SWORD Autumn (1)

Assessing organisational resilience and wellbeing: SWORD Autumn 2021

Published: 15/11/2021

Author: Research in Practice

We’re delighted to announce the third opening of the Social Work Organisational Resilience Diagnostic (SWORD), a survey and an online workbook designed for use across the whole social work and broader social care profession.

The SWORD diagnostic survey enables the collection and analysis of data from social care workers across your organisation to assess organisational health and highlight priority areas for improvement. The workbook offers targeted, evidence-informed tasks and strategies to support organisational improvements and develop conditions to better support social care worker wellbeing.

The SWORD survey opens twice yearly in spring and autumn and will be open from today (15 November) for organisations to participate for six weeks up to Christmas. 

The workbook is currently being updated to bring in learning from recent focus groups with colleagues in social care and health and lessons from the pandemic, this will be launched when the survey closes so that organisations have the most up to date evidence to view alongside their data and respond to priority areas.

View the SWORD resources (open access).

How to use the SWORD survey

Your organisation must nominate a lead contact in a senior role (such as a Principal Social Worker or Head of Service) to administer and disseminate the SWORD survey with teams and individuals across the workforce. Individuals will can then complete the survey online and your organisation’s data will be collated and analysed by Research in Practice.

Once the survey is closed you will receive your organisational data and work with management in implementing the tasks and strategies from the workbook.

For any questions regarding your organisation taking part, please contact claire.williams@researchinpractice.org.uk.

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The aim of SWORD is to help leaders and managers to create the conditions that enable workers to sustain and develop resilience. Five key domains provide the structure for the survey and workbook:

  • Secure base – making sure social workers have a secure base within which to operate.
  • Sense of appreciation – promoting a culture in which all members of staff feel appreciated.
  • Learning organisation – ensuring that learning and development is at the heart of an organisation.
  • Mission and vision – co-producing and communicating a clear mission and vision.
  • Wellbeing – prioritising the wellbeing of a workforce and taking a systemic approach to reducing stress and enhancing job satisfaction.

As part of our national delivery programme we have released five short videos which discuss each of these domains and highlight some of the tasks and strategies in the workbook to help leaders to create the conditions that enable workers to sustain and develop resilience. As an added bonus there will be a live webinar on the 30th of November at 11am with Professor Gail Kinman (Birkbeck, University) and Dr Louise Grant (University of Bedfordshire) in which they will provide an overview of how SWORD works and answer any questions you may have.

SWORD has been co-produced with the Research in Practice network in a project led by Professor Gail Kinman, Birkbeck University of London, and Dr Louise Grant, University of Bedfordshire. The workbook has been co-authored by Dr Kelly Alexander, University of Bedfordshire, to include Adult Services and ensure applicability across the whole social work profession.


SWORD And Pandemic (1) (1)

Social Work Organisational Resilience Diagnostic (SWORD) and learning from the pandemic

This webinar will discuss how the SWORD framework works and highlight some new tasks and strategies for leaders to take forward in supporting practitioners to build and sustain resilience.
Find out more