Skip to main content

A national Peer Network for social workers specialising in homelessness and rough sleeping

Next meeting: 2 October 2024, 10.00-11.30am

Past meetings (online)

  • 5 June 2024
  • 7 Feb 2024
  • 4 October 2023 (launch)

To receive updates, or suggest topics to discuss, email:

Welcome from Ellie Atkins, Manager, Rough Sleepers Social Work Team

Ellie Atkins

Hello and a very warm welcome! The spirit of this Network is a ‘place of belonging’ for us, as social workers across England specialising in the field of homelessness and rough sleeping. We have an exciting opportunity to pool our knowledge and resources and support a national movement for change. We advocate for the right care and support for many misunderstood people in our society, based on our intrinsic motivation to promote human rights, social justice and the self determination of the people we serve. Over the last few years, key documents have had impact on our practice. Last year, ADASS and the Local Government Association (LGA) published ‘Care and support and homelessness: Top tips on the role of adult social care’. There is extensive learning from the harrowing narratives of lives lost, captured in national analysis of homeless thematic reviews and/or SARS. The evidence base is fundamental to our journey as emerging experts in this field. I can’t wait to hear how you want to take this Network forward.

Welcome from Jess Harris, Researcher, HSCWRU, King’s College London

HSCWRU is delighted to support this Network. A central finding of our recent national research (2019-23) on Strengthening Adult Safeguarding responses to homelessness and self-neglect is the importance of the specialist homelessness social work role. But this important role remains rare nationally, and often isolated within localities, with no peer support. A small follow up study has been exploring the impact and support needs of the role - findings are here.

Please do explore more of HSCWRU’s Homelessness Research Programme and sign up for our free webinars on homelessness research and innovative practice.


Homelessness and rough sleeping:

McRae 2024 June's Story - use of the KcVETS model

Solutions Circle; Karim's Story

Social work with families who are homeless or who have housing needs | BASW

Housing and Homelessness: The BASW Position Statement and Recommendations | BASW

‘Clarissa’ short film and supporting resource pack by Groundswell.

The Kerslake Commission on Homelessness and Rough Sleeping

Life Changing Care, St Mungo’s Report 2022

Delivering health and care for people who sleep rough: Going above and beyond, The King’s Fund, 2020

Care Act Multiple Needs Toolkit, Voices and Expert Citizens, 2016

Care and support and homelessness: Top tips on the role of adult social care, LGA & ADASS, 2022


Unhealthy State of Homelessness 2022: Findings from the Homeless Health Needs Audit | Homeless Link

Improving Access to Services for Clients Experiencing Multiple (

Government (and arm’s length bodies) publications:

Ending rough sleeping for good, Cross-government Strategy, 2022

Health matters: rough sleeping, Public Health England Guidance, 2020

Levelling Up the United Kingdom DLUHC, Policy Paper 2022

NICE guidelines:

Social work with adults experiencing complex needs, 2022

Advocacy services for adults with health and social care needs, 2022

Self-neglect and safeguarding:

Adult safeguarding and homelessness: A briefing on positive practice, LGA & ADASS, 2020

Adult safeguarding and homelessness: experience informed practice, LGA & ADASS, 2021

Safeguarding resources, Local Government Association.

Social work practice with self-neglect and homelessness: Findings from vignette-based interviews, Article, HSCWU, 2023

Safeguarding Responses to Homelessness and Self-Neglect Communities of Practice, HSCWRU, King’s College London, 2022

Adult Safeguarding and Homelessness: Understanding Good Practice, Jessica Kingsley, 2022

Learning from Safeguarding Adults Reviews: An evidence base to support positive practice, Homeless Link, 2021

Resistance to change:

How to use legal powers to safeguard highly vulnerable dependent drinkers, Report, Alcohol Change, 2021

Mental Capacity and Executive functioning:

When mental capacity assessments must delve beneath what people say to what they do, Community Care Article, 2020

Mental Capacity Guidance Note - Inherent Jurisdiction, 39 Essex Chambers, 2020

Court of Protection Guide, Serjeants’ Inn Chambers, 2022

Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice 2005

Brain injury and homelessness, BrainKind

Disordered Executive Function Article 2023

Neurodiversity and Addictions, Addictions UK 2020

Executive Function Skills - Toolbox

Tracing the significance of executive functioning among people experiencing homelessness | Health & Social Care Workforce: (

Opening the door for people with hidden disabilities and differences

Executive function - by Ellie Atkins

Short film by Ellie Atkins about Beryl:

HSCWRU Blog by Carolin Hess:


Homelessness as a Product of Social Exclusion: Reinterpreting Autistic Adults’ Narratives through the Lens of Critical Disability Studies, Article, 2022

Autistic Adults May Be Erroneously Perceived as Deceptive and Lacking Credibility, Article, 2021;;

Strength based reflective practice:

Strengths-based approach: Practice Framework and Practice Handbook DHSC 2019

Project status: Ongoing