SSRG Annual Workshop 2005 Social Care in Transition : Partnerships, Practice and Performance

11th, 12th and 13th April 2005

Presentations from Monday 11th April

A Chief Executive’s Perspective – Joining it all up locally
Trish Haines

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Inspecting for Improvement: Policy and Practice
David Behan

David Behan will be speaking about CSCI, and what we do; about our approach to inspection and regulation – which is a rights- based approach; about what have we heard from people and what they think of services. He will talk about the recent Budget announcement about the Government’s plans for the future of inspectorates. He will talk from his perspective about what drives improvement. He will also highlight the key policy developments for local government, and for the children’s agenda and adults services. He will talk about commissioning and how CSCI plans to use regulatory inspection to inform performance assessment of councils.

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Social Care from a Journalists Desk: A Backward and Forward Look
Malcolm Dean

This presentation will look at what has happened to social services from a newspaper desk over my 35 years… it will begin with the £5 a week that Islington used to give to neighbours to pop in to see older or dependent people down their road, and end with the JF Rowntree working party I’m chairing at the moment looking at older people and how that little bit of help that used to be there could be restored.

In between times, I’ll look at RH Crossman’s belief that as Social Services Secretary, his role would be to co-ordinate all social policy departments (not just health, social security and social services) which never happened; some of the good things that happened (listening to children; the voice of the user); and some of the bad (the withering of the fifth arm of the welfare state and the shocking shortfall in mental health care of children); the uncertain future; the problems for researchers (how Dartington’s messages from research got torpedoed by a headline in the Guardian which put ministers into a funk);and how local government could be reformed which would restore people’s involvement in politics; the doubts raised by the green paper on social care; the absurdity of the abolition of CSCI and no doubt much else…..

Taking Stock and Looking Ahead: Social Care in Partnership
Bob Hudson

The notion of transition implies moving from one state of affairs to another. In the case of social care partnerships it is relatively clear what we are moving from, but less evident what we are moving towards. In this presentation, Bob Hudson will explore the different phases of partnership working since the Seebohm changes, take stock of achievements, and consider what the future might hold. Services for both children and young people, and for adults, will be examined.

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Developing Integrated Services for Children in England: Emerging Messages from Children’s Trust Pathfinders
Margaret O’Brien

The National Evaluation of Children’s Trusts is investigating how children’s education, social and health services are being integrated, in the context of the 2004 Children’s Act, the National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services, and the Every Child Matters programme.

The main focus of the evaluation is the 35 areas, defined by local authority, that in 2003 were selected by the Departments of Health and of Education and Skills as children’s trust pathfinders. We examined baseline census data on demography, social and economic compositions of the populations served, and on local authority performance indicators, comparing the 25 Pathfinder areas with the rest of England.

These indicators suggested that the pathfinders were representative of the rest of England. In 2004 we conducted a questionnaire survey of all 35 children’s trust pathfinders to describe the structures and processes of children’s service integration. This showed that all pathfinders had a board, representing health, education and social services; 15 boards had voluntary organisation representation.

The main vision of 20 pathfinders is to improve the well-being of all children, or all vulnerable children, with 15 pathfinders more focused on particular client groups, especially children with disabilities. Roughly half of pathfinders had evidence of resource sharing, including staff working together, shared budgets and sharing of client information. Most had some user and voluntary organisation involvement. There is some evidence that pre-existing cross agency collaboration provided valuable preparation for children’s trusts, which it is hoped will carry the former forward over time. Over the next two years the National Evaluation will follow 11 case study areas for in-depth study, and will convene panels of children, young people, parents and carers.

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Actively Involving Service Users in Research
Roger Steel

The Research Governance Framework for Health and Social Care has set out the principle of involving people who use services in research as active participants rather than just being in the role of research subjects. Research is usually carried out with significant constraints on time and resources, and involving people who use services can seem like just an additional burden. Is the trend towards public involvement just political correctness, or is
there more to it?

INVOLVE have been advising on active public involvement in research since 1996, and now makes available a range of materials, including a website to support researchers with the why, how, and what of involvement. This workshop will not only explore the principles of actively involving people who use services in research, but also some of the practicalities of actually doing it.

The Sandwell Telecare Project: The Use of Electronic Assistive Technology for Independent Living.
Barry Downs and Paul Waddington

Telecare Sandwell is an innovatory project to pioneer the introduction of enhanced technological aids (‘smart sensors’ etc) so as to better enable vulnerable elderly and/or disabled people to live independently in the community with added safety and confidence and reduced anxiety and risk.

Telecare Sandwell was designed to enhance the service options available in the borough and to be compatible with the new procedures for single assessment.

Barry Downs will outline the work of the Sandwell Telecare Project and Paul Waddington will report the conclusions of his independent evaluation with particular reference to the management of risk and the innovatory process

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Ten Research Challenges in the New Social Work Degree

Jill Manthorpe and Martin Stevens

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Championing Social Care and Social Work

Ray Jones and Peter Hall

Ray Jones will be exploring (i) why it is particularly important now, with significant change in the organisations delivering social care services and hosting social work, and with some political challenges and opportunities, to be (ii) recognising what is special about the contribution of social care and social work, and (iii) how this might be championed and continued into the future.

