Our Work

We work with children’s services - social care, youth justice, education and health - in England and Wales, with central government departments, and with a wide range of voluntary organisations.

Although our current work reflects the changing themes and concerns in children’s services, our approach and our aims stay the same – to make a real and lasting difference to the lives of vulnerable children.

Care Crisis Review

Working with FRG who facilitated this England and Wales Review, prompted by the rise in care proceedings and number of children in care, and funded by the Nuffield Foundation. The Review findings were launched in London and Cardiff in July 2018. Social care and family justice stakeholders are now engaged in pursuing the Review’s 20 suggestions about possible changes to local authority and court systems, and national and local policies and practice, to help manage demand in ways that are consistent with achieving the best outcomes for children.

For all the documents about the Review’s activities and findings, including our report about Options for Change, the academic review of evidence about factors contributing to the crisis, and analysis of survey responses from practitioners and family members, click here.


Research in Practice Change Project on Recurrent Care

Project management of this RiP change project, run together with Lancaster and Essex Universities, working with representatives from 12 local authorities on setting up, or further developing, services for women who have had children removed more than once through care proceedings. The project runs from November 2017 to Autumn 2018.

Commissioned by RiP

FDAC Research Update

As members of the Brunel/Lancaster University research team, we have completed 2 further studies about FDAC.

One is about outcomes 5 years on. It finds that FDAC continues to do better than ordinary care proceedings in terms of substance misuse cessation and family reunification.

The other study is about FDAC court practice across England. It finds that all FDAC judges observed are implementing the problem-solving model and wish to extend it to other types of care cases.

Commissioned by the Department for Education

Care planning and good practice

A series of three-day workshops for practitioners and their managers and supervisors, IROs, and those chairing safeguarding and children in need conferences. Day 1 explores the extent to which the statutory framework (including recent legislative change) supports good social work practice with children and families. Day 2 introduces the analytical assessment framework and focuses on how it supports good practice in general and the formulation and implementation of effective plans in particular. Day 3 is a case study workshop: participants bring their own cases and work together applying the analytical framework to produce plans that are needs led and outcome focused.

Essex County Council

Assessment and Planning for local PAUSE team

Running a series of case study workshops with a newly established PAUSE team, to introduce the analytical framework as a way of supporting sound assessment and a planning process that is easy to understand, allowing women clients to become equal partners in identifying their needs and developing plans to address them.

London Borough of Southwark

The FDAC (Family Drug and Alcohol Court) National Unit

In the year to March 2016, RyanTunnardBrown are co-partners of the FDAC National Unit and members of the Unit’s implementation team. The work builds on the previous two years’ development work and is focused on rolling out the model to 11 local authorities in four different areas of England, building up the evidence base of outcomes for parents and children using FDAC and the case for sustainability and value for money, as well as providing advice and support to local authorities and courts working together to develop FDAC in their area.


Department for Education, Innovation Programme

Mental health needs of children in custody or secure accommodation – transfer to hospital under the Mental Health Act

Revising the protocol on transfer to hospital under the MHA of young people remanded or sentenced to custody, to align the document with current legislation and the reorganisation of the health service. Plus, developing and writing a new protocol, for the transfer to hospital under the MHA of looked after children placed in secure accommodation.

NHS England

FDAC (Family Drug and Alcohol Court)

During the two years to March 2015, working as part of a core development team supporting the roll out of FDAC beyond London and developing the model so that it can operate within the 26-week time limit for care proceedings and can be used for cases where domestic abuse and/or mental health problems are the precipitating factors for initiating proceedings. 

Department for Education

Evaluation of Bi-Borough Care Proceedings Project

Evaluating two years of the Bi-Borough Care Proceedings Project, a joint project between Camden and Islington local authorities, working with partners in the Courts and CAFCASS to reduce unnecessary delay in care proceedings.

London Boroughs of Camden and Islington

Project management of the South London Care Proceedings Project

Co-ordinating the work of a consortium of local authority senior managers, the judiciary, local lawyers and Cafcass, as they collaborate to reduce unnecessary delay and improve decision making for children who are the subject of care proceedings.

London Boroughs of Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark

Needs audit of children under 12

An audit of case files of 100 children under 12, drawn from the service areas for looked after children, child protection, and children in need. To supplement the earlier work around vulnerable young people (see entry below), to provide a more complete understanding of the effectiveness of children’s services overall.

London Borough of Croydon