines detailing the placement history of looked after children. Should it be deemed viable, such a tool would allow social work professionals to easily enter data themselves, generate timelines, and export them for offline use in the form of a graphic for inclusion in reports and other materials. This would greatly simplify the creation of such charts, reducing the need for specialist knowledge and complex spreadsheet software.

National social services search

A national search facility was created to enable people to search resources across multiple websites from one place.

As a result:

  • The workforce has access to a wide range of resources from one search.
  • Five partner organisations have added the facility to their own websites. These organisations include: Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), the Care Inspectorate, Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice (CYCJ), Coalition of Care and Support Providers (CCPS) and Social Work Scotland.
  • A short guide to adding the search to websites was produced.
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