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What does research and expert practice tell us about the relevance of executive functioning assessments to work with people who are homeless or rough sleeping and who have complex needs?

Speaker: Ellie Atkins, Senior Social Worker and Safeguarding Lead, Adult Social Care Substance misuse and entrenched rough sleeper team, Manchester City Council. Internship, NHS Research & Development North West.

'The Care Act 2014 provided an opportunity for social work to start levelling up the equity gap for some of the most excluded people in our society. I'm a frontline practitioner of 20 years, working with adults who tell me their stories of childhood trauma and neglect, and that they feel excluded by closed doors to services, a metaphor for 'you are not worthy'. These were often the people that remained on the streets during 'Everybody In'. The pandemic revealed what we can do differently, and how we can open the door to people who do not have the capacity to act.'—Ellie Atkins

The event, which takes place online only, is part of our Homelessness Series.

At this webinar

Two hundred and twenty-five participants joined an HSCWRU webinar today to discuss ‘The capacity to act ... opening the door for people with hidden disabilities and differences’. Senior Social Worker and Safeguarding Lead Ellie Atkins shared the findings of her NHS Research & Development Internship, which explored the relevance of executive functioning assessments to work with people experiencing homelessness or rough sleeping who have complex needs.

The event discussion, questions and reflections from practice included health, social care, probation and homelessness sector perspectives.

A short film (YouTube; 13 mins) summarises Ellie’s presentation. Slides from today are posted below.

PhD student at King's, Carolin Hess, writes about the webinar on the blog: Tracing the significance of executive functioning among people experiencing homelessness.

Follow Ellie Atkins on Twitter.

The next event in this series, convened by Jess Harris within the HSCWRU Homelessness Research Programme, will examine drug and housing interventions for people experiencing homelessness.

See also: A national Peer Network for social workers specialising in homelessness and rough sleeping (set up by Ellie Atkins)

Amazingly informative! and thanks for presenting it in such a relatable and personable way that I could actually understand


Absolutely fantastic - I am now so inspired to share this with other agencies and colleagues


Download from this event

Slides from Ellie's presentation

At this event

Jess Harris

Research Fellow