The Social Work Organisational Resilience Diagnostic (SWORD): Workbook

Published: 01/03/2022

Author: Research in Practice

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

The SWORD tool includes a diagnostic survey which opens twice yearly in spring and autumn and enables the collection and analysis of data from social care workers across organisations to assess organisational health and highlight priority areas for improvement. The survey opening for Spring 2022 is April 25 – June 3.

The SWORD workbook offers targeted, evidence-informed tasks and strategies to support organisational improvements and develop conditions to better support social care worker wellbeing. This brand new version includes learning from recent focus groups with colleagues in social care and health and lessons from the pandemic, to provide the most up to date evidence for organisations to view alongside their data and respond to priority areas.

The workbook can also be used as a standalone resource to support leaders to create the conditions to support organisational resilience and wellbeing.

View the SWORD resources (open access).


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 also 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.

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.

For any questions relating to SWORD, please contact