What is social care
research (and why
is it important)?
An Emerald mission in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals
Social care research is, by its very nature, interdisciplinary – that is, it draws on research traditions such as psychiatry, psychology and sociology. Social care research is not, however, without its own distinctive character and focus.
At its core is a concern with exploring how care and support is delivered. A further defining feature of social care research relates to the way in which knowledge is exchanged. As such, it is used to build professionalism, workforce confidence and retention, and theory-informed practice. Similarly, it places particular emphasis on the insights and expertise of people with lived experience. Over and above this, it can enhance quality of life and promote independence.
In our mission to understand the importance of social care research and evidence, we ask: What is distinctive about social care research? How can practitioners use social care research to deal with problems and improve services? What barriers and enablers affect user services and carer-led research? And is it possible to envisage a future whereby social care research achieves parity of esteem with health research?
On this page
- Free access to our articles, & author videos & blogs
- Different routes to publication
- Additional information
- Talk to us about your work
- Mission-led research – our four goals
If you would like to contribute to this discussion, or have research relevant to social care, then please do get in touch with us.
This mission is aligned with our Healthier lives goal
Different routes to publication
If you would like to contribute to the discussion, take a look at our different routes to publication and contact us to get involved.
Infographic: Exploring change-readiness among homeless people
Despite an abundance of initiatives for its mitigation, homelessness has currently surged to a new high.
To address this issue requires a more dynamic understanding of homelessness as more than its dualistic identity of being either a housing or a welfare problem. Now, for the first time ever, a paper published in Housing, Care and Support attempts to fill in this gap in research by documenting how homelessness services staff conceptualise the readiness for change among their service users, and how these perceptions inform their decision-making in practice.
Exploring change-readiness among homeless people is an infographic outlining the key themes and practical implications of this paper.
Download the infographic (PDF)
What's in the infographic
Exploring change-readiness among homeless people: perspectives of homelessness services staff
People who are homeless face multiple complex barriers to achieving the changes facilitated by homelessness services and the welfare system.
How do homelessness service sta members conceptualise the readiness of change in people who are homeless?
Semi-structured interviews of homelessness services sta members
5 key themes constructed from interviews
- Multiple complex needs mean multiple complex changes
- Talk versus behaviour
- Change is not a linear trajectory
- Role of consistent boundaried relationships
- Change is not solely within the individual's control
Implications for support provision staff
- Need to understand behaviours as coping mechanisms and support the development of alternative coping
- Development and use of the awareness of the concept of 'readiness to change' to inform day-to-day practice
- Need for well-coordinated, flexible, and non-time-bound services
- Importance of building quality relationships with service users and delivering person-centred support
- Further research to understand and address systemic and structural changes
Homelessness services sta need to understand the emotional and social needs of people who are homeless better to help them overcome the barriers of change-readiness.
Change readiness in individuals experiencing homelessness and multiple complex needs
Housing, Care and Support
Lord et al. (2021) DOI: 10.1108/HCS-11-2020-0017
Talk to us about your work
We really welcome insights not only from researchers but practitioners too about their work.
If you would like to contribute to the discussion, or you are working on research in areas related to social care research, please let us know by filling in this form.