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.

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

Parents’ experiences of the child protection process

Interviews with 21 parents with children on a child protection plan, to seek their views and recommendations for practice, as part of a wide review about the effectiveness of the local child protection process.

London Borough of Ealing

Review of residential services, including short breaks, for children with severe and complex disabilities

A needs analysis and review of provision of residential, short-break and other services for children with severe and complex disabilities, including a case audit  and consultation with stakeholders, to inform the commissioning strategy for future service provision.

London Borough of Islington

Reducing delay in care proceedings

We are part of a small team of project managers for 20 London local authorities working in clusters – together with the courts, CAFCASS, lawyers and providers of assessments – to reduce unnecessary delay for children who are the subject of care proceedings.

Commissioned by Capital Ambition

The Care Inquiry

We co-ordinated the work of the 8 children’s charities reviewing the evidence about what is effective in securing a sense of permanence for children who cannot live with their parents. The final report describes the activities of the Inquiry, including sessions involving over 200 adult participants and a national consultation exercise with 100 children and young people.

Commissioned by Adoption UK, British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF), Family Rights Group, the Fostering Network, Research in Practice, TACT, the Together Trust, and the Who Cares? Trust.

Delivering service improvement

A project that uses the analytical framework to underpin the authority’s improvement programme for staff at all levels in and across the organisation.

Commissioned by Sandwell Council

Health and well-being in the youth justice system

We developed materials to help health and social care commissioners draw on national data, collect local evidence of need, and understand the legal and policy levers for providing high-quality care to vulnerable young people. The templates and toolkit are on the youth justice pages of the ChiMat website http://www.chimat.org.uk/yj/hwbna

Commissioned by Department of Health

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