The MAX project was set up in late 2012 in response to informal evidence that LA staff from all groups and within many organisations were not engaging with the surveys and, as a result, were not using the data to inform local social-care related planning and service improvements as the government intended.
Early fact-finding activities and consultations were conducted to  explore the key challenges faced by LA staff in collecting and/or using ASCS or PSS SACE data;  identify the practices implemented by LAs to overcome challenges and/or maximise the local value and/or use of the data; and  establish the kinds of support LA staff would like the MAX project to provide. These activities included an online survey and series of follow up telephone interviews (see table below) and were completed by 139 staff from 95 LAs.
The feedback collected during these activities produced rich and invaluable insights into LA practice and indicated that, in contrast to the impressions formed from anecdotal feedback, most LA staff were supportive of the ASCS and PSS SACE.
Barriers to collecting and using survey data, however, were also reported and many of these were associated with the key stages of the survey process (e.g. preparation, analysis and interpretation, reporting). Local uses of survey data and practices implemented to overcome barriers and/or maximise the relevance and value of ASCS and PSS SACE data were also noted and these, where permitted, have been developed into case study examples in the MAX toolkit.
A draft version of the MAX toolkit was reviewed by 40 LA collaborators between November 2015 and April 2016, and the final toolkit was launched in June 2016.
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