The SWIS Trial: An evaluation of school-based social work

Following on from three pilot studies which showed evidence of promise, the Social Workers in Schools (SWIS) trial will evaluate the programme on a larger scale to establish the impact it has on some important social care and educational outcomes. We will also learn more about how the intervention works and how it varies.

Education and Children’s Social Care (CSC) have an important inter-agency relationship, and both play a vital role in keeping children safe and promoting their wellbeing. Policymakers have been increasingly interested in finding ways to improve how education and CSC work together to respond to safeguarding concerns and protect children, and in the context of Covid-19 these efforts are likely to intensify.

SWIS is a promising approach to doing this. The central idea is that having a social worker linked to and based within a secondary school can have a range of benefits. In particular, to improve the service delivered to children and families, enhance interagency working, reduce risks to children and lead to better outcomes.