Focussing the work

The concept and the practice of a "psychologically informed environment" in homelessness is already quite wide in scope, quite apart from all the other aspects and range of psychologically informed services with which it must interlink - not to mention all the other client groups and setting to which the same thinking might well be applied.

To make this breadth a little more manageable, we must attempt to pick out some areas where it seems, currently, most useful to focus. So here, we will pick out three main areas of focus -  in local groups and events; in issues related to a particular client or services users group; and in the cross-cutting questions of research, evaluation, and evidence generating practice.

Locality focus

On-line vs face-to-face

An on-line community of practice can still encourage and support face-to-face meetings and  events.  On-line learning and discussion can only take us so far; we humans seem to be wired to respond more fully to people "in the round".

Here therefore we aim to provide information on locality-based networks and initiatives; and we can promote events and groupings in your neck of the woods. If there are events in your area that you would like to advertise, or just share, do let us know.

map shot

For those events, local and national, that we know of, see Local groups and events, on the old PIElink (Ning) site..

If you are thinking of making contact with others who might be interested in forming a group around your particular interests - whether locally, or across client group or working setting, you can do so in the Members' Area.


Client group focus

Working with specific needs - and opportunities

Some questions, in the development of psychologically informed services, are particular to the issues found with a particular population. We would expect services working exclusively with women, or young people, or addictions or  a particular minority ethnic group to be addressing cultural and emotional issues that are especially relevant to their user group.

The same is true of services that work in a particular setting - street outreach, a night shelter, women's refuge or court diversion project - where there will be common questions about addressing the nature and level of engagement that can be expected, the kind of opportunities that can be on offer, the kind of community and social relationships that might be created by participation.

Playmobile grouping

Research, evaluation, and evidence-generating practice

Closing the loop between research, policy and practice.

Evidence-generating practice is one of the key themes in the development of PIEs. That is, we see PIEs as services that takes very seriously the responsibility to provide evidence  - not just outcomes monitoring for contract compliance, but taking a much wider interest in seeing what really works, in order to continually modify and extend your own work.

In that sense, evidence-generating practice is necessary ingredient of reflective practice - learning from experience what works, and what might be done differently.

But there is a wider role too for evidence, in generating new knowledge that can be shared with the wider community - the kind of evidence that feeds into the ambition for evidence-based policy making. For this, we need to bring the research community closer to the front line of service provision, where creativity and innovation are crying out to be heard.


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