Children and families Delivery Programme 2020-21

Our annual Delivery Programme aims to support individuals and organisations working with children and families. It includes an overview of topics and resources, such as publications, workshops, webinars and more, being delivered until March 2021.

Our annual Delivery Programme, aimed at supporting individuals and organisations working with children and families, includes an overview of topics and resources, such as publications, workshops, webinars and more, being delivered until March 2021.

Please note: In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and post-pandemic response we have reviewed aspects of our Delivery Programme and made some changes to topics to reflect the needs of the sector. All face to face events have been replaced with digital delivery formats until the end of 2020, when we will review in light of the national situation on social distancing.

Developed in consultation with Partners from across the national Research in Practice membership network, the upcoming resources and events aim to address the needs and priorities for the sector. The children and families programme will focus on the following areas: 


Delivery Programme topics 2020-21

Core practice skills

Supporting children to participate in social work practices and decision-making about their own lives is an essential but complex element of the social work role. This includes in-depth areas such as life story work and other forms of direct work. We recognise how vital these skills are not only to capture the views of children, but also to accurately reflect them in case recording including chronologies and genograms, assessments and life story books.

This topic will include the latest research messages for practice in this area to support social workers to continually develop their skills in this area.  

Planned resources

An interactive and practical national programme event will explore children’s participation in social work practice, this will cover innovative ways to communicate directly with children and ensuring the child’s voice is a key consideration throughout all work. A second national programme event will introduce life story work using immersive and experiential methods.

Podcasts with care experienced adults will discuss the importance of case recording, experiences of accessing social care records as adults and key messages for frontline practitioners. Practice skills such as chronologies, assessments, case recording will be covered through a series of brief guides designed to be accessible for frontline practitioners and children and families alike. A Practice Tool designed to support practitioners to create different types of genograms alongside children and their families aims to provide templates so that practitioners can complete genograms in time efficient ways in easily editable formats.

LGBTQ and young people

Young people who are LGBTQ may face additional barriers and specific issues that can intersect with the difficulties any young person may be faced with, thereby adding to the complexity of their circumstances. There may be a reluctance for practitioners to draw attention to LGBTQ issues; however, without drawing attention to the issues and identifying how best to support LGBTQ young people, there is a risk that these specific difficulties and experiences may be overlooked in practice.

A planned resource will aim to raise awareness of the intersectionality of the issues faced by LGBTQ young people. The first step will be to run a series of consultations with practitioners, carers and young people in order to better understand the issues, and to inform plans. In addition, how issues specific to young people who are LGBTQ have added complexities when they overlap with issues around religion and culture will also be explored, as well as how they may intersect with and compound other broader issues such as mental health difficulties, homelessness, and exploitation, creating the potential for additional vulnerabilities.

Developing community capacity

At a time of increased demand, local authorities are starting to look at innovative ways to support the needs of children and families. In recent years there has been a growing trend towards involving children, families and communities in co-developing and providing preventative approaches and support.

Planned resources

We will produce a strategic briefing for managers that draws upon existing research and practice and provides a framework for utilising the strengths and capacity of children, families and communities. A series of Podcasts with organisations and members of the community will highlight the work of successful community-based projects and how the learning might be taken forward by others who are interested in the approaches.

Public health approaches to violence 

Rises in serious violence amongst children, young people and young adults in the UK have seen the conversation turn to the development of public health approaches. In 2019 the government launched official guidance and legislation supporting a formal Public Health Approach and a statutory duty to support a multi-agency approach to preventing and tackling serious violence. People working in social care play an important role in joining-up this approach and delivering it in practice. This topic aims to support the sector to do this.

Planned resources

For strategic managers, a briefing and an accompanying learning event will explore what a public health approach to violence is, what this means for the social care sector and best practice around implementation.

A short series of Podcasts will take a more in-depth look at specific issues in the form of conversations between young people affected by violence, and approaches of the projects engaging them.

A Frontline Briefing will examine approaches of some of the leading delivery projects which encompass the public health methodology and consider transferrable good practice. A series of blog posts will provide a space to reflect on a broader range of concerns such as helping young people to remain in mainstream education, and a grassroots community project facilitating peer to peer conversations amongst young people, families and practitioners.

In Spring 2020, there will be additional deliveries of our popular workshop – Young people and gangs: Approaches to assessment and intervention to facilitate their disengagement.

Pandemic and post-pandemic recovery

We are actively reflecting as a sector on the changes to working practices and the impacts on the families we work with of the Covid-19 pandemic. Various strands of research and knowledge exchange with which Research in Practice is involved will inform content on these issues in coming months.

Trauma-informed practice

Interest in trauma-informed practice has been growing apace in the UK in the last number of years; this was reflected in our consultation with you, our partners, with this topic coming out as the most frequently requested. Practice and organisations which is/are trauma-informed recognise(s) and take(s) into account the wide and often complex impact of trauma on individuals, embed(s) knowledge about trauma into policies and practice, and actively work(s) to prevent the re-traumatisation of people in service settings.

Planned resources

Frontline and Leaders’ Briefings produced in 2018 on this topic set out a broad introduction to trauma research and approaches. As organisations and practitioners seek to embed trauma-informed knowledge into their approaches and practice, it will be important to deepen knowledge and understandings as well as how to apply trauma-informed approaches effectively in the everyday.

For practitioners there will be resources that delve deeper into applications of trauma-informed practice using case studies, techniques examples of good practice; planned resources include a Webinar, workshops and a frontline publication. An open access brief guide for carers, parents and young people that sets out how trauma can impact individuals, as well as techniques to prevent re-traumatisation, will accompany this.

For those at a strategic level, there will be a resource to support how to take forward embedding trauma-informed approaches at an organisational level. For both a frontline and strategic audience will be a resource which sets out the key messages coming out of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) research, as well as implications for the social care sector.

Finally, there will be additional deliveries throughout the year of our popular workshop on trauma-informed practice.

Change Project

Our new Change Project – on family time/contact - in partnership with the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory has been postponed due to current limitations on face to face working.