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:

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.

Child protection and safeguarding

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.

Effective participation

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.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

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.

Family justice 

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.

Leading and developing practice

These resources share the latest research messages for practice – to support social workers and leaders to continually develop their skills.

Trauma-informed practice

‘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

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 viewscase 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.