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Opportunity for Research Participation

Supporting young people in care to receive mental health and wellbeing services online during COVID-19

Cardiff University and The Fostering Network in Wales are undertaking a research study to explore the experiences of children and young people in care who have received mental health services online during COVID-19. The aim is to identify and develop services that can best meet children and young people’s needs in the future. 

We are looking to interview children and young people, foster carers, and social care professionals. Interviews will take approximately one hour and can be conducted online or via telephone. 

If you want to find out more about the study and are interested in taking part please contact Dr Rhiannon Evans EvansRE8@cardiff.ac.uk 

Transitions from care to adulthood: Persistent issues across time and place

External event

When: 8 March 2021, 17:00 – 18:00

The seminar has three aims. First, setting the historical context for leaving care policy and practice in six high and middle-income countries over the last 150 years. Second, identifying ‘common concerns’, including poor outcomes; abuse within care; and systemic injustices. Third, the seminar will introduce ‘enduring issues’: conflicting perspectives around the purpose of care; concerns about encouraging welfare dependency and abuse, powerlessness and lack of agency. The seminar will conclude with reflections on progress (or lack of it) over time and across cultures.

External event

Childhood Studies Jamboree

External event

Our annual Childhood Studies Jamboree will be on Monday 8th March 2021. Come enjoy an informative and fun afternoon. Back live … and online! Please do come along yourself and share the news with others who may be interested.

When: Mon 8 March 1.00-3.30 pm

You will have the opportunity to network with other people interested in research with children and young people and to attend interactive workshops where people share their research methods and recent experiences, dilemmas and challenges. 

The event is particularly for:

  • those interested in joining our research community (e.g. the MSc Education Early Childhood Practice and Froebel Pathway) and PhD routes
  • current MSc, PhD students and postdoctoral researchers interested in direct research with children and young people
  • all others with an interest and commitment to direct research with children and young people, across the University of Edinburgh and outwith!

For more details/information, please contact the Childhood and Youth Studies Research Group, MHSES through: Karina Padilla.

External event

Residential Child Care Conference 2021

External event

We are delighted to invite you to Social Care Wales’s 2021 residential children’s care conference. We welcome practitioners and leaders from across the sector to join us for this event.

The 2021 Residential Children’s Care Conference #ResCYP21 will take the opportunity to reflect and celebrate the resilience and learning of the sector throughout 2020 and the challenges presented by Covid-19. Our guest speakers will look to the future, to consider key approaches in nurturing and improving outcomes for children and young people living in residential care.

We welcome the following speakers to the event:

A message of support to the sector

Deputy Minister Julie Morgan MS

‘My 2020’ – A reflection from the front line

Hearing from a young person, social worker and residential care worker. We will get their view from the frontline.

Future Proof – what matters to young people transitioning from care

Young people who have transitioned from care will share their experiences and tell us about what mattered to them in positively transitioning from life in care.

Love in the Care System

Rosie Moore, Previous LOVE co-chair at the Scottish Independent Care Review/ Independent Consultant for Love and Looked After Children

An opportunity to hear learning from Scotland on the importance of ‘love in the care system’.

County Lines and Covid-19

Evan Jones, Head of CCE Development, St Giles Trust

St Giles Trust will present their work in Wales, supporting young people who are exploited by county lines and how approaches have changed in light of the pandemic.

Once your place is confirmed, you will receive a link to access the Digilounge platform on which the conference will be held. Please set up your Digilounge registration before the day of the event. Full joining instructions will be sent to all attendees.

This event is being hosted externally by Social Care Wales and not through Exchange Wales. Social Care Wales work with people who use care and support services, and organisations to lead improvement in social care. Learn more about Social Care Wales. This post was originally posted by Social Care Wales.

External event

Article Review: Strengths-based practice in social work with adults

Price A, Ahuja L, Bramwell C, Briscoe S, Shaw L, Nunns M et al. (2020) Research evidence on different strengths-based approaches within adult social work: a systematic review. Southampton: NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research Topic Report. 

Review written by Professor Jonathan Scourfield

What question does this study focus on?  

This study summarises existing published research on the effectiveness and the implementation of strengths-based approaches within adult social work in the UK. These approaches are well-known in children’s services and are supported by recent legislation for adult care but little is known about their effectiveness and they are thought to be difficult to implement.

