Social Innovation and Social Work:A Case Study of the Early Intervention Support Service

Winter, Karen and Neeson, Laura and Sweet, Daryl and Smith, Aimee and Millen, Sharon and Connolly, Paul (2020) Social Innovation and Social Work:A Case Study of the Early Intervention Support Service. British Journal of Social Work. ISSN 0045-3102

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In a national and international context where there is a concern about the effectiveness of social care services for children and families to address chronic, enduring social problems and where there are finite resources available, the concept of social innovation in social work policy and practice to address need in new ways is receiving increased attention. While an attractive term, social innovation in child and family services is not without its challenges in terms of conceptualisation, operationalisation, implementation and evidencing impact. This article reports on the development and evaluation of the Early Intervention Support Service (EISS), a newly designed family support service in Northern Ireland set up as part of a government supported innovation and transformation programme that aims to deliver a voluntary, targeted, flexible and time limited service to families experiencing emergent problems. Using the EISS as a case study, the challenges, benefits in terms of addressing policy imperatives and future direction of social innovation in social work practice are reflected upon.

Item Type:
Journal Article
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British Journal of Social Work
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This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in British Journal for the Philosophy of Science following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Karen Winter, Laura Neeson, Daryl Sweet, Aimee Smith, Sharon Millen, Paul Connolly, Social Innovation and Social Work: A Case Study of the Early Intervention Support Service, The British Journal of Social Work, , bcaa125, is available online at:
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Deposited On:
03 Sep 2020 13:10
Last Modified:
25 Apr 2021 01:22