National Care Service: Justice Social Work research

This report summarises research undertaken by IPSOS Scotland and Prof. Beth Weaver in 2023. It explores the views of Justice Social Work staff, partners and people experiencing the justice system about its strengths and weaknesses, and asks their views on potential inclusion within a future National Care Service (NCS).


We are very grateful to everyone who participated in and supported this research. In particular, we would like to thank the six Justice Social Work teams, their clients, and their professional partners who gave up their valuable time to share their views and experiences with us. Without them, this report would not exist. We are also grateful to the Scottish Government and to the wider Justice Social Work reference group for their support and feedback on this research. Professor Beth Weaver, whose report on the existing literature accompanies this one, has been an invaluable critical friend and support throughout.

Responsibility for this report lies solely with the authors.

Rachel Ormston, Alice Diaz, Cat Millar and Erin Simpson



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