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Science Podcasts

Research, projects and events on topics related to social work and social care.

Research, projects and events on topics related to social work and social care.


United Kingdom


Research, projects and events on topics related to social work and social care.






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Heart Community Teams

Heart is a wellbeing model of service delivery for children and their families in East Ayrshire. It is an approach in keeping with the principles of a human rights-based, inclusive service design and delivery. Michelle from Iriss speaks to Andrew Bryers about the model, its aims and progress to date. Andrew has been social worker since 2007 and has worked in Scotland, London and Australia. He spent six years as a team manager in East Ayrshire before taking on the role of Programme Lead of...


New Routes Home

New Routes Home is a partnership of interested individuals and organisations across Scotland who campaign for the right of all people with disabilities to have their own home and to have meaningful choices around where they live, and who (if anyone) lives with them. This includes having choices around how support is organised and directed. Michael McEwan speaks to Alastair Minty from In Control Scotland about the campaign. Transcript of episode. Music Credit: Make your dream a reality by...


The role of technology in rural social work

Is technology the answer for rural social work? Jane Pye, Lecturer in Social Work at Lancaster University. explores the potential benefits of using technology, for social workers and people who live rurally and use services. She also considers the dangers of suggesting that the use of technology is the answer to the challenges of working with rural and remote people and diverse communities. This presentation was recorded at an event held on 4 May 2022. Transcript of episode. Music...


Changing how homecare is commissioned and delivered

How do we help people live their lives as they want? How can we commission services in a more ethical and person-centred way? The Gwynedd social care team and local health board in Wales have been changing how home care has been commissioned and delivered. They’ve created a model that moves away from ‘time and task’ to one that is more person- and relationship-centred. Meilys Heulfryn-Smith, Programme Lead of Community Transformation at Gwynedd Council and Alison Hughes, Manager at Gofal...


'We all have human rights'

Scottish Learning Disability Week 2022 takes place from 2 until 8 May, and the theme for this year is ‘We all have human rights’. Michael McEwan speaks to Libby Clement and Oonagh Brown from the Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities (SCLD) about the theme, its importance and what's happening over the week. Transcript of episode. Music Credit: Make your dream a reality by Scott Holmes.



ENABLE Works helps people with learning disabilities and other barriers to employment to obtain and sustain rewarding employment. What are some of the barriers and what is the current situation for disabled people seeking employment? Michael McEwan speaks to Lianne Williams, Depute Director at ENABLE Scotland, and Mark Cuff, who speaks about his experiences of seeking and sustaining employment. Transcript of episode. Music Credit: Make your dream a reality by Scott Holmes.


A new model of support for independent living

In November 2021, Iriss held event that explored how to shape and support independent, inclusive living for people. Our guest speaker was Kiana Kalantar-Hormozi, an artist, filmmaker and activist. She was nominated one of the 30, most inspirational women in Scotland under the age of 30 in 2017, and was Muscular Dystrophy UK Campaigner of the Year in 2018. Kiana gives her views from her own personal experiences of how we can move forward with independent living support, and how to get it...


Disability: what's the learning from Covid-19?

For disabled people, what has been the learning from the Covid-19 pandemic? And what now needs to happen to ensure better lives? Michael McEwan, a reporter on disability issues, speaks to Health Journalist and Broadcaster, Pennie Taylor about the history of care and support for people with disabilities, the impact of Covid-19 and how support and services can be improved. He also speaks to Tracey Campbell, a parent whose daughter has Angelman syndrome, and Sanjeev Man, a Freelance...


Rural lives: poverty and social exclusion

Jayne Glass and Mark Shucksmith present the findings from the Rural Lives report published in March 2021. It investigates why and how people in rural areas experience poverty and social exclusion, with a focus on financial hardship and vulnerability. The research is based on three study areas: Harris, East Perthshire and Northumberland. Transcript of episode. Music Credit: Make your dream a reality by Scott Holmes.


