What the public think about Scottish social services and why

The cover of Professional Social Work magazine featuring Dr Trish McCulloch's project

A report by Dr Trish McCulloch, Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Dundee, has recently been published on the Social Work Scotland website and featured on the front page of this month’s issue of Professional Social Work magazine.

The research project that the report is based on, What the Public think about Scottish social services and why, was commissioned by the Social Work Services Strategic Forum and completed by Dr Trish McCulloch (Principal Investigator) and Professor Stephen Webb from Glasgow Caledonian University.  

The report presents the findings of a research study which set out to better understand public perceptions of social services. It explores the level of knowledge, understanding and attitudes towards social services and the reasons for these views. The research adopted a mixed methods approach, which included a national survey of 2,505 adults and focus groups with members of the Scottish public.

The findings suggest a good level of support for social services in Scotland and a reasonable level of literacy among respondents about what social services do.  Overall, people in Scotland are positive about social services’ impact on society and believe these services perform an important public role.  A key finding of the research is that the public appears to have a more positive view of social services than social service workers and institutions perceive.