Supporting the use of evidence in social work – Learning from the Empowering Practitioners and Practice Initiative


The Empowering Practitioners and Practice Initiative (EPPI) is a partnership between Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, and CES. EPPI was developed to help bring greater consistency and to improve the use of evidence across social work practice.

Work to date has involved two main elements – the production of an evidence informed toolkit for social workers and managers, and the Evidence Informed Practitioner Programme, a professional development programme for social workers. The toolkit was made available to Tusla social workers in 2018, and CES is continuing to support Tusla to embed the approach across the agency.

While the initiative is still in its early stages, both CES and Tusla were keen to learn from the experience of its implementation. In 2018 CES commissioned Crowe Ireland to conduct an independent evaluation focusing on the implementation of EPPI. This new report outlines what worked well, the challenges and learning from the experience of implementing EPPI.

The report and its findings will be of interest to agencies and organisations involved in introducing large scale change initiatives.

The evaluation depicts an approach which combines the application of robust project management techniques complimented by collaborative structures to ensure project progress. An ethos of consultation and review, within the collaborative culture that was created, characterises the work.

(EPPI Evaluation, Crowe, 2019)

Read the report