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 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

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

Review of FGC service

A desktop review of the local authority’s Family Group Conference service, to provide information about its impact, set in the context of national and international research findings about the use of FGCs.

London Borough of Islington

Review of fostering services

A review of the fostering service, commissioned to inform decision making by senior managers about the structure and organisation of the service, with particular focus on the recruitment of new foster carers and the supervision and support provided to approved carers.

London Borough of Enfield

Formulating Pathway Plan

Working with a young woman in residential care to help her understand her mother’s history, her own history and how decisions have been made about her life. Then working with the young woman and all those involved in her life, including her mother and residential workers, to formulate a pathway plan that focused on her pressing need to understand her relationship with her family and with others and to manage relationships safely.

London Borough of Southwark

Care proceedings project evaluation

Evaluating the impact of the Bi-Borough Care Proceedings Project in its second year.

London Boroughs of Camden and Islington

Assessment and care management and the Family Justice Review

A series of national workshops about how current policy changes, including the Munro Review and the Family Justice Reforms, seek to improve the effectiveness of care planning. Participants applied the analytical assessment framework to their own cases, to evidence sound analysis and robust, research-based plans, as required by the revised Public Law Outline.

Research in Practice

Preparing for the implementation of a new electronic recording system

Producing practice guidance and case exemplars, based on the analytical assessment framework, to be embedded into the borough’s new electronic recording system so that the system supports good social work practice. Followed by workshops for practitioners and their managers, to introduce the analytical framework as the basis for planning for all children, in preparation for the transfer to the new electronic system. The system has been developed to incorporate all types of plans, from single assessments to pathway plans, and the analytical framework provides a unifying approach to formulating the plans.

London Borough of Southwark

Developing effective care plans

In light of the Children and Families Act 2014, key messages to support those working with looked after children and young people: social workers and their managers; IROs; carers and supervising social workers; and prospective adopters.


DfE, via a partnership between Research in Practice, Action for Children, and TACT