About Social Care Online
- What is Social Care Online?
- When did Social Care Online Start?
- What topic areas are covered in Social Care Online?
- Where do we collect information from?
- What types of resources are on Social Care Online?
- Which journals are covered by Social Care Online?
- How do I use Social Care Online?
- What is the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE)?
See also in the Help section:
Social Care Online is the UK's largest database of information on social work and social care. You can find everything from legislation, government documents, practice and guidance, systematic reviews, research briefings and journal articles to events, training materials, video clips and blogs. Updated daily by SCIE's experienced information managers, Social Care Online offers unrivalled access and ease of use.
Social Care Online is a product of the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE).
Social Care Online was launched in its present form in May 2005. Previously it was known as the Electronic Library for Social Care (eLSC). Content originates from the National Institute for Social Work library and includes resources dating from the 1980s. Abstracted articles from key social work journals, such as the British Journal of Social Work, and defining texts by authors such as John Bowlby (Attachment Theory), which were published in the 60s and 70s can also be found on Social Care Online.
There are approximately 150,000 records on Social Care Online (as of November 2010). Where possible a link is made to the full text of a document. When this is not available, an abstract is provided.
The core subject areas where we collect all relevant information include:
- families, children, young people
- government and social policy
- mental health and mental health care
- people, groups and communities (including older people and black and minority ethnic people)
- physical and learning disabilities
- social care
- social work and social workers.
Supporting and peripheral areas where we selectively collect material include:
- benefits and personal finance
- criminal justice, law and rights
- education (covered very selectively for books and articles, with a tight focus on social care issues, including mental health, social exclusion, school exclusion and policy issues around inclusive learning), training and employment
- health and health care
- local government
- management and organisational development
The topic tree is available for reference, in hierarchical and alphabetical formats, as a PDF file.
Country coverage of Social Care Online
We collect core material from the UK. We collect non-UK material if:
- the subject matter is not well covered in UK literature
- it is a comparative study
- it contains topics of relevance to the UK
- it contains overviews of the situation in other countries.
Where we collect information from?
Publishers mailing lists, membership of organisations, current awareness services and alerts are all used extensively to source material for Social Care Online.
Content is collected from a wide range of organisations, including:
- Academic organisations
- Commercial publishers
- Government departments
- Independent organisations
- Local government
- Voluntary organisations
All major journal titles in social care are also covered by Social Care Online.
A wide range of different resources are collected to include on Social Care Online. These different types of resources are categorised into different ‘format’ types on Social Care Online.
Formats covered on Social Care Online are:
- article which includes articles from peer-reviewed journals, magazines, newsletters and the popular press, for example:
- research articles and research reviews
- practice-based articles and case studies
- current awareness articles
- commentaries on government policy
- audio/visual material which includes multi-media and non print media, for example:
- audio tapes
- VHS videos
- Social Care TV films and film clips.
- book which includes monograph publications available in print or online via the internet, for example:
- government documents eg circulars and policy documents
- legislation and related documents eg consultation documents, white and green papers, bills, guidance and standards
- discussion documents from think tanks, non-departmental government organizations and other agencies
- research reports, research summaries and research reviews
- briefing papers
- text books
- training material and teaching packs
- autobiographies and biographies of service users and carers.
- Journal which provides details of journals relevant to social care and social work, for example:.
- Peer-reviewed academic research journals
- Practice orientated journals
- Popular press and newsletters
- online resource which includes web-based resources developed for the web, for example:
- interactive resources
- web tutorials
- e-learning material
- training material
- blogs and databases.
- research register which covers records from the Research Register for Social Care (RRSC), which includes current and completed research carried out by local authorities, research organisations and Department of Health funded research.
- SCIE publication which covers all items published by the Social Care Institute for Excellence.
- website – which includes links to the websites of organisations relevant to social care.
NB Format can also be used to filter your search results on Social Care Online – see help pages on refining your search.
Some of the resources on Social Care Online are also categorized with a ‘Content type’. The Content type provides more information about a particular resource and the nature of its contents. The ‘content types’ also provide an indication of the wide range of material included. Content types covered on Social Care Online are:
- circular - government circulars from England, Wales and Northern Irreland, for example:
- Local Authority Circulars (LAC)
- Welsh Assembly Government Circulars (WAGC)
- Health Service Circulars (HSC)
- consultation document – government consultations published by central government departments, executive agencies (eg Child Support Agency) and non-departmental public bodies (eg Audit Commission and Youth Justice Board)
- directory - listings of organisations or contacts, and items which include substantial listings or directories within their contents.
- good practice – including publications and practice guides produced by non-government organizations which provide standards for good practice, for example:
- Practice guides providing standards for good practice
- Service examples identified as ‘good practice’ in the literature
- government publication – items published by central government departments, executive agencies (eg Child Support Agency) and non-departmental public bodies (eg Audit Commission and Youth Justice Board), for example:
- policy documents and guidance
- government statistics
- guidance - guidance issued by central government departments (eg Department of Health), executive agencies (eg Child Support Agency) and non-departmental public bodies (eg Audit Commission and Youth Justice Board).
- inspection report – inspection reports from regulatory bodies, for example: Care Quality Commission; Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills).
- legislation – for example:
- Acts of Parliament (primary legislation)
- statutory instruments and regulations (delegated or secondary legislation).
- policy document – for example:
- government policy documents
- policy discussions from the voluntary sector and think tanks
- practice- for example:
- service models
- descriptions and examples of services
- descriptions of practice methods
- case examples.
- research – for example:
- primary research reports
- research articles
- research summaries and briefings
- Research Register for Social Care (RRSC) records detailing ongoing and completed research
- research review – for example: research reviews, literature reviews, knowledge reviews and systematic reviews.
- standards – including government standards and standards issued from national bodies with statutory authority.
- statistics – including digests of statistics, statistical bulletins, national statistical surveys and major statistical reports.
- training material – including training and teaching packs; training and teaching manuals; and online training resources.
NB Content type can be used to filter your search results on Social Care Online – see help pages on refining your search.
Social Care Online offers lots of different ways to access its content. You can browse the topic tree, do a simple search, or, if you are a frequent and experienced user, you can use the intermediate or advanced search options. Whatever level of research expertise you have, you will be able to find what you want, when you need it.
Find out more about how to use the search functions by visiting the Social Care Online's help pages.
The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) aims to improve the experience of people who use social care by developing and promoting knowledge about good practice in the sector. Using knowledge gathered from diverse sources and a broad range of people and organisations, we develop resources which we share freely, supporting those working in social care and empowering service users.