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Free Scottish gateway to research in social Work and social care. funded by the Scottish Executive the site provides a sound knowledge base for social work professionals in Scotland. The information is up-to-date, concise but thorough. the home page provides a link to a complete range of resources. Free access to caredataWEB the research database of the UK' largest specialist social work library. Detailed abstracts of the latest Scottish social work research papers. Global Links. Diary of events. Knowledge Forum for exchange of ideas. Access to the latest relevant Central Research Unit (CRU) findings and the Scottish Executive Research Into Practice newsletter.
Association of Directors of Social Services: Very basic information about the organisation and best value in social services, plus press releases and a few links.
British Association of Social Workers: The site has a busy home page and is built using frames, so you can't bookmark your favourite page within the site (and it might trip up "readers" used by people with visual impairments). The navigation can be confusing and some promising directory pages come up with a page saying "nothing to display". But if you can ignore these web no-nos, there is information about, eg parliamentary briefings, events, branch news, special interest groups and other relevant material.
Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work: The beginning of the useful information starts at least three clicks away from the homes page, so nul points there. But, once you've clicked your way into the site, there's simple, fairly easy-to-navigate information on issues such as how to become a social worker and funding for social work training. Another positive point is the choice of a Welsh language site. Alas, the site is built using frames, so you can't bookmark your favourite page within the site (and it might trip up 'readers' used by people with visual impairments).
European Social Network: Attractive, easy to navigate site from the independent network of social services directors in five languages. News, information, links. Never let it be said that directors are behind the times. By the way, why is the calendar stuck at 2000?
International Federation of Social Workers: Global social work organisation. Straightforward information about its conferences, members and activities. (But can't they lose the testicular spinning globes logo?)
Joseph Rowntree Foundation: Invaluable, well laid-out site, with online bookshop, summaries of research finding, research in progress, responses to government consultation and press releases.
National Institute for Social Work: Includes the electronic library for social care, thousands of research abstracts and information about the organisation. A key player in evidence-based social work in the UK.
The Social Care Association: Basic information about the organisation.
Social care group of the Department of Health (including Social Services Inspectorate): Very important and informative web site. Go there to find out about the work of the group, service matters such as the performance assessment framework, and relevant publications.
Social science information gateway: Top portal for researchers and practitioners in social sciences.
Social Work Search: This US-oriented resource linked to the National Association of Social Workers is a social work search engine cum portal which can access a vast amount of research - not all of which will be useful.
Training Organisation for the Personal Social Services: Another three-clicks-and-you're-in site - assuming you haven't got bored or got RSI. However, when you get in, there's information about the work of the national training organisation, such as draft occupational standards. Plus point: a Welsh version. But the disability- and bookmark-unfriendly frames don't help you find information. And the English site's headline news in March 2001 is dated from October 2000.
Unison: Useful and easy-to-navigate site from Britain's biggest public sector union. News, information about the union and important issues, listings and databases. Top marks for the online shop where activists can order their campaigning wares.
Virtual social work: Useful portal site.
Scottish Executive: Easy to navigate, with press releases and publications. Despite the UK's commitment to open government, you'd not find it easy to email politicians or civil servants directly. No separate social work site.
The National Assembly for Wales social care site: Policy papers, information about legislation, press releases, links, and, of course, Welsh language. Useful bits: a table of contents, a (Welsh assembly) site map and a "recent additions" section.
Ireland Executive department of health, social services and public
standard government web site, with press releases, explanations of
policies etc. Pretty easy to navigate but some big irritations, such as
the surveys and research pages list document titles but don't give
access to documents (eg as Word or PDF documents).