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Practice Tools and Guides

Image: Practice Tools and Guides: guidance for practitioners to use in everyday delivery of services.

Guidance for practitioners to use in everyday delivery of services.

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Evaluating family group conferences with adults: Practice Tool

Published: Oct 2017

Evaluating family group conferences with adults: Practice Tool

This practice tool aims to support practitioners and managers who are already running a family group conference (FGC) service for adults, and those who are considering developing a service.

It provides an overview of:

  • The current evidence base regarding FGCs with adults.
  • The complexities of measuring the impact of FGCs on outcomes for adults and their families.
  • Practical ideas to support the evaluation of the process and outcomes of an FGC service for adults.

Aimed at: All those involved in adult family group conferences, including senior leaders, managers and coordinators already running or looking to set up a family group conference service for adults.

Number of pages: 28
Preview available.
Product code: AD-PTL-018

Good recording: Practice Tool (2017)

Published: Jun 2017

Good recording: Practice Tool (2017)

This Practice Tool provides an overview of the importance and purpose of recording, with resources and case studies to support reflection and professional development. The tools support:

  • preparation for recording
  • professional writing
  • note-taking and recording outcomes-focused conversations
  • recording analysis, rationale, decisions and actions.

Its main focus is on recording assessment conversations. However, the principles apply to all professional recording.

Aimed at: Practitioners and managers across social care and wider services for adults.

Number of pages: 24
Preview available
Product code: AD-PTL-017

Supporting outcomes-focused practice: Learning Resources (open access)

Published: Jun 2017

Supporting outcomes-focused practice: Learning Resources (open access)

These easy to use open access resources demonstrate how to have, record and reflect on outcomes conversations, and are available as downloadable tools and case studies on a dedicated website. Each gives clear examples of outcomes-focused practice, as well as guidance on how to deliver it. They are intended to support all practitioners and are particularly useful to students and people in their Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE).

The site also introduces the Outcomes Triangle, a new model designed to be used in care planning to support conversations about outcomes. The triangle focuses on the three key elements of: wellbeing; social networks; and environment; and is underpinned by a list of the core skills that practitioners need.

These resources are the outputs of a Research in Practice for Adults Change Project.

Aimed at: Social workers and all other health and social care practitioners.

These learning resources are open access.

Go to the resources to support outcomes-focused practice.
Supporting confident social work practice with people living with dementia: Learning Resources (open access)

Published: May 2017

Supporting confident social work practice with people living with dementia: Learning Resources (open access)

These open access learning resources support social work practice with people living with dementia, focusing on five practice principles:

  • Start with the person
  • Maintain a relationship
  • Involve support networks
  • Uphold people’s rights
  • Work with ongoing change

The resources include case studies, practical tools and guidance, and are available on an open access website. They were commissioned by the Department of Health and developed by Research in Practice for Adults.

Aimed at: Social workers, managers, educators, allied professionals, agencies and organisations working with people living with dementia.

These learning resources are open access.

Go to the supporting social work practice for people living with dementia learning resources.

Coercive control: Learning Resources (open access)

Published: Feb 2017

Coercive control: Learning Resources (open access)

Coercive control is the underlying feature of domestic abuse and is an offence in law. These open access learning resources provide information and guidance on how to recognise and respond to coercive and controlling behaviour in intimate or family relationships.

Five case studies describe situations of controlling and coercive behaviour with learning activities, sample assessment and safety plans, tools to support effective practice, and a resource library with further information and guidance about social work in cases of coercive control.

The materials were commissioned by the Chief Social Worker’s Office at the Department of Health commissioned the materials, which were developed by Research in Practice for Adults and Women’s Aid.

Aimed at: Social workers, safeguarding leads, health and social care practitioners.

These learning resources are open access.

Go to the coercive control learning resources.

Good practice at end of life for social care practitioners: Practice Tool (2017)

Published: Feb 2017

Good practice at end of life for social care practitioners: Practice Tool (2017)

When working with people and their families at the end of their life it is important that we work in a way that enables people to have the best possible experience of death. Practitioners can feel uncertain about what constitutes best practice and may need support to have positive conversations.

This Practice Tool provides methods for practitioners to use when working with people and their families.

Aimed at: Frontline practitioners and managers.

Number of pages: 16
Preview available.
Legal literacy: Practice Tool (2016)

Published: Oct 2016

Legal literacy: Practice Tool (2016)

Legal literacy matters because the law determines how and when the state can intervene in the lives of individuals. It also serves as a valuable tool to support empowering, enabling and rights-focused social work and social care practice.

This resource uses tools and exercises to develop practitioners’ understanding of the legal framework that underpins their role and improve their confidence in working with the law.

Aimed at: Practitioners, team leaders, managers.

Number of pages: 32
Preview available.
Social work practice with carers: Learning Resources (open access)

Published: Jun 2016

Social work practice with carers: Learning Resources (open access)

The learning resources to support social work with carers are available on an open access website and are intended for frontline practitioners and managers who are working with carers. They include five case studies to give an insight into different types of caring responsibilities, some of the common challenges experienced by carers and guidance for working with them effectively. Each case study contains a written and audio overview, sample chronology, assessment and support plan, along with tools and training materials to put learning into practice.

The resources were commissioned by the Department of Health and developed by RiPfA in partnership with carers, along with support from Carers UK and the Carers Trust.

Aimed at: Practitioners, managers and workforce development teams.

Go to the open access resources.
Young carers and their families: Confident assessment practice (Practice Tool, 2015)

Published: May 2016

Young carers and their families: Confident assessment practice (Practice Tool, 2015)

The Care Act 2014 and Children and Families Act 2014 (section 96) place new requirements on children’s and adult social care to identify young carers and assess their needs.

Set within the context of these two Acts, and with a focus on whole family approaches to working with young carers and their families, this Practice Tool aims to equip people working in children’s and adult services with skills and confidence to work with young carers and their families. This is not an assessment tool, but a tool to support practitioners to develop the skills needed to build relationships with young carers and their families.

Aimed at:
  • frontline practitioners in children’s and adult social care who work with young carers and their families
  • workforce development teams delivering training to those working with young carers
  • health and education professionals working with young carers, including those in Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).


Number of pages: 23
Preview available.
Enablement in dementia: Practice Tool (2016)

Published: Feb 2016

Enablement in dementia: Practice Tool (2016)

Building on the RiPfA Key Issue: Enablement in dementia (January 2015), this Practice Tool translates its key messages into practical methods that can be used to support commissioners, services managers and frontline practitioners to deliver dementia services with enablement in mind. The tool challenges people to assess their approach, and think robustly and creatively about what more can be done to put enablement at the heart of commissioning, managing and delivering dementia services.

Aimed at: Practitioners, managers and workforce development teams.

Number of pages: 18
Preview available.
Product code: AD-PTL-015
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