Matching Needs & Services – 2nd edition

One of the practice tools developed at Dartington as part of its common language work about children in need. It is an audit tool to help agencies collect information on the needs of children in order to plan and implement more effective services and evaluate them to see if they are having the desired effect. It identifies the principal groups of children in need in a local authority area and promotes communication between professionals from different agencies. It also provides a mechanism for incorporating the views of service users in identifying need and planning service responses.

Dartington Social Research Unit(1999)

Structure, Culture and Outcome: How to improve residential services for children

This tool can help design better residential services for children in need. It can be used as a stand-alone tool to reflect on what a residential placement for children in need is intended to achieve and how it can improve life for its residents, or it can be used in conjunction with Matching Needs & Services, above, to clarify the needs of the children being looked after and how residential placements can help achieve desired outcomes for them and the range of professional responses to them.

Dartington Social Research Unit(1999)

The Children Act 1989: Putting it into Practice (second edition)

A practical guide to those parts of the Children Act 1989 that relate to the provision of services by local authorities to children and families, dealing in particular with the powers and duties of local authorities in relation to children in need, child protection and care and supervision proceedings. It combines a discussion of the legal framework of the Act with information about good social and legal practice, relevant research and recent case law. It is grounded on the author’s practical experience of providing an advice and advocacy service for families and training for social workers, lawyers and other child care professionals.

Ashgate (1998)

Mechanisms for Empowerment: family group conferences and local family advocacy scheme

A chapter that describes two mechanisms for empowerment that were developed in the mid-1990s under the auspices of Family Rights Group, a national organisation with a long-standing reputation for promoting user participation in children and family services. The first is family group conferences – its development and philosophy, its introduction to the UK from New Zealand, early findings from research studies, and how it works in practice. The second mechanism is family advocacy – with comment on its slow growth, the impetus provided by the Children Act 1989, and the essential elements for successful local schemes.

In Cannan C and Warren C (eds) Social Action with Children and Families (1997) Routledge

The Family Drug and Alcohol Court Evaluation Project: Final Report

The final report of the evaluation of the first 18 months of the operation of this new approach to care proceedings. For more details see the current work and research sections of the website.

Commissioned by Nuffield Foundation and Brunel University

When to share information: best practice guidance for everyone working in the youth justice system

A practical guide for all practitioners and managers across services working with children and young people in contact with the youth justice system.

With Peter Smith. For the Department of Health, Department of Children, Schools and Families, the Ministry of Justice and the Youth Justice Board. Department of Health (2008)

The role of the court in cases concerning parental substance misuse and children at risk of harm

An article that links with our work evaluating the pilot Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC). For details of this problem-solving court approach, see our current work programme.

Harwin J and Ryan M (2007) Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law. Vol 29, Nos 3-4, Sept-Dec, pp 277-292.

Parental mental health problems – messages from research, policy and practice

A review that distils the findings of UK and international research about the impact of parental mental health problems on children and other family members. It supports the case for bridging the gap between adult and children’s services and draws out messages of particular relevance to those commissioning and delivering services for children and families.

Commissioned by Research in Practice (2004)