Collaborative grants worth a total £6.5 million have been awarded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for four social science-led research projects focusing on innovation in social care and how it leads to improvements in people’s lives.
ESRC is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a new organisation that brings together the UK’s seven research councils, Innovate UK and Research England to maximise the contribution of each council and create the best environment for research and innovation to flourish.
ESRC’s mission is to promote and support high-quality research and training on social and economic issues, develop and support the national data infrastructure that underpins high-quality research, advance knowledge and provide trained social scientists who meet the needs of users and beneficiaries and promote public understanding of social science.
The four successful projects are:
• Professor Jane Callaghan, University of Stirling – Developing the evidence base for innovation in social care for children and families affected by domestic abuse. The research will contribute to the evidence of what works in support of children who experience domestic abuse, and will also provide an understanding of how other organisations in the UK and internationally might adapt and implement similar services effectively.
• Professor Graeme Currie, University of Warwick – Exploring innovations in transition to adulthood. The purpose of this research is to investigate and build an evidence base for innovation in services and processes designed to improve outcomes for care leavers.
• Professor Michelle Lefevre, University of Sussex – Improving social care systems and practices for safeguarding young people at complex risk: what promotes and sustains innovation? The project will inform the development of future innovation, both in complex safeguarding and in social care and public services more broadly.
• Dr Juliette Malley, London School of Economics and Political Science - Supporting adult social care innovation. The aim of this research is to support the adult social care sector to start up, implement, spread and scale-up affordable innovations that work well for all adults needing care.
Professor Jennifer Rubin, ESRC Executive Chair said:
‘How best to deliver social care is one of the great public policy challenges of our time so it is crucial that we develop a robust evidence base of how, why and where effective innovation happens, and how it might be scaled up. These four collaborative, long-term projects will contribute greatly to this understanding, and therefore lead to improvements in people’s lives.’