Reflect is a service which operates over 11 sites in Wales, covering 20 local authorities. These 11 sites are either run by the local authority, or commissioned to one of two children’s charities, Barnardo’s and Action for Children. Reflect provides bespoke and holistic support to parents who have had one or more children permanently removed from their care, with the aim of breaking the cycle of recurrent care proceedings.  The first evaluation into the Reflect service in Gwent was conducted by Louise Roberts and colleagues in 2018.

This research project was conducted in 2021 as part of a Masters degree at Cardiff University funded by the Economic Social Research Council, which foregrounded my current doctoral research. I interviewed 13 members of staff who work for the Reflect service, either as managers or practitioners. Service information sheets were also completed so that comparable data could be presented for all sites. The findings highlighted that while there are similarities in how Reflect operates across Wales, there are also key differences in conceptualisation and delivery, particularly around areas of eligibility and timing of support. These differences are underpinned by a need to balance the needs of parents with limited resources and local authority constraints. Whilst there is a desire for Reflect to become more cohesive, it was clear that a ‘one size fits all’ model might not be effective. However, further research would seek to involve parents and wider stakeholders to ensure parity of support across Wales. 

You can find out more about the first stage of this evaluation:

I am now in the next stage of this research (2021-2024). This will involve a qualitative case study which will utilise a variety of methods to establish how the Reflect model is implemented, and to provide an understanding of the ongoing experiences of the parents who access the service, and the professionals who work within it.  

If you want to find out more about the project or have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact me. 

Sylvia Hoyland, Postgraduate Researcher at Cardiff University, @sylviah2018