Children and families Delivery Programme 2021-22

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 2022.

Our annual programme provides an overview of topics and resources, such as publications, workshops, webinars and more, being planned and delivered until March 2022. It aims to support individuals and organisations working with children, young people and families. We will continue to update the programme throughout the year.  

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: 

Resources will be released online at regular intervals to enable you to access them as soon as possible. 

Delivery Programme topics 2021-22

Child and adolescent mental health and wellbeing

How can we support practitioners to address concerns about children and adolescents mental health and wellbeing needs as we emerge from lockdowns? The latest prevalence survey for England highlights growing numbers of children and young people with a mental health condition. In 2020, 1 in 6 children (16%) aged 5 to 16 years were identified as having a probable mental disorder, increasing from 1 in 9 (10.8%) in 2017. During the pandemic mental health and wellbeing issues were often exacerbated with the social isolation of the lockdown and the pressures of performance assessment at school.  

Planned resources

  • A workshop to support practitioners in thinking about the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
  • Resources produced in collaboration with Bright Spots.

Children’s and families’ experiences of domestic violence and/or abuse

Domestic violence and/or abuse (DVA) is a widespread social problem and a key driver of demand in child protection work. Drawing from international research, practice developments, and family expertise, the Change Project resource series will support strategic leads and practitioners to interrogate current approaches and explore the possibilities for re-thinking how DVA is understood and responded to, using approaches that are humane and socially transformative. 

A new Domestic Abuse Bill (2020) will, for the first time, recognise children as victims of domestic abuse in their own right. It sets out additional measures to ensure that the Family Courts are a safer place for victim-survivors, as well as placing responsibility on perpetrators of DVA to stop their abuse. A lived experience podcast series will provide a unique insight into the complexities of child protection work in the context of DVA, as well as the challenges associated with holding fathers who perpetrate DVA to account. Drive Project resources will critically engage with the emerging practice developments and interventions focused on work with men and perpetrators of abuse in order to assist them in changing their harmful behaviour.

Planned resources

  • Domestic abuse and child protection: Changing the conversation, making a difference for children and families (six digital resource modules).
  • A Strategic Briefing on children’s social care responses to people who perpetrate DVA.
  • A webinar on working with perpetrators of DVA: The Drive Project in the context of children’s social care.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

Structural inequality and racism disadvantage children, families and professionals from a range of minoritised groups. This adult and children & families topic offers practical ways to actively champion social justice in our work with colleagues and with young people, children and families.

Planned resources

  • A Strategic Briefing and online workshop on working in a culturally sensitive way with Muslim children and young people, their families and alternative carers.
  • A podcast to explore ideas around how organisations can respond to support inclusion.
  • A Strategic Briefing designed to support organisations in challenging the barriers and structural inequalities to workers from Black, Asian and Ethnic minorities progressing in social care.

Extra-familial harm

This topic will consider how to best implement effective responses to child exploitation and risk of harm from outside the family home. This covers forms of exploitation and harm, which often intersect, such as child sexual exploitation (CSE), child criminal exploitation (CCE) such as county lines, human trafficking and modern slavery, as well as serious youth violence. We will build upon developments over recent years on contextual and transitional safeguarding and link with the Tackling Child Exploitation Support Programme to develop resources that will include the latest research messages for practice to support social workers and leaders to continually develop their skills in these areas.

Planned resources

  • A Strategic Briefing and webinar on a public health approach to violence reduction.

Practice development and leading practice

This topic will include the latest research messages for practice, to support social workers and leaders to continually develop their skills. This will include a focus on children’s participation in decision-making processes and learning from the parent advocacy movement which seeks to build the power of parents who have been impacted by the child welfare system to advocate for change, support other families going through the system, raise up solutions that exist outside the system and improve children’s lives.

In addition, we will also consider how leaders can support wellbeing and resilience within the workforce, drawing from the key work from Practice Supervisor Development Programme (PSDP) and Social Work Organisational Resilience Diagnostic (SWORD). We will also consider what learning can be taken from innovative activity within the workforce, such as the scale and spread of innovation work that has taken place across Greater Manchester.

Planned resources

  • A Practice Tool on life story work, including practical examples of tools, approaches, and good practice.
  • A Practice Tool and online workshop exploring barriers that have been identified in child and family participation and introducing a range of creative methods to support practitioners to tailor their approach to meet children’s individual and emerging needs.
  • A Leaders’ Briefing on adopting innovative approaches to support children and families.
  • A webinar on Parental advocacy and an introduction to the IPAN toolkit.

Thinking beyond the pandemic 

COVID-19 has exposed and exacerbated longstanding inequalities in the UK. For those planning and delivering child, adolescent and family services, responding in this context is a challenge, however there is significant learning from experiences during the pandemic that can inform future social care leadership and practice. 

Planned resources

Working with men

Research shows that when fathers are positively involved with their families, children benefit cognitively, socially, emotionally and developmentally. Studies also show fathers’ often limited presence in case files, child protection conferences and home visits. The first large-scale study of fathers involved in repeat (or recurrent) care proceedings in England argued for the importance of understanding the vulnerabilities of recurrent fathers and of challenging certain assumptions in child welfare and family justice practices. They concluded that there is a need for bespoke or adapted services that may be more responsive to particular circumstances of recurrent fathers and couples.

This topic will include the latest research messages to support social workers to best engage and involve fathers in child welfare work.

Planned resources

Responsive resources 

Throughout the year we will be responding to Partner feedback to develop resources that respond to emerging or immediate needs. 

Children's Delivery Programme 21 22

Children's topics

Each topic area includes learning such as resources, publications, workshops and more to support evidence-informed practice with children, young people and families.
View the topics