Would you like to write for the Social Care Elf?


We’re looking for people who share our commitment to delivering quality-filtered updates of emerging evidence on social care and health. It would also help if you like elves!

You might be a subject specialist, a social worker, a social care practitioner, a service user or carer, a researcher, a student or even an information scientist. If you want to use your research and writing skills to make a real difference to care and support – read on.

The 11 live elf websites we have launched over the last 3 years are all run by experts in their field who believe that health and social care professionals need access to the right evidence at the right time, in order to keep up to date with best current knowledge.

The National Elf Service covers a wide range of health and social care topics.

The National Elf Service covers a wide range of health and social care topics.

Writing for the Social Care Elf

The Social Care Elf is part of the National Elf Service, which builds on our experience and expertise from working in evidence-based healthcare since the mid-1990s and having been involved in dozens of major web projects that aim to bring the best current knowledge to those who need it most.

It is our belief that health and social care practitioners, students, service users and carers need to keep up to date with the latest research, policy and guidance. This information is essential in order to make informed, accurate decisions about health and social care.

There is good evidence that people are still not getting the information they need. The huge volume of high quality published research means that there is simply too much new information to keep track of. Furthermore, a huge volume of irrelevant publications obscures the really good quality and practice relevant material.

Our National Elf Service solution is to marry the accessibility and immediacy of blogs and social media with a strict focus on practice relevance and quality, to create a range of expert social care and health blogs that are friendly, engaging and fun!

If this your idea of fun, do drop us a line.

If this is your idea of fun, do drop us a line.

What you will bring

There are a few essentials that you will need to write for the Social Care Elf:

  • Social care knowledge: you don’t need to be a Professor, but you do need to know about social care or a specific topic or service user group within the field
  • Critical appraisal skills: you don’t need to be an academic, but you need to be comfortable reading, appraising and summarising research papers, with support to get you going if you’re new to the task.
  • Writing skills: you need to be able to write in clear, simple and engaging language

What we can offer you

There are a number of reasons why you might like to write for us:

  • Audience: this website and our social media channels reach a wide audience, so your blogs will get read by thousands of people
  • Skills: we can help you learn more about evidence-based social care, blogging and social media
  • Woodland camaraderie: it’s a lot of fun working for the National Elf Service!
  • Free membership: regular contributors receive free access to the National Elf Service, worth £60/year.
You can sign up for our free 2-week trial and test out the membership functionality.

You can sign up for our free 2-week trial and test out the membership functionality.

How will it work?

  • We will sign you up and provide you with some background information about the Social Care Elf and the National Elf Service
  • You will choose your areas of interest (e.g. children and families social work, adoption and fostering, service user participation, older people, equality and diversity, social care workforce issues)
  • We will send you a recently published research paper that matches your areas of interest
  • You will critically appraise the paper and write a blog of <1,000 words, summarising the research, presenting the strengths and limitations and assessing what the findings might mean for practice
  • We will edit your blog and agree the final version with you before publishing it

If you are interested, please email our Chief Blogger Sarah Carr and introduce yourself.

We look forward to hearing from you and maybe welcoming you to our expanding team.


I write for the Social Care Elf because I think it is almost a duty for us researchers to make academic talk and findings easily digestible for everyone – we don’t only need to reach fellow researchers, but give everyone the chance to learn what’s new out there!
– Clarissa Giebel

I write for the Social Care Elf because I love shoe-horning bad elf puns into research summaries! (and I think evidence-informed practice is really important). I gain the chance to critically read a paper that I might not come across in my day to day work, and be part of an online community.
– Lindsey Pike

I write for the SC Elf blog to contribute to a community interested in social care practice and research, and to make links between research. Participating gives me an opportunity to read articles and reports that I may not have otherwise read. I then use these blog posts in my teaching.
– Jenny Fisher

Who won’t want to work with elves?
The SCE is a great way of keeping up to date with current and relevant research across social care. Writing for the blog, is a great way to debate issues and collaborate with people using services, carers, practitioners, researchers and all those concerned with improving services.
– Ian Cummins

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Sarah Carr

Dr Sarah Carr is an independent mental health and social care research consultant. She has experience of mental distress and mental health service use and uses this to inform all her work. Sarah was Senior Fellow in Mental Health Policy at the University of Birmingham and Associate Professor of Mental Health Research at Middlesex University London. She is a National Institute for Health Research, School for Social Care Research (NIHR SSCR) Fellow, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Department of Health Service and Population Research, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London.

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