Welcome to the Improving ASP Participation webpages

Here you will find information about a co-production project that ran in Scotland from November 2012 to September 2014. It was funded by the Scottish Government and involved a range of people who all wanted to improve service users’ experiences of being subject to adult support and protection inquiries, investigations and protection plans. 

The aim of the project

This project brought together social workers, advocacy workers and service users together in small local teams; who with the support of two researchers: 

  • Explored how social work service practitioners might better understand the perspectives of people who may be at risk of harm 
  • Identified ways to improve service user participation in investigations, decision-making and meetings 

Two teams went on to try to pilot the tools. The researchers helped to pull their experiences together and developed dissemination materials about the project’s work. 

Improving ASP Participation Project Team members

Bobby Brown, Jenny Bruce, Maureen Conway, Beth Cross, Neil Dunn, Fiona Gaffney, Michelle Howorth, Susan Hynd, Claire Lightowler, Kaye MacGregor, Kerry McIness, Kathryn Mackay, Senga McCulloch, Lee McLauchlan, Rhona Maxwell, Brian Rapley, Rose Sinclair and Helen Winter. 

Getting an overview of the project

A written summary of the whole project can be found here. You can also listen to how we got started here.

Step 1: Pulling together what we knew already

Beth Cross and Kathryn Mackay, researchers, pulled together what they had learned from their previous research and from the small scale evaluations that had been done in Scotland since the changes in law in 2007. You can download a copy of this short report and it is also included in the full project report

Step 2: Building teams and developing tools

Initially four local teams worked on the project from the following council areas: Dundee City, East Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire and Perth and Kinross. All had improving communication as a key aim. You can read about their ideas, the development of the tools, and how their work was supported by national network meetings in the final report. You can listen to an overview of the project. The full project report provides more details. It includes useful summary sections on issues that affect communication, working co-productively and how to try to develop ideas within organisations. 

Three tools are available here as individual files for anyone to use:

Step 3: Piloting the tools and reflecting on the project’s work

The teams at Dundee City and Perth and Kinross both set up pilots to test their tools though only Perth and Kinross managed to complete the pilot in the time of the project. We have learnt a lot in this project about trying to improve involvement in ASP processes, about effective communication, developing tools but also about the co-production method of working.  This learning was captured in a follow up report.We have developed written summaries and video montages to share this learning with you:  


Further information

For further information on this project: contact Kathryn Mackay project lead or co-researcher Beth Cross  

Thanks go to the practitioners and services users for their hard work and enthusiasm; to Lois Cameron, Talking Mats for her expertise; and to Kerry McIness, who also offered expertise and who narrated the montages.