What Works? Welfare Reform in Kirkcaldy

New Collaborative Research on what partners can do to mitigate Welfare Reform in Fife is now available from What Works Scotland.

As part of the What Works Scotland Collaborative Action Research Programme in Fife a group of practitioners in Kirkcaldy came together as a Partnership Innovation Team (PIT) to explore.

How can they improve their knowledge of what data is available across partner agencies in Fife? And how can they use this to prevent people from being sanctioned, and better support those who have been sanctioned?

Through a Kirkcaldy Welfare Reform Event, they used vignettes to research what was and was not working in Fife around Welfare Reform. Findings include:


  •  They need to get better at knowing who does what,

  •  Sharing good practice and activities across Fife, both within and between areas, between local groups and the centre and having a simple up to date list of contacts

Data Protection

  • There are examples of good data sharing practice that can be unpacked and shared

  • They should review paperwork and systems to make it easier to share data to protect the most vulnerable


  • A warm handover is needed for the most vulnerable people.

  • They need to take time to build relationships and networks, so they can make sure the right people are involved and know who is best placed to support an individual.


  •  They need to plan together more effectively,

  •  Be honest about resources they’ve got, and

  •  Accept that change is constant, finding more effective ways to upskill staff and raise awareness of support available to those who need it.

You can read more about the enquiry in Kirkcaldy through Gary Smith’s reflections on the What Works Scotland Blog.

The reports from the Welfare Reform PIT are available here.

More about What Works Scotland and reflections and learning from the Fife Collaborative Action Research Work Programme can be found here.

From Fife Voluntary Action Bulletin 14 December 2017 Opens a MS Word document containing information and links