Developing a Research Culture in Adult Social Care in the West Midlands
To help address the historical lack of investment and support for research with adult social care, ARC West Midlands have been working closely with adult social care practice partners in the region. This includes the local branch of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (WM ADASS), the regional Principal Social Work and Lead Occupational Therapist Networks, and Skills for Care. Regular meetings have been held with the Clinical Research Network and Research Design Service to understand challenges and explore opportunities in adult social care. Engagement events have also been held with practice stakeholders and with interested researchers.
One of the exciting developments from these discussions has been that WM ADASS, with support and guidance of ARC WM, have been able to secure an Improvement and Innovation Strategic Fund Grant from the Clinical Research Network. This will enable the region to recruit three Research Champions (seconded from local authorities 50% research and 50% social care practitioner). The post-holders will work with social care and academic stakeholders to build research capacity, contribute to strategic research priorities, and help to develop a positive culture of research in practice. Other activities will include the development of a pool of Experts with Lived Experience to co-produce the research strategy and implementation, and a training package to introduce practitioners and professionals within adult social care and Experts by Experience to undertaking research.