How did they study it?

They did a systematic review – that’s the most robust approach to summarising existing research. They looked in academic journals, with no restrictions on date or language, and they did some limited searching of ‘grey’ literature such as policy reports, although they acknowledge they may have missed some of these. They were only looking for studies from the UK, which is understandable given they wanted the research to be very relevant to UK services, but they will no doubt have missed some international studies that could also be relevant and important. Fifteen studies met the criteria to be included in the review, six of which were assessed as good quality.

What did they find?

There were seven studies of Making Safeguarding Personal – an outcomes-focused and personalised approach whose aim is for safeguarding to be done with, not to,

people. The other eight studies covered a range of approaches: Local Area Coordination, Solution Focused Therapy, Family Group Conferencing, Asset-based Community Development, Strengths-based with Relationship-based Approach, Asset-based approaches, and Motivational Interviewing.  None of the studies allowed the researchers to answer the question about effectiveness.

For Making Safeguarding Personal, the implementation issues were these:

  1. It was seen as demanding on practitioners at first but as having advantages over the longer term – e.g. improved personalisation and reduction in future referrals and burden on the range of services involved in safeguarding. Significant practice change was needed. The model needed adaptation for specific localities, which sometimes caused implementation problems.
  2. The approach required cultural changes in organisations, to move away from older practices such as being risk-averse and not engaging people in conversations about what they want from safeguarding. MSP requires a shift from process-led to user-focussed social work. More outward-facing and smaller local authorities tended to be most successful in implementing MSP.
  3. The knowledge, skills, creativity and confidence of service providers were important for delivering MSP. Practitioners’ willingness to embrace the model made a difference. 
  4. Successful implementation needed strong leadership – sound planning, engagement of staff across service boundaries and the active involvement of people receiving services.

What are the implications?

We need more evidence, which is so often the conclusion of systematic reviews! For this topic, there is a real need for comparative studies, to look at whether consciously strengths-based approaches actually result in different in the positive differences they would claim to bring, when compared with usual practice. The points about how MSP was implemented are useful for services that want to bring in practice changes.


Review written by

Professor Jonathan Scourfield

Trawsnewid project for LGBTQ+ young people aged 16-25

External event

Online session: 24th February at 6pm

Join Cerian, a youth engagement facilitator for Amgueddfa Cymru- National Museum Wales, for a new project called Trawsnewid focusing on LGBTQ+ young people aged 16-25 on the theme of transformations. Throughout this project we will be exploring trans and gender non-conforming figures in Welsh history and lived experiences today. 

In this initial session, we will be introducing the project, getting to know each other and designing our own postcard inspired by the museum’s LGBT+ Collection. This is an exciting opportunity for young LGBT+ people to socialise, learn about queer Welsh history, and to create work that will be exhibited.

There will be further events in a bi-weekly format of meetings and workshops with young people, and these sessions will be creative workshops exploring the theme of the project. Guest speakers will join sessions alongside the facilitator, and there will be an opportunity for the participants to also run their own sessions.

Throughout the project we will be working towards putting on our own events such as a museum takeover at the Waterfront Museum in Swansea and an exhibition of the work created throughout the project. The project will be tailored to the interests of the group, whether that’s history, art, creative writing, performance, and so on. 

If you would like to get involved in the project, attend the event, find out any more information about the project, or know of any young people who would be interested please email Cerian

Please note that anyone is able to join the project, even after the initial workshop on the 24th, simply email Cerian for further information.

External event

‘Society is the Disability’: What does this mean for your business?

External event

‘Society is the Disability’: What does this mean for your business?

Date: Thursday, 18th March 2021
Time: 10:30am – 12pm

Guest speakers:
Dr Hade Turkmen, Chwarae Teg
Dr Stephen Beyer, Cardiff University and National Centre for Mental Health
Miranda Evans, Disability Wales

Join us for the upcoming Hive webinar, where we’ll be bringing employers across Wales together to discuss our recent ‘Society is the Disability’ report which looks at disabled women’s experiences in the Welsh economy. We’ll be sharing the findings of the report and the opportunities businesses can implement for improvement.

