Report: Impact of welfare reforms on third sector social care – Scotland

A report examined how welfare reforms introduced in 2012 were affecting service demand and delivery of third sector social care and support services, including the impact on staff roles, welfare and well-being, and the impact on staff training needs.

This research project aims to understand how Scotland’s third sector care and support workforce is being affected by the welfare reforms introduced in 2012.

In particular, this research project hopes to understand how welfare reform is affecting service demand and deliver of third sector social care and support services including: the impact on staff roles, welfare and wellbeing; and the impact on staff train ing needs. From this project, we hope to be able to inform future practice and support social care and housing support providers to effectively prepare for, and respond to, welfare reform. We also hope to inform future policy in this area and provide advice, where possible, on best practice for the sector as the reforms start to impact on service delivery.

Need for the research

Most of the available literature deals with the impact of welfare reform on client groups most affected. Data about its impact on the social services workforce is more scant. Existing reports have focussed on the consequences of welfare reform for individuals and families and have, to some extent, made efforts to consider the impacts on the sector as a whole. IRISS, in partnership with CCPS, would like to build on evidence in the literature to provide a more in-depth understanding of its impact on third sector social and housing care providers and staff.

This project will go some way to fill this gap by learning from the experiences of staff and exploring how they can be supported.

By conducting this research, we hope to not only illuminate an under-researched area, but to make several recommendations for employers, regulators, commissioners of care and support services, and policy makers to consider.