About Community Care Inform
Community Care Inform is published by Reed Business Information, the publisher of communitycare.co.uk. It has been built with and for social workers and other professionals who work with children, young people and their families. The overall aim of the site is to improve standards of practice by equipping practitioners with the information they need to confidently make informed decisions and assessments; stay on top of the latest guidance, good practice, research, legislation and case law; and to actively expand their knowledge base by learning through case work.
The Inform team work closely with practitioners who use the service to ensure it continues to grow and develop in line with the changing information needs of the profession. Users are encouraged to be active stakeholders in determining what new information is commissioned and what new functionality is developed.
Hundreds of hand-picked expert practitioners, researchers, academics and policy makers from social care, education, health have contributed to Inform.
Types of information available
Every document published on Inform is categoried into a type of information. The types of information are: reference manuals, case law, legislation, guides, research, practice and key documents. When you do a search on the site, either by keyword or by using the browse menu, the search results will be divided up into these categories under a series of blue tabs, enabling you to find what you are looking for really quickly.
In this section you will find our uniquely-commissioned reference manuals and guides to a wide range of practice-related topics (our guide to… series).
Reference manuals: Each reference manual provides you with an authoritative document containing highly relevant information, containing:
- an introduction to the subject.
- descriptions of key legislation and guidance.
- an explanation of the role of the social worker.
- discussion of emerging ideas around good practice.
- a host of links to relevant research, publications and reports (always linking you directly through to the full text of the documents where this is possible).
- a comprehensive directory of relevant organisations and service providers.
Written for social care professionals by nationally-respected experts in their particular field, reference manuals are regularly updated by their authors. The last updated date is clearly displayed on the documents and in the search results so you can exercise judgement about how you use the information.
Guide to… series: There are over 360 expert-written guides in the series covering a wide range of topics from preparing for court and non-accidental head injuries to working with children and families from overseas. They are designed to help you in your day-to-day practice by giving you a greater understanding of a particular issue, condition or process; and to give you the information you need to properly take account of a particular aspect of a case.
Case law summaries are typically written for a legal audience which can make them difficult for practitioners to use in a meaningful way in their practice. Inform works with a leading legal publisher, Lexis Nexis, to give Inform subscribers access to case law summaries that are written for professionals working in social care. New case law summaries are regularly published to the site as judgements are made in English and Welsh courts.
Shortened, simplified versions of the legislation that affects children and families across England and Wales. Each piece of digested legislation is accompanied by an overview giving practitioners a guide to the most important sections of the Act. The digested legislation will also include links to all the relevant guidance associated with it.
1) Inform commissions academics to write research reviews on their area of specialism. The aim of these documents is to give users an overview of research in the area of practice. They are designed to give users:
- a summary of the key findings of research;
- what these findings might mean for practice and decision-making
- a sense of perspective about which findings seem to be consistent, and which are contested.
- some ideas about further reading, and…
- a few words of caution about how to use the information.
2) Inform monitors and provides links to research information coming out of government departments, universities and voluntary sector organisations. These research documents are categorised as either: government research; research study or university research and are returned under the ‘research’ tab along with research reviews. You can filter your search results by clicking on the type of research you’re looking for in the drop-down ‘research type’ menu in top right-hand corner of the screen. Inform provides a brief synopsis of what the research is about with a link through to the full text of the document, which will open in a new window.
A-Z of benefits
A comprehensive guide to the benefits relevant to children and their families. Regularly updated and user-friendly, subscribers can click through to the benefit they want where they will find a detailed guide on who the benefit is for, who pays it, how to claim and points to watch. Written by Gary Vaux, a leading welfare rights expert.
Inform has published a series of guides which help practitioners prepare themselves for working with families from overseas. There are currently 50 countries covered (and more in the pipeline). They give practitioners the background information they need to work with a child, young person or family from these countries with confidence. All the country profile guides follow the same format and provide information on:
Customs, cultures and belief systems
The position of children in the given society
Issues of custom or etiquette to bear in mind when working with a family from the given country
The legal framework around child welfare
issues around adoption and international movement of children
Snapshot of migration trends
Support organisations in the UK
Links to further sources of information and advice
Click here to be taken to the country profiles
Where does our information come from?
Unlike any other online social care library, the vast majority of the content on Inform is specially written by expert authors. The editorial team identify authors with appropriate specialisms and commission them to write authoritative, accessible and up-to-date reference material.
Our Case law is produced in partnership with Lexis Nexis. Case judgements are collected by barristers and rewritten – specifically for a non-legal professional audience -by an expert legal team. New cases are added to our database on a regular basis, keeping our case-law library completely up to date.
Our Benefits directory is produced and kept up to date by a welfare rights expert, Gary Vaux.
Our commissioning, expert checking and updating process
Authors are contacted individually and commissioned to write specific pieces. They are given a deadline and expected to meet it. The editorial team reviews the document and returns it for changes where necessary.
How do I influence the development of Community Care Inform?
The editorial team are knowledgeable about social care, but we can’t know everything. In fact, Inform was built in partnership with a development team of children and families professionals from a variety of disciplines. We continue to value their input, and to act on their advice. We would warmly welcome your comments about the content, suggestions for development and constructive criticism.
Please use the Contact Us form to share your ideas or give us feedback.
Meet our expert contributors
Inform has worked with many of the leading experts in the social care field. Scroll down to see the biographies of some of the experts who have contributed to the information on the site.
Dr Jo Aldridge
Dr Shazad Amin
Dr Elias Avramidis
Dr Bob Broad
Martin C Calder
Sally Goddard Blythe
Lisa Gordon Clark
Dr Di Hart
Dr Anne Hollows
Dr Gail Kinman
Dr Alan Rushton
Dr Sara Scott
The Fostering Network
Dr Neil Thompson
Dr Eva Tsouana
Dr Jean Ware
Mary Jane Willows
Johanna Woodcock Ross