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Good support for people with complex needs
What does it look like and where is the evidence?
Allegations of maltreatment of looked after children
SPRU is partnering with the NSPCC and the Fostering Network to look into these cases
Children's Community Nursing teams
What is their impact? How best to develop these services? What are the costs and outcomes?
Taking On and Taking Over
Physically disabled young adults and their support as they move towards adulthood


The Social Policy Research Unit has an international reputation for excellence in research in social policy, especially health and social care, poverty, welfare and social work.

Based at the University of York since it was established in 1973, The Social Policy Research Unit (SPRU) has become recognised as one of the leading centres for research in social policy in the UK. Three strong commitments underpin SPRU’s research:

  • to reflect, and communicate, the experiences and views of the users and beneficiaries of services and policy interventions;
  • to recognise that people’s lives do not divide into neat segments which coincide with agency and professional boundaries, and to engage in research which crosses these boundaries;
  • to make our research influential in bringing about change, and therefore to communicate findings effectively to key audiences; and engage actively with policy makers and practitioners in thinking through their implications.

Please view a short video of our work

SPRU is a winner of the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education 2009

SPRU is part of the Department of Social Policy and Social Work at the University of York.

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