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.

Themed audit of older children in care proceedings

Working with local authorities in England and Wales to analyse tracked data and electronic social care records for children. To increase understanding of the circumstances of children 10 and older in proceedings; identify the reasons for care, including extra-familial harm and exploitation; and learn more about the overlap between family justice, youth justice and deprivation of liberty. A project arising out of six years of tracking cases in four local authorities by the South London Care Proceedings Project (SLCPP).

In collaboration with Celia Parker, and commissioned by Research in Practice as part of the Nuffield FJO programme looking at young people in the Family Justice system.

Parker, C. and Tunnard, J. (2021) Why are older children in care proceedings? A themed audit in four local authorities. London: Nuffield Family Justice Observatory

Disseminating the learning from ‘Six Years on Track’ by the SLCPP

Promoting the methodology, findings and practice recommendations arising from the ‘stories behind the statistics’ of this case-file audit across four local authorities of children’s current circumstances, six years after the end of care proceedings.

In collaboration with Celia Parker, and commissioned by Research in Practice and the South London Care Proceedings Project.

Online Community of Practice for services supporting parents who experience recurrent care proceedings April 2020- July 2021.

Working as part of a team (Research in Practice, Universities of Lancaster and Essex, and Pause) to support the set up of an online community of practice for all services working to support parents who have had more than one experience of losing their children to care proceedings. The work has involved supporting regular online sessions and events, developing a website of resources, and mapping all the different services working in this area. Funded by Public Health England and the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory.


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

Evaluating the family drug and alcohol court – second stage

Acting as consultant research fellows to the second stage of the evaluation of the Family Drug and Alcohol Court, we are exploring whether the findings from the first stage are sustained across a larger sample of cases and looking at the longer-term outcomes for children who returned home.

Commissioned by Nuffield Foundation and Brunel University

Understanding increases in the numbers of children subject to child protection planning and looked after services

The analytical framework methodology was applied to an audit of need to understand the reasons for rises in the number of children looked after by the local authority and in those supported by child protection plans.

Commissioned by Herefordshire Safeguarding Children Board

FDAC Development Project

A partnership with Ernst & Young, to develop a blueprint for the wider roll-out of FDAC, set out the business case for the FDAC model, and suggest different funding options.

Commissioned by London Borough of Camden on behalf of the Department for Education

Research briefing – the cost benefits of Early Intervention

A research briefing for local authority councillors summarising the key research findings, good practice and policy developments in relation to early intervention and its potential cost benefits.

Research in Practice

Research briefings for local authority councillors

A series of research briefings with the aim of providing information about key research findings, good practice, and policy developments that will help councillors improve outcomes for children and families in need by ensuring that adequate and effective services are provided for them.

Protecting children from significant harm.

Commissioned by research in practice and I&DEA

Evaluation of the pilot Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC)

Acting as consultant research fellows to the team evaluating this pilot problem-solving court at the Inner-London Family Proceedings Court. The project included a descriptive study of how the pilot was set up, plus an evaluation of outcomes for children and parents whose cases are heard in the FDAC, as compared with cases dealt with through normal care proceedings.