Changing Lives, the report of the 21st Century Social Work Review, set out a compelling and challenging vision for the future direction of social work services in Scotland, delivering three main messages and challenges:
- Social work doesn't have all the answers. So we need to build capacity to deliver personalised services.
- We don't make best use of social work skills. So we need to build the capacity of the workforce.
- Doing more of the same won't work. So we need to build capacity for sustainable change.
Following this, in February 2006, Scottish Minister's accepted the report's 13 recommendations and gave a commitment to act on them.
Five change programmes were subsequently set up as mechanisms to help drive forward the change agenda and deliver a number of key strategic pieces of work. The completion and publication of these core products took place in March 2011. The work of each of the change programmes complemented the others, and they formed part of a single agenda striving to achieve the aspirations laid out in Changing Lives.
The remit of the five change programmes was to
- Identify proposed service delivery and evidence models and inform the content of guidance, frameworks and other relevant resources
- Pilot and evaluate proposed models and reach informed views about what works, where and why
- Be facilitated and supported by The Scottish Government but the work will be led by the experts in social work services, not civil servants
- Ensure an approach that is consistent with the principles of public service reform to achieve ownership and sustainability.