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Home 2008 Developing a Knowledge Management strategy for social services

Developing a Knowledge Management strategy for social services

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The Scottish Government is funding development of a knowledge management strategy for social services, to underpin the goals of Changing Lives.

Production of this strategy is being managed jointly by IRISS and NHS Education for Scotland , and builds on the foundations established by Social Services Knowledge Scotland (SSKS) the national online knowledge service. A Knowledge Services Adviser - working jointly with IRISS, NHS Education for Scotland and other partners - has recently been appointed to define and cost a knowledge management strategy and action plan for the Scottish social services workforce.

The working vision is to "share knowledge to equip and empower staff and service users,to improve service outcomes." This will be achieved by making information and learning available when and where they are needed, in the format required, and by developing skills and confidence in using information.

The aim is that the culture of asking questions, finding, evaluating and sharing information, and putting it into practice becomes an integral part of day to day work throughout the social services. An extensive consultation exercise will be undertaken in the coming months with the aim of producing a working framework document by June 2009. The Improvement Service has been involved with working groups focussed on this development as it links very strongly with the IS Knowledge Management approach.

The strategy will build on the firm foundations already in place for knowledge support provided by Social Services Knowledge Scotland (SSKS). SSKS is a powerful service providing a single point of access to knowledge and information for the Scottish social services workforce. SSKS is the outcome of a partnership between IRISS, NHS Education for Scotland, the Scottish Learning Networks and the Social Care Institute for Excellence. It includes input from a growing number of key social services knowledge and information brokers and providers including each of the Centres for Excellence.

IRISS, NES and other partner organisations will be working together over the coming months to promote SSKS amongst the workforce, create materials to support SSKS users, and design and disseminate an information literacy training pack. Ellen Daly (IRISS' Knowledge & Information Assistant) is responsible for promotion and outreach work with a focus on social services managers and learning and development staff. If you are interested in inviting Ellen to provide an input to an event, or run a hands-on workshop, or if you would like copies of promotional postcards, posters, pens and information sheets to distribute, please contact Ellen on 0141 950 3107 or email

To find out more about it this work, please contact Susan Lindner, Knowledge Services Adviser on 0141 352 2909 or email and visit

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