Rural social work: staying connected

What can rural social workers take from the experiences of the pandemic and how can they stay connected? Digital technologies and our experiences during COVID-19 have highlighted new ways for rural social workers to connect to and support one another, and gain access to new learning opportunities. Iain Ramsay, Professional Social Work Adviser at Scottish Government, shares his experiences as a social worker in a rural area. Transcript of episode. Music Credit: Make your dream a reality...


Climate change and disabled people

Cop 26, the global United Nations climate change conference took place this month in Glasgow. What is the impact of the climate emergency on disabled people and how do they have their voices heard? Michael McEwan speaks with Susie Fitton, Policy Officer at Inclusion Scotland about their involvement at Cop 26, the impacts of climate change on disabled people, the challenges, and what needs to happen to make sure disabled people are included as decision makers. Transcript of...


Doing public service management differently

The Centre for Public Impact, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Iriss are together delivering events in November and December 2021 that will explore how a Human Learning Systems approach can support people and organisations to commission health and social care differently. In this episode, Toby Lowe, Visiting Professor of Public Management at the Centre for Public Impact; and Diana Hekerem, Head of Transformational Redesign Support at Healthcare Improvement Scotland tell us about the...


Adapting social work for a changing planet

Cop 26, the global United Nations climate change conference is underway in Glasgow, Each country will bring their plans for reducing emissions and combatting climate change. As a people, community and society focused profession, is there a role for social work in the environment and climate change agenda? And if so, what is it? Dr Heather Lynch, MSc (Social Work) Programme Lead at Glasgow Caledonian University believes so. In this episode, she interviews Sian McKinnon, a social worker...


Recovery Conversation Cafés

The Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care, Kevin Stewart MSP, officially launched a recovery conversation cafe toolkit for organisations and services. Developed by the Scottish Recovery Network, the toolkit provides a guide and resources to help people engage in meaningful discussions about what is important to them and their communities. We spoke to Ann Jones, Manager of the Mental Health Network, Greater Glasgow & Clyde about the cafes - what they are, how they work and what...


Human Rights Town

The Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities (SCLD) has launched an app, Human Rights Town, to help people with learning disabilities understand their human rights. The development of the app has been led by a group of people with learning disabilities who have been working with SCLD. It invites users to travel around a virtual ‘Human Rights Town’ where they encounter different scenarios at each location, such as using public transport or working at the...


Lifelong Links

Lifelong Links is a project led by Family Rights Group and delivered by local authorities. It supports children and young people in care to connect with and develop relationships with family members, and other people who care about the young person, so they can become part of a lasting support network. Anne Begbie, Coordinator of the Lifelong Links programme at Edinburgh City Council, tells us about their Lifelong Links service - the set-up, aims and achievements. We also speak to Megan...


Coronavirus and people with learning disabilities

The research project – Coronavirus and people with learning disabilities – is a UK wide study which has been exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with learning disabilities. In Scotland, the study is led by the University of Glasgow, with the support of the Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities (SCLD). Michael McEwan speaks to Research Associate, Roseann Maguire at the University of Glasgow and research participant, Sandy Stark, about the findings of...


Careers in social services: the role of Disclosure Scotland

In this episode we speak to Andrew Morrall, Customer Engagement Manager at Disclosure Scotland, about the organisation’s safeguarding role and the different levels of disclosure used across social services, including PVG scheme membership. We discuss why many social service workers will need to join the PVG scheme and Andrew provides advice to individuals about this, including for those concerned about previous convictions or other contact with criminal justice services. He speaks of the...


Careers in social services: opportunities and employability

The social services sector is growing and this means there are opportunities for people looking for a new career, whether that’s people changing jobs or people who are just starting out. So what are these opportunities, and what role can employment support workers have in helping this important workforce to grow sustainably? We speak to Kerry Cannon, Learning and Development Adviser at the Scottish Social Services Council and Susie Ferguson, Partnership Manager at the Department for Work...


Care Opinion

Care Opinion is a social enterprise which gives citizens a platform to air their views and opinions on health and care services. It aims to make care services better for everyone. Fraser Gilmore, Head of Scotland at Care Opinion tells us more about its aims and how it works. Transcript of episode. Music Credit: Make your dream a reality by Scott Holmes.