Practice tools and guides
Guidance, ideas and tools for developing evidence-informed practice.
Published: May 2019
Social workers, lawyers and judges have long been aware that some women return to court as respondents in care proceedings after having already experienced the removal of one or more children in previous proceedings. It is also recognised that a proportion of these women return to court on many occasions and lose multiple children to public care and adoption.
In 2017, a team at Lancaster University published the final report of a Nuffield-funded research study into Vulnerable Birth Mothers and Recurrent Care Proceedings (Broadhurst et al, 2017). The Lancaster team, Research in Practice and colleagues from the University of Essex wanted to collaborate to support the use of the research findings to inform more effective ways of working with this population. A Change Project provided an opportunity to work with a group of practice experts who were working to set up or improve support to parents (with a primary focus on mothers) in this situation.
This resource brings together material presented at the Change Project sessions with information, reflections and practice examples provided by those participating.
Designed for: Managers, commissioners and practitioners working in children’s social care, NHS Trusts, health services and third sector organisations.
Number of pages: 52
Published: Apr 2018
This resource is designed to support practitioners to use research evidence to structure their thinking in relation to intra-familial child sexual abuse (IFCSA). The idea is to use this alongside existing assessment processes, either while doing an assessment (to focus an analysis in relation to this issue) or when reviewing information that has already been gathered.
The three core sections address:
- Risks and vulnerabilities associated with IFCSA.
- Indicators (signs) associated with IFCSA.
- Factors that may protect children against IFCSA.
Aimed at: Practitioners working with children, young people and families - social workers, family support and youth workers.
Number of pages: 40
Product code: CH-PTL-007
Published: Dec 2017
The core role of social workers as experts in family court practice drives the need for robust pre-proceedings work and high quality written evidence, including analysis and care planning.
This Practice Tool brings together new and updated resources designed to build analytical skills, support the effective use of research to support decision-making, and prepare for cross-examination.
Aimed at: Social workers preparing and presenting evidence in court and their managers, case progression managers and heads of service in family courts work; children’s guardians, lawyers acting for the local authority, Independent Reviewing Officers.
Number of pages: 32
Product code: CH-PTL-006
Published: Jul 2017
This learning resources map has been developed to support professionals working with families, legal teams and in the family court. The map is primarily aimed at those preparing and presenting evidence for court, and focuses on robust pre-proceedings work and the quality of written evidence including assessment and care planning.
The quality of court work has been the focus of the Family Justice Review, Knowledge and Skills Statement and other policy initiatives and has been highlighted as an important contributor to achieve the 26-week target for care cases and the best outcomes for children.
Existing Research in Practice resources are highlighted within the resource to help professionals develop analytical skills and use research effectively to support decision-making.
Aimed at: Children’s guardians, lawyers acting for the local authority, IROs, case progression managers, social work managers, social workers preparing and presenting evidence in court.
Published: Apr 2017
Good reflective supervision facilitates safe practice with children and families.
This package of resources provides a summary of research evidence on reflective supervision alongside learning from practice, and tools to use in one to one and group supervision sessions.
The tools have been designed to support:
• Running group supervision
• Critical thinking and analysis
• Emotional resilience
These resources are the outputs of a