MAKING A DIFFERENCE FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

ANNUAL REPORT 2018–19

Author: Centre for research for children and families, University of East Anglia

Year: 2019

Summary:

We have been fortunate in gaining new funding for research in the Centre over the last year. As well as supporting our ongoing study on fathers in recurrent care proceedings, the Nuffield Foundation has granted an award to Gillian Schofield, Birgit Larsson and their team to investigate the implementation of the first Regulations and Guidance in England (2015) on long-term foster care as a permanence option. Gillian was a member of the expert working group that developed this documentation, and research from the CRCF was key in the underpinning knowledge base. We are also very pleased that Norfolk Constabulary are funding Jane Dodsworth and Penny Sorensen to study the increasing problem of child criminal exploitation and in particular ‘County Lines’. Our third new study is an evaluation of the activities of the Suffolk and Norfolk Social Work Teaching Partnership, now in its third year. Click Here

In and beyond the care setting: relationships between young people and care workers

LITERATURE REVIEW

Authors: Vicki Welch, Nadine Fowler, Ewan Ross, Richard Withington, Kenny McGhee

Year: 2018

Summary:

This review seeks to identify and summarise findings from literature about the nature of relationships that develop between older children and young people, and those caring for them within and beyond residential and fostering settings. We make particular efforts to include studies that gather the views of young people themselves. We consider the issues and challenges that young people face in moving on from care, the type of support they receive during this process, and focus on the relational elements of this support. The study as a whole focuses on young people in adolescence as they approach the point where they will leave care and undertake the transition towards more independent living.

Being a/part State of the Family report

RESEARCH REPORT

Author: Anglicare Australia 

Year: October 2014

Summary: 

There isn’t a lot going well for young people trapped on the margins of our largely comfortable and happy society. A ream of analysis and opinion predicts poor health, employment, education and other life outcomes because of their circumstances. And this year’s political climate—which is suggesting that the social safety net should be available only to those who behave as directed and successfully negotiate the tasks they are set—implies that they get what they deserve.

Our view across the Anglicare network is a fundamentally different one, reflecting the Anglican heart of our services. It is that everybody has value, can be an active part of society and needs the opportunity to realise their potential. And this especially applies to young people who lack the family support most of us can take for granted. 

Youth Homelessness Prevention Pathway: Improving Care Leavers Housing Pathways

RESEARCH REPORT

Author: A Way Home Scotland.

Year: 2019

Summary: 

In May 2019, the A Way Home Scotland Coalition were tasked with creating a Youth Homelessness Prevention Pathway for care leavers by the Scottish Government’s Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group (HARSAG), with the aim of addressing the fact that care leavers face a substantially higher risk than their peers of becoming homeless in adult life.

The new Youth Homelessness Prevention Pathway ‘Improving Care Leavers Housing Pathways’, sets out achievable, evidence-based steps to prevent care leavers from being affected by homelessness at any point after leaving care. It has been developed by the Coalition’s multi-agency working group and youth steering group ‘Aff the Streets’, in partnership with Celcis, and is informed by their combined knowledge of the challenges facing care leavers.

‘This is our story’: Children and young people on criminalisation in residential care

REPORT BRIEFING

Author: Howard League for Penal Reform

Year: 2018

Summary: 

This briefing tells the anonymised stories of four children and young people who have been criminalised in residential care in their own words.

The briefing focuses on how it feels to a child to be criminalised and to live in a home where you are not loved or cared about.

The young people’s testimonies illustrate how every aspect of the care system can impact on criminalisation and demonstrate that a whole system approach is needed to protect vulnerable children from this form of harm.

Analysis of the Factors Contributing to the High Rates of Care in Wales

RESEARCH REPORT

Authors: Dr Helen Hodges, Dan Bristow

Year: July 2019

Summary: 

On 31st March 2018, there were 6,405 children looked after in Wales, almost 1,900 more children than were looked after in 2006. Over that time Wales has consistently had more children looked after per 10,000 of the population than the rest of the UK, and that gap has widened.

Within Wales, while most Local Authorities have seen a rise in both the number and rate of children looked after, there is significant variation; and some have seen the rate of children looked after fall since 2014. Using published data, this report explores what we can say about the factors that are driving these trends.

‘Being a student with care experience is very daunting’ – Findings from a survey of care-experienced students in Scottish colleges and universities

Research Report

Author: Linda O’Neill, Neil Harrison, Nadine Fowler, Graham Connelly, 2019

Summary: 

CELCIS, the Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care and Protection based at the University of Strathclyde, has published the findings of Scotland’s first nation-wide survey of care experienced students in Scotland’s colleges and universities.

Carried out on behalf of the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), this research aimed to get a better understanding of the factors that can be a barrier to, or can enable, care experienced students going to, being at, and staying at college and university in Scotland.

Housing Options and Care Leavers: Improving Outcomes into Adulthood

REPORT BRIEFING

Author: Kenny McGhee

Year: 2015

Summary:

This Inform briefing provides an overview of information, policy and legislation and outlines the importance of good housing and accommodation options that improve outcomes for care leavers. We summarise research evidence about leaving care at a young age, and the positive impact on young people of ‘staying put’ in continuing care placements. Major policy initiatives and legislation are discussed: the Housing Options Protocols for Care Leavers (Scottish Government, 2013a), Staying Put Scotland (Scottish Government, 2013b), and the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014. We present new evidence about housing options and transitioning from care from two sources: the Throughcare and Aftercare National Survey of Scotland’s Local Authorities (McGhee et al., 2014) and follow-up survey of the Housing Options Protocols for Care Leavers carried out by CELCIS.

Throughcare and Aftercare Services in Scotland’s Local Authorities: A National Study

RESEARCH REPORT

Authors: Kenny McGhee, Jennifer Lerpiniere, Vicki Welch, Pamela Graham, Bruce Harkin

Year: 2014

Summary:

This research seeks to establish a clear picture of current throughcare and aftercare (TCAC) provision across Scotland’s local authorities and to provide evidence that will inform ongoing debates about future directions and priorities for the TCAC sector. Above all, the research seeks to provide an evidence base which will help ensure that all care leavers receive the support they need to make a successful and positive transition into adult life.

Staying Put & Continuing Care: The Implementation Challenge

JOURNAL ARTICLE

Author: Kenny McGhee

Year: 2017

Summary:

This article is based on a qualitative study of residential child care practitioners’ views and perspectives of the blocks and enablers to the implementation of staying put and continuing care practice with three Scottish local authorities. This small-scale qualitative study involved semi-structured interviews with nine residential practitioners, working in five children’s homes across three Scottish local authorities. Key findings highlight issues around learning and development opportunities for practitioners; the importance of managers and leaders in creating enabling contexts for practice; the challenges of resource pressures and limited capacity in the sector; and key issues around established culture and practice. What emerged was a consistent narrative of a complex, contradictory, nuanced context within which residential child care practitioners operate. The paper discusses these findings within the current context of challenges to implementing child care policy and the need to establish ‘a new norm’ for looked after young people transitioning from residential care settings.