Use of secure accommodation for welfare purposes in Wales

Secure accommodations are residential homes with approval to restrict the liberty of young people who are believed to be a serious risk to themselves or to others. Many young people are placed in secure accommodation for welfare reasons and there is little sign of this practice diminishing. This troubling situation is further complicated by a scarcity of secure placements in Wales which sees many young people being placed outside of Wales or having no bed in secure care due to a lack of availability.

At present there is little research evidence of what has led to this or what can be done to improve matters. To give better insight, a recent project commissioned by Social Care Wales and conducted by CASCADE at Cardiff University explored the experiences of young people from Wales prior to, during and following a referral to secure accommodation.

A recent webinar, presented by Dr Annie Williams (research lead) gave practitioners and managers an opportunity to hear about the study. The resources from the webinar are as follows:

Talking and listening to children and families: Putting Kitbag to work

Talking and listening to children was the first research project to directly observe close up what happens when social workers meet and communicate with children. This webinar highlights how each child must be understood as a unique individual and explains the Child-Case-Context model, which was developed out of the research.

The webinar also introduces Kitbag, a resource for social workers, designed to promote children’s emotional literacy.  Kitbag has been introduced in several local authorities with great success, helping social workers to communicate more effectively with children. The webinar finishes with reflective questions for social workers, including the context of virtual working in the Covid-19 crisis.

Meaningful participation of children and young people in decisions about their care

Meaningful participation of children and young people in decisions about their care

May 2019

This training webinar explores children’s participation, particularly in relation to children in care reviews and child protection conferences. It considers the findings of three studies which included interviews with children in care, children subject to a child protection plan, and their parents, senior managers, social workers and IROs. It discusses what good practice looks like in relation to meaningful participation by young people, particularly in children in care reviews, and outlines some of the barriers and enablers to high-quality child-focused practice.

Counting fathers in

Counting fathers in: How can social workers build better relationships with fathers involved in child protection services?

February 2019

This webinar draws on findings from recently completed research which studied men’s experiences of the child protection system in England. The project, called Counting Fathers In, studied the child protection system from the perspective of fathers involved in it, and also followed fathers’ lives (and cases) over a 12-month period.

Creative ways to engage children and young people in research and practice

Creative ways to engage children and young people in research and practice

November 2018

This webinar provides a background on visual, participatory and creative techniques for working with children and young people in research projects and in practice. Presented by Dr Dawn Mannay, the podcast presents and discusses a range of studies in different contexts.  The opportunities and limitations of participatory approaches are considered and a number of techniques of creative data production are introduced.

Why are some helpers so much more effective than others?

Why are some helpers so much more effective than others? A conversation with Professor Tom Sexton and Professor Donald Forrester

October 2018

Being interviewed by Michael Little (Research Fellow at Dartington Centre for Social Policy and former Director of Dartington Social Research Unit), Professor Sexton (Indiana University), an eminent international expert in the field of Family Psychology,  discusses his ground breaking research on the variations between counsellors and the outcomes they help people achieve. Why do different counsellors using the same approach achieve varying results? Professor Forrester (Director of CASCADE and the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care) talks about new research by him and his team that identifies key factors implementing outcomes in child and family social work. His findings suggest that relationships are important- but not enough on their own. So what is needed to help people effectively?