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Presentation from Tuesday 12th April

Integrating Social Services and the NHS – Using Action Research to Influence and Sustain Mainstream Service Improvements
Peter Thistlethwaite

The presentation tells the story of how the evaluation of a pilot integrated health and social care team has been constructed to underpin the establishment of a Care Trust in Torbay in October 2005. This is a massive organisational change, predicated on improvements for patients, service users and carers. The rationale for an action research model, and its focus on user benefits, will be explained. The key point is that this is not a small experiment with an integrated care service: it addresses mainstream community health and social care. It is also based on best available national and local evidence. Early results will be outlined, and the prospects for whole system change discussed.

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Research Informing Practice: The SCIE – Wigan Partnership
Diane Gwynne-Smith, Sue Jardine and Steve Peddie

In this workshop we will be exploring how the SCIE-Wigan partnership has raised the profile of research informed practice in Wigan. Diane and Sue will introduce the workshop and there will be a short presentation of SCIE’s social care resources website. Steve will talk about the partnership from a local authority perspective and lead a discussion on the whole issue of research informed practice.

Developing a Volunteer Impact Assessment Toolkit

Steven Howlett

This presentation will focus on the work of the Institute for Volunteering Research to produce a toolkit to allow volunteer involving organisations to think about the impact of volunteering. Through the work the work of the Institute it has become clear that many organisations are struggling with the demands of different stakeholders to show the impact of having volunteers. The presentation will outline how the toolkit was conceptualised to cover a range of stakeholders and impacts. Theresulting toolkit needed to be able to measure impact, but also user-friendly enough for inexperienced researchers to be able to use.

The presentation will cover:

  • Why do we need to measure impact?
  • Who are the main stakeholders affected by volunteering?
  • How do these stakeholders benefit and in what ways can we conceptualise impacts in a way that they can be measured?
  • What tools can be used?

Promoting Quality: Developing Monitoring and Evaluation in Black and Minority Ethnic Voluntary Organisations Supporting Black and Minority Ethnic Older People

Jabeer Butt and Daryl Crosskill

In comparison to many other areas of the experience of support and care, the experience of black and minority ethnic older people is well served. The picture painted by these studies, show that black and minority ethnic older people, like many other older people in the United Kingdom, posses significant support and care needs. Also that these needs are not necessarily being met appropriately or adequately by their families or service providers.

The evidence of supportive services provided by black and minority ethnic voluntary organisations has meant that there has been some attention paid to these organisations in the past ten yeas. Yet there is little systematic information available to support these views. For some of these organisations there is little information on the make-up of older people who use their

services. Furthermore, like many other social care agencies, black and minority ethnic voluntary organisations also struggle with the question of how effective their services are. Sometimes this has resulted in funders using financial management as the principle factor in deciding whether a group receives support, rather than the effectiveness of the service they provide.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation supported the REU to work with six black and minority ethnic voluntary organisations from across England to:

  • explore the effectives of support and care received by black and minority ethnic older people provided by black and minority ethnic voluntary organisations;
  • develop sustainable use of monitoring and evaluation in black and minority ethnic voluntary organisations who provide support to black and minority older people;
  • identify good practice in monitoring and evaluation services to black and minority ethnic older people.

This workshop will explore some of the results of this study. We will also explore some of the implications for future provision of effective support through voluntary organisations for black and minority ethic older people.

The Place of Prevention in Children’s Services: The Emerging Findings from the National Evaluation of the Children’s Fund

Lucy Loveless and Nathan Hughes

The Children’s Fund was established as part of a broad agenda for promoting multi-agency working in preventative children’s services for children and young people at risk of social exclusion. The over-arching aim of the programme is to support the development of local partnership working in improving preventative services to enhance children’s life chances. The National Evaluation of the Children’s Fund explores in detail the effectiveness of the different models of collaboration that have emerged locally, and the impact of the Children’s Fund on outcomes for children. In this session we report on the key learning points emerging from the study, with a particular focus on understandings of prevention, the factors influencing the development of these understandings at a local level, and attempts to mainstream or sustain such practice in the context of a changing agenda premised on ‘Every Child Matters’ and the subsequent Children’s Act 2004.

Partnership to Change Practice

Jon Glasby

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Research, Reality and Red Tape: Implementing the Research Governance

Framework in Social care

Chris Russell and Salina Bates

This session follows a series of ten workshops held in England and Wales during February and March this year. I will summarise the feedback from the workshops, including:

  • A review of progress in implementing research governance around the country
  • Questions, issues and concerns raised by participants
  • Future training and support needs identified by participants

Salina Bates, Information Manager at SCIE, will give a short presentation about the national register of social care research, which is currently being developed.

Once again, I hope the session will be as lively and interactive as the training workshops that led to it!

Service Users as Partners in Research

Clare Evans

We can take some user involvement in any research as a given can’t we? But what does it mean to work in equal partnership with service users? How can we share each stage of the research process with them and show we value the expertise we bring to the partnership?

The workshop seeks to provide answers to these questions.

All Dressed up but Nowhere to Go: Tackling Delayed Hospital Discharges

Jon Glasby

Jon’spresentation builds on two reviews of the literature on delayed hospital discharge and older people, onepublished as an introductory textbook by Radcliffe Medical Press ( Hospital discharge: integrating health and social care ) and the other commissioned by the Department of Health (available via Drawing on this material, this workshop focuses on the key difficulties raised by hospital discharge, critiques the current policy context and suggests an alternative way forward for policy and practice.

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Evaluating Children’s Services: Recent Conceptual and Methodological


Louise Morpeth

Researchers at Dartington have a particular interest in improving the quality of evaluation research in children’s services. We define evaluation as the use of social research procedures to investigate systematically the effectiveness of social interventions. Central to this approach are four concepts: client group; theory of change; programme fidelity and outcome measurement. These concepts will be explained in the context of an evaluation of a programme intended to reduce anti-social behaviour among young people currently underway at the research unit. This will be followed by a discussion of the merits of experimental and non-experimental methods of evaluation and the potential to link evaluation of individual cases to evaluation of groups of beneficiaries.

The Impact of Evaluation on Public Services: Engine of Change or

Bridle of Conformity?

David Allan

The presentation will consider the impact of evaluation and research findings and recommendations on social care practice. It will begin with some general propositions of the value of research and evaluation today, and then draw on some research undertaken in 2003 that considered the organisational and occupational contexts in social care that influence the way research and evaluation is received. The key findings will be shared, and an analysis of what conditions are most reception to research will be covered. Finally, some observations will be made of what changes need to take place amongst practitioners and managers to extend the impact of research on practice, with some general comments on future opportunities emerging that could resolve some of the organisational and occupational tensions identified. All in 45 minutes.

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Presentations from Wednesday 13th April

New Horizons – Exploiting CSCI’s Information Potential

Mike Beazley

Reaching for the Stars – The Politics of Performance Assessment

Karin Janzon and Stella Law

The presentation reviews the development of the performance assessment and star ratings system in social services from the perspectives of the key players – examining the shifting arguments and evidence put forward by supporters and detractors, the secrets of success and the pitfalls of perverse consequences. It also discusses the impact on practitioners, the extent to which the voice of service users is reflected in the process, and the implications for the performance regime of new organisational relationships and aspirations.

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Managing Performance: Making it ‘Real’ for Front-Line Staff

Simon Adams


It has long been recognised that difficulties can occur when trying to engage with front line staff about performance. Social Care and Health information in particular can be a very complex area, and often social workers struggle to see the relevance of producing what can appear to be quite dry statistics

when they would much rather deal with ‘operational’ issues. This workshop will examine the work carried out by a regional sub group of the ADSS Benchmarking Club, chaired by Caron Beaman, that led to the development a practical toolkit aimed specifically at First Line Managers

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Developing Local Performance Indicators – Measuring Quality

Tony Hubbard and Simon Adams

Universal measurement of qualitative outcomes for service users is perhaps the ‘Holy Grail’ of Performance Management, but we are under intense pressure to achieve this aim. In the ‘Star Rating’ evaluation we are also expected to show how well we serve people, and how we demonstrate our capacity to improve, in terms of qualitative outcomes, The current range of PAF PIs, based on quantitative data, represents quantitative outcomes. However, these PIs are interpreted nationally as indicators of the quality of services provided.

As a step toward true qualitative PIs, a Working Group from the West Midlands group of CSSRs has produced a set of 6 qualitative Regional PIs that give ‘added value’ to the existing set of PAF PIs, providing both staff and service users with the opportunity to gain qualitative insight into service delivery processes.

The primary aims of the Regional PIs are

  • support the DIS and PAF processes
  • provide a qualitative insight
  • add breadth to the interpretation of the main PAF indicators
  • help to form, or underpin and enhance a quality system
  • provide meaningful information to front line staff

This Workshop demonstrates the work of the Regional Performance Indicator Group, and how the group intends to move on to the next step of ‘Outcome’

Performance Indicators.

Download Tony Hubbard and Simon Adams’ presentation

Download Simon Adams’ presentation

Using Information to Improve Performance

Tish Gailey, Kate Anderson and Ruth Edwards

The workshop will be in two related parts. Firstly, Tish Gailey will present a case study of how Kent used nationally available information to set targets to reduce our numbers of Looked After Children whilst ensuring no increases on the children on the Child Protection Register. Tish will cover why we wanted to reduce LAC numbers, what information we accessed nationally and locally and how we used it.

Ruth Edwards and Kate Anderson will then do the second part of the presentation giving a lot more detail on information available and how to access it.

The three of us will then update candidates on how DH, DfES, CSCI and others work with various groups to agree, define and set up national data collections and Performance Indicators. We will give special emphasis to the current workto promote better representation and co-operation between these groups and how everyone interested in national data collections can contribute.

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Comparing PAF Data Across Councils: The Slough Model

Russ Bourner

Performance Indicators: Good, Bad and Ugly

Sheila Bird

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