Announcement of funding

Cardiff University has recently been awarded a £3m grant from Health and Care Research Wales to establish the Centre for Adult Social Care Research (CARE). The Centre will bring together multi-disciplinary expertise from across the University, and foster collaboration with experts elsewhere in the UK, to develop cutting-edge research on adult social care, underpinned by substantial UK-level research funding.

The development of CARE will be supported by the Children’s Social Care Research and Development Centre (CASCADE). CARE offices will be located in the University’s SPARK building.  SPARK opened in 2022 as the first social science research park in the world. Part of the University’s £300m Innovation Campus, this purpose-built facility co-locates world-leading social science researchers with organisations and representatives from the public, third and private sectors, some of which are focused on social care.

The grant to establish CARE was awarded to Cardiff on the basis of its record of research and impact, particularly in children’s social care. CASCADE is the largest children’s social care research centre in the UK, with £7.2m research grants since April 2020 led by the CASCADE partnership, on top of its £2.6m infrastructure funding. Cardiff is one of only two UK universities to have two social work academics in the global top 100 contributors to journal scholarship, as identified in a recent analysis in the US journal Research on Social Work Practice.

The lead School for CARE is the School of Social Sciences, which has several large research centres and offers both taught programmes and research degrees in social work.  Significant amounts of social care research funding, outputs and impact were returned to two REF 2021 submissions from the School of Social Sciences – Education (ranked #3 for GPA in UK) and Sociology (ranked #10 for GPA). The University’s Centre for Trials Research is a key partner and will employ some of the CARE staff. Other Cardiff University schools involved in supporting CARE are Business, Healthcare Sciences, Law, Medicine and Psychology.

What the centre aims to do

CARE will build on an existing track record of research on adult social care, and the health-social care interface, from across Cardiff University. Existing research interests in the University include the following topics:

  • Lived experiences of adult social care
  • Evaluation of social care services and approaches
a nurse helping a patient who's hurt their hand and wrapping gauze
  • Health and social care interface and integration
  • Social care law in practice
  • Adult safeguarding
  • Innovation in social care
  • Wider service interaction beyond health and social care for people with care and support needs
  • Social care organisations

To ensure its work is relevant to the social care sector, CARE will have an oversight group of senior leaders and policy-makers, and advisory panels of practitioners and people with lived experience of receiving social care services.

Next steps and timeline

The Director of CARE will be recruited in Summer 2023 for appointment in Autumn and then take part along with Cardiff colleagues in recruiting the rest of the CARE team. The Centre will be launched in early 2024.