Research in Practice has a long history of collaborative partnerships – working with other leading organisations to strive for improved outcomes for children.
Our aim in these collaborations is to bring the expertise of our network to develop materials that help meet specific challenges, to inform regional or national policy direction and to provide new and innovative services for professionals at all levels.
Delivering support to fostering and adoption teams
Research in Practice is working with TACT and Action for Children (two of our Partners) to design and deliver a range of resources and train-the-trainer events to enable those working in fostering and adoption to support carers and adopters. The aim is to offer social workers, IROs, supervisors and managers an opportunity to increase their fostering and/or adoption specific knowledge and skills, in order to better support foster carers and adopters. This work has been commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE).
Supporting family justice reforms in Wales
We have been commissioned by the Care Council for Wales to deliver a blended learning programme to support the implementation of the Family Justice Reforms in Wales. Much of the programme focuses on the core social work practice requirements that underpin the revised Public Law Outline. As a result of attending the programme, practitioners from across Wales will have the opportunity to review and refine their skills, as well as gaining increased confidence in the use of evidence-based tools and approaches that will enable them to meet the requirements of the Reforms.
Building research capacity in local authorities
The Local Authorities Research Consortium (LARC) is a collaboration between Research in Practice and the National Foundation for Educational Research. LARC brings together local authorities to use local evidence to explore how they can commission and/or deliver effective services. The LARC model involves assisting staff at local level to develop their skills in relation to evaluation, cost-effectiveness, identifying and evidencing impact, data collection and analysis. LARC contributes to sector-led improvement by supporting local areas to share and learn and to create new knowledge that can be shared with the whole sector. The national reports produced by LARC can be found here.
Establishing what is effective in achieving permanence for vulnerable children
Research in Practice joined seven other specialist charities (Adoption UK, British Association of Adoption & Fostering, Family Rights Group, The Fostering Network, TACT, The Together Trust and The Who Cares? Trust) to form The Care Inquiry – an inquiry into how best to provide stable and permanent homes for children in England who cannot live with their birth families.
The aim is to identify what is known to be effective in achieving permanence – not simply to produce another report, but to proactively influence central government in order to ensure the policy context in which the sector operates is evidence-informed and child-centred. This collaboration launched its report in April 2013 and continues to push for change in relation to how looked after children and young people are supported to achieve permanence.
Developing social care standards
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) awarded the contract to provide the NICE Collaborating Centre for Social Care to a partnership of five organisations including Research in Practice. We join the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE, who will lead the Centre), Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre (EPPI-Centre), Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) and Research in Practice for Adults.
The new Centre is instrumental to NICE taking on new responsibilities in relation to social care – as set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2012. This is an opportunity for Research in Practice to contribute our experience of using evidence to inform practice; to shape what social care standards will look like – drawing on work with our Partners to ensure that the guidance reflects practice trends whilst being rooted in research.
Supporting Team Managers
In partnership with the Institute of Public Care (IPC) and the University of Glamorgan, Research in Practice delivers a learning and development programme to social work managers across Wales. Now in its twelfth course, this programme has been well evaluated and continues to provide valuable support to this critically important tier of the social care system.