This chapter, written with Louisa Roberts, Eleanor Staples and Ministry of Life, thinks about how to get the messages from research out to wide and diverse audiences.
The strategies discussed in the chapter were related to a Welsh Government commissioned study to explore the educational experiences, attainment and aspirations of care experienced children and young people. The project was delivered by CASCADE: Children's Social Care Research and Development Centre.
We were dismayed by the number of times that recommendations, similar to our study’s findings, had been made; but not met with changes in the lives of care experienced children and young people. This raised concerns that despite reporting our findings and recommendations through traditional approaches - reports and journal articles - they would have little impact in making positive changes on the ground - in schools, foster homes and social service provision.
Young people asked us what would happen with their recommendations so it was important to think about innovative ways to share information from the study. In response we worked with young people and the creative industries to produce artwork, music audios and videos, and bespoke art pieces representing the project recommendations and made an animated short film, music video and charter - #messagestoschools.
We have shared these materials with teachers, foster carers, practitioners, young people and students across Wales and the UK, and drawn together a set of useful, free to access materials on the online community of practice ExChange: Care and Education.
We hope that other researchers and practitioners will draw on and share the materials we have produced; and consider how they can work more creatively to contribute to improving the educational experiences and outcomes of children and young people.
Children and Young People 'Looked After'? Education, Intervention, and the Everyday Culture of Care in Wales
This is the latest blog in a series relating to the recently released book "Children and Young People ‘Looked After’? Education, Intervention and the Everyday Culture of Care in Wales". Read the other blogs in this series here:
Chapter 2 - Dr Martin Elliott
Chapter 3 - Gwyther Rees, Rachel Brown, Phil Smith and Rhiannon Evans
Chapter 6 - Gemma Allnatt
Chapter 7 - Dr Alyson Rees
Chapter 10 - Rebecca Girling
Chapter 13 - Dr Dawn Mannay
Chapter 15 - Eleanor Staples