Working with children, young people and families
We develop a range of evidence-informed learning resources designed for professionals working with children and families tailored to individual and organisational learning and development needs.
Our topics and resources are developed in consultation with Partners from across the national children & families Research in Practice membership network to ensure our work reflects the needs and priorities of the sector.
We have worked hard to improve the curation, presentation and implementation of our resources to ensure Partners feel enabled to use our outputs effectively. We have also created responsive resources and activities that respond to network priorities as they arise.
We have produced publications, podcasts, digital resources and more on:
- Child protection and safeguarding
- Effective participation
- Equality, diversity and inclusion
- Family justice
- Leading and developing practice
- Trauma-informed practice
We also work collaboratively on a range of partnership programmes that aim to innovate excellent practice and build capacity across the social care sector. Amongst a range of programmes, Change Projects such as the Families and Homes project aim to formulate responses, solutions and tools to support better alignment and joint working between services.
Protecting and promoting the welfare of children, including making arrangements to identify and support those at risk of harm, is fundamental to social work practice. In order to identify risks, build strengths and prevent harm, practitioners need to be equipped with knowledge and skills to work effectively in multi-agency safeguarding partnerships.
- Bridging the gap with Transitional Safeguarding
- Recognising child and adolescent to parent violence and abuse
- Social work and child protection beyond the COVID-19 pandemic: Key challenges and good practice
- Transitional Safeguarding: The revolution will be individualised
- Harmful sexual behaviour displayed by children and young people
- Technology assisted harmful sexual behaviour
- Understanding harmful sexual behaviour
- Working with uncertainty and risk in children's social care: Video learning resources
All children should participate in issues that affect them and have their welfare promoted. Developing effective communication skills can also enhance the quality of interactions with children and young people who have experienced care. This supports positive outcomes and builds lasting relationships. These resources support effective participation with children and young people.
- 10,000 voices Bright Spots report: What is important to children and young people in care?
- Improving the lives of care experienced young people
- Improving services for care leavers: Coram Voice and the New Belongings programme
- Life Story Work: Practice Tool
- Nurturing creativity: Blue Cabin’s Creative Life Story Work programme
- The wellbeing of children in care and care leavers - learning from the Bright Spots Programme: Strategic Briefing
- Research and guidance on embedding participation in child protection
- The legal basis for participation in child protection
- What statutory guidance tells us about effective participation of children and young people
- Supporting young people to stay connected to the people who matter: Video learning resources
- Meaningful participation - how can we involve children, young people and adults in shaping practice, support and services?
An integral part of social care practice is protection and promotion of the rights of adults, children and families. Central to this is ensuring that people of all ages, with all their diverse characteristics, have equality of opportunity and are not excluded or discriminated against.
Our video learning programme aims to promote anti-racism in children’s social care. The programme includes a briefing which explains why taking action to address the impact of racism is important and timely, together with a series of 14 short films exploring anti-racist work in children and family services.
View further resources below.
- Discriminatory abuse – developing practice responses
- Working with men in Leeds: Caring Dads
- Working with men: Sharing learning from Leeds
- Inclusive practice with young people who identify as LGBTQ+
- More than faith - Muslim-heritage children in care: Strategic Briefing
- Promoting anti-racism in children and family services
- Supervising non-discriminatory practice with LGBTQ+ families
Having a sound knowledge of the Children Act 1989 and other relevant legal frameworks is essential for social workers and family court advisors involved in public law proceedings. This includes working towards safety and wellbeing for children, young people and their families through family reunification, kinship care, foster care, special guardianship, adoption and other routes to permanence.
Our open access resource hub aims to support family-centred practice and decision-making in pre-proceedings (PLO) and the Family Court, including guidance, practice tools, publications, videos and podcasts. The hub has been developed through the Department for Education Covid Recovery and Building Back Better funding, in partnership with Essex County Council and the regional leads involved in the project across England.
View further resources below.
- A parent’s experience of court and pre-proceedings: Laura
- A parent’s experience of court and pre-proceedings: Rebecca
- Using case law in social care practice
- Young people’s experience of court and pre-proceedings
- Care planning for children in proceedings: Frontline Briefing
- Communication aid in family proceedings: Intermediaries working with interpreters
- Completing social work chronologies: Practice Tool
- Ensuring equality, diversity and inclusion in the Family Court: Frontline Briefing
- Pre-proceedings: Messages from research and policy: Strategic Briefing
- Voluntary care arrangements under section 20 (England) and 76 (Wales): Frontline Briefing
These resources share the latest research messages for practice – to support social workers and leaders to continually develop their skills.
- Defensible decision-making in children’s social care - CPD Guide: Practice Guide
- Defensible decision-making in children’s social care - challenge questions for leaders: Leaders' Briefing
- Defensible decision-making in children’s social care - resource pack for practice supervisors: Frontline Briefing
- Difficult conversations in social care: Frontline Briefing
- Supporting practitioner wellbeing: Practice Guide
- Using research - Tools to support evidence-informed practice: Practice Tool
‘I was thoroughly engaged from the start. Emotionally driven, hearing true stories of what went wrong and how we can change today to improve people's, and save, lives. Thank you a million times to the speakers- you remind me of my why; why I do this and why I fight so hard to be the change our future generations deserve.’
Partnership Conference delegates
A key principle of trauma-informed practice is recognising that trauma often underpins many of the problems faced by children and families referred to children’s social care. Trauma-experienced parents often find it hard to engage with professionals, given the inherent anxiety that social services involvement brings. Our 2023 children & families Partnership Conference explored how we can make trauma-informed practice a reality. The conference brought the expertise of those bringing trauma-informed practice and local system development to life.
Our learning programme on trauma-informed practice has also been developed as a structured reflection to support children’s social care practitioners working with parents who have experienced complex and/or sustained trauma. The programme is made up of 11 film chapters – each exploring a different theme and designed to be worked through in order at your own pace.
View further resources below.
'One of our social workers recently completed a pre-birth assessment just after completing the working with trauma-experienced parents course. She said this had a huge impact on the way she worked with the family and has had a really successful outcome.'
Research in Practice Partner
- Building safety, connection and trust with trauma-experienced parents: Practice Guide
- Building safety, connection and trust with trauma-experienced parents: Report
- Support around children who have experienced developmental trauma: Frontline Briefing
Learning resources and events
As part of membership to Research in Practice, Partners have access to a range of learning opportunities and receive regular updates on the latest news and views, case law and policy. Our national programme of learning events, conferences and webinars support professional networking and development on pertinent social care topics in response to changing individual and organisational needs throughout the year.
Throughout the year we have responded to Partner feedback to develop resources that respond to emerging or immediate needs.