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 proceedings project evaluation

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

London Boroughs of Camden and Islington

Adoption Consortium development

A review of the structure and operation of the Consortium, to ensure that its aims were realistic, achievable and challenging enough at a time of considerable scrutiny of adoption services, and to help members establish joint priorities and effective joint commissioning of services.

West London Adoption Consortium

Recruitment of adoptive parents

Assessing the viability of establishing a joint recruitment team across the six local authorities in the North London Adoption Consortium. Including an analysis of recruitment activity in each authority, identification of challenges and opportunities of a joint recruitment team, and a report with recommendations and a proposed action plan for running a joint team as a one-year pilot. Followed by a review of the team eight months into the pilot, with options for the future.

Commissioned by NLAC

Adoption Consortium development

Consultation with members of the Consortium and a review of their current activity, to make a proposal about future development of the Consortium to present to Assistant Directors of the six local authorities and four VAAs involved.

South London Adoption Consortium

Post-adoption support

A scoping review of post-adoption support services across the Consortium of six local authorities, with recommendations for options for achieving greater consistency in the offer of services while maintaining the high standard of support available. 

Commissioned by North London Adoption Consortium

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

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