History: Founded in November 1986 as the Social Services Information Network (SSIN); it became the Association of Social Care Communicators (ASCC) in May 2003.
The call for a group for staff working in social services information came out of a 1985 report (Information Exchange: Swamp or Desert?) of three workshops set up by the National Institute for Social Work’s (NISW) Practice and Development Exchange funded by the Rowntree Trust.
NISW felt that such a group was necessary because of the professional isolation and lack of contact between information workers in the field and the lack of information being exchanged between departments.
Membership: 260 people are registered with the ASCC; membership is open to all organisations with an interest in good quality public information.
Fees: £100 a year for the organisation.
Mission: ASCC aims to promote good practice in communication.
● Raise the profile of information – it is a service in its own right.
● Improve the quality and range of information available to service users and staff.
● Encourage the exchange of ideas between information staff throughout the country.
● Act as a support group offering a chance to discuss the particular problems of providing quality public information – you don’t need to re-invent the wheel.
Regional groups: East Midlands, London, North East, North West, Northern Ireland, Scotland, South/South East, South West, West Midlands.
Good practice examples: ASCC publishes examples of good practice in communications on the website, submitted and assessed by members. ASCC also provides guidance on how to produce good quality information.
Upcoming events: ASCC holds an annual training conference and communications awards every October.
Developments: The big issues for ASCC members at present are:
● Changes in organisational structure.
● Changes in roles and responsibilities.
● The implementation of legislation and initiatives.