We’ll also be looking at the business benefits of employing a person with a learning disability, how the model used by the ‘Engage to Change’ programme can support both employers and workers with a learning disability together with the outcomes from the project so far in Wales.

There will be an opportunity for you to participate in this webinar and ask questions.

External event

Trawsnewid: A new LGBTQ+ youth project (16-25)

About the project:

Join Cerian, a youth engagement facilitator for Amgueddfa Cymru- National Museum Wales, for a new project called Trawsnewid focusing on LGBTQ+ young people aged 16-25 on the theme of transformations. Throughout this project we will be exploring trans and gender non-conforming figures in Welsh history and lived experiences today. This is an exciting opportunity for young LGBT+ people to socialise, learn about queer Welsh history, and to create work that will be exhibited.

There will be further events in a bi-weekly format of meetings and workshops with young people, and these sessions will be creative workshops exploring the theme of the project. Guest speakers will join sessions alongside the facilitator, and there will be an opportunity for the participants to also run their own sessions.

Pride young person

Throughout the project we will be working towards putting on our own events such as a museum takeover at the Waterfront Museum in Swansea and an exhibition of the work created throughout the project. The project will be tailored to the interests of the group, whether that’s history, art, creative writing, performance, and so on. 

The project will begin with an online session on the 24th February at 6pm, where we will be introducing the project, getting to know each other, and designing our own postcard inspired by the museum’s LGBT+ Collection. Visit the Family and Community events section to find out more about the February 24th activity.

If you would like to get involved in the project, find out any more information about the project or know of any young people who would be interested please email Cerian. Please note that anyone is able to join the project, even after the initial workshop on the 24th, simply email Cerian for further information.

The Digital Divide: Why we need to support young people now

External event

BBB Youth Welfare Series

Tuesday 2 March 2021, 12:30- 1:30pm (online)

In the Sixth webinar of our #BBBYouthWelfare series, we will be discussing the Digital Divide – the gap between those who have access to technology, and those that don’t, or have restricted access. Being without adequate Wifi, hardware and software is having a detrimental effect on young people in education or hoping to start their careers during the Covid-19 pandemic. This webinar discusses the immediate effects on young people in our communities, its potential effects over time and examples of initiatives to tackle the problem as we seek #BuildBackBetter and leave No One Behind as we transition out of lockdown.

The session will be chaired by Kieran Breen, CEO of Leicestershire Cares, and guest speakers will be:

  • Professor Richard Hall, Centre for Urban Research on Austerity, Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility, De Montfort University.
  • Professor Malcolm Fisk, Professor of Ageing and Digital Health, School of Computer Science and Informatics
  • Peter Paduh, Chairman of SocialBox.Biz – A new generation Social Impact consultancy – with emphasis on digital inclusion, tech innovation and integration of refugees and homeless people
  • Amina Lunat, Amina Lunat, Project Coordinator, Reaching People – distributing digital equipment to those in need in Leicestershire
External event

Pathways to University: the Journey through Care

Care-experienced people represent only a tiny proportion of the student population in the UK, and as a result, those who go on to access higher education are widely celebrated within the sector. There is a temptation to assume that care leavers who achieve this type of educational success have had more positive and supportive journeys through the care system than most. Yet, as our latest research findings show, many care-experienced students have difficult and unstable care histories and have progressed to higher education despite the challenges they faced.

Our research, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, includes the voices of 234 care-experienced students from 29 universities across England and Wales. Exploring the challenges faced by these care leavers allows us to reflect upon the significant relationships and decision-making processes that shape care for all young people, regardless of their education and career choices.

Many of our participants described confusing and upsetting introductions to the care system, childhoods marked by instability caused by placement and school moves, and frequently changing social workers and personal advisors. Their stories often painted a picture of bureaucratic systems in which mental health support was lacking and the stigma of being care-experienced was perpetuated or left unchallenged.

Our second Findings Report from the ‘Pathways to University’ project puts forward 20 recommendations aimed at Local Authorities, Government and Policy Makers – urging them to accelerate support and promote achievement for all those with care experience.

The following animation captures the key findings from our second report and shares the experiences of young people as they journey through care.

View the ‘Pathways to University: the Journey through Care’ film: