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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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Safety Matters: Practitioners’ Handbook - Revised Third edition (2019)

Published: May 2019

Safety Matters: Practitioners’ Handbook - Revised Third edition (2019)

Safeguarding adults means protecting a person’s right to live in safety, free from abuse, neglect, violence and exploitation. It is about promoting individuals’ wellbeing and preventing both the risk of, and the experience of, abuse and neglect wherever possible.

This handbook was first published in 2009 as part of a Change Project called Safety Matters. The project brought research and practice together to identify what works best in safeguarding. The handbook was further updated in 2013, and Research in Practice for Adults is now delighted to publish a fully updated third edition in 2018. The new edition takes account of recent policy and culture changes in safeguarding adults under the Care Act 2014, and following the national implementation of Making Safeguarding Personal.

Designed for: The focus is on developing practice in safeguarding by highlighting research messages and good working practices, and is intended to promote reflection and discussion. 

Number of pages: 100

Product code: AD-HBK-002

Responding to the voice of older carers – building on what works: Practice Tool (2019)

Published: Apr 2019

Responding to the voice of older carers – building on what works: Practice Tool (2019)

Using the voice of carers and practice experts, this publication aims to provide tools to support social care and health professionals to work effectively with older carers.

The resource draws specifically from the narratives of older carers. Illustrated by quotes from their lived experience, it includes five practice tools to help practitioners to:

  • Develop understanding of what is important to older carers.
  • Provide timely information in the transition to becoming a carer later in life.
  • Support older carers to access services for themselves and the cared for person.
  • Build strategies for ‘being there’ with older carers, reducing loneliness.
  • Promote and safeguard older carers’ wellbeing.

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

Number of pages: 28

Preview available

Product code: AD-PTL-019

Supporting good court craft: Practice Tool (2019)

Published: Apr 2019

Supporting good court craft: Practice Tool (2019)

This resource, and the tools contained within it, supports people working in adult social care to:

  • develop their skills and knowledge in relation to writing for, and appearing at, court
  • feel more confident in their court craft
  • enable practice and decision-making which is transparent, evidence-informed, supportive of strengths-based practice and less open to challenge.

It does not provide detailed guidance on social care law or replicate guidance issued by the courts.

It provides:

  • An overview of the different types of court and the common circumstances or reasons why practitioners may be expected to attend.
  • Explanation of the different roles of the practitioner in court.
  • Guidance for everyday practice that supports defensible decision-making.
  • Guidance on writing statements and reports for court, including looking at the burden and standard of proof.
  • An overview of some of the key learning from case law related to social work practice.

The tools at the end of the resource offer guidance, templates and tips to support the professional development and maintenance of court craft skills and knowledge. They are relevant to all social care practitioners who may need to write for or attend court.

The tools can also be downloaded separately at: www.ripfa.org.uk/resources/court-craft

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

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.
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

Appreciative Inquiry in Safeguarding Adults: Practice Tool (2015)

Published: Sep 2015

Appreciative Inquiry in Safeguarding Adults: Practice Tool (2015)

Please note that this has not been updated since it was published.

Appreciative Inquiry is a method to help you analyse situations, make decisions and formulate action plans for change. This tool is a great starting point for practitioners, managers, supervisors and Safeguarding Adult Boards who want to understand more about Appreciative Inquiry and how it can be used to evaluate and improve safeguarding services.

Aimed at: Practitioners and managers of safeguarding teams. Appreciative Inquiry is also applicable across a range of areas.

Number of pages: 16
Preview available.
Product code: AD-PTL-014

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