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The School will benefit social care practitioners and the social care sector in assisting them in taking forward their research and evidence based practice aspirations, and benefit research providers in supporting them to engage with the social care sector in the delivery of research that makes a sustained and tangible difference. The School’s activities will inform improvements in the delivery of quality social care for children, young people and adults as outlined in the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 with its focus on well-being, people, prevention, and integration.

Research capacity building

Research capacity building is a dynamic process over time, building on what works well in order to strengthen relevant and quality research that does make a difference in policy and practice. This includes producing capacity for research to respond to emergent issues and needs.

In the Wales School for Social Care Research, capacity building will operate at three interrelated levels:

a) Strengthening individual knowledge and capabilities to use research evidence in policy and practice, formulate research questions and be engaged in research (e.g. the skills and knowledge of the social care workforce, voluntary sector staff, university researchers);

b) Strengthening organisational capabilities to generate and sustain social care research environments based in approaches where evidence can inform policy and practice;

c) Strengthening institutional processes to support a sustained social care research agenda and effective knowledge mobilisation.

A detailed School strategy is available on the Resources page.

 Principles Informing the Work of the School:


Taking an all-Wales approach acknowledging the cultural uniqueness and diversity across the country

Valuing different forms of knowledge systematic research, practitioner wisdom and organisational knowledge, and the lived experiences of people accessing social care and support and their families

Capacity building at individual, organisational and institutional levels

Engaging and involving the public of Wales 

Collaboration and partnerships

Complexity and systems thinking

Click here for more information and links to some of our collaborators and partners.  

Public Involvement and Engagement

The School aims to lead by example in facilitating, developing, and championing innovative and fully embedded public involvement in all appropriate aspects of social care research in Wales. The School has members of the public recruited through the Involving People Network on its Advisory Group which provides strategic direction for the School. The School also has a network of ‘Friends of the School’. This network aims to promote and encourage public engagement in the work of the School through regular communication, highlighting upcoming events, news and opportunities to be involved in. Sign up at the bottom of the page to become a 'Friend of the School'. 

Developing Evidence Enriched Practice:

The work of the School is informed by the Developing Evidence Enriched Practice (DEEP) approach. This approach is an appreciative, collaborative and democratic approach to the discovery, exploration and use of research alongside contextual knowledge in service and workforce development.

The DEEP project was developed through a partnership involving the All Wales Academic Social Care Research Collaboration (ASCC), the Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRISS), the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), and six practice sites (five in Wales and one in Scotland). This pilot project was led by Swansea University and informed by principles of dialogue, multiple sources of knowledge and collaboration. 

Click Here for more information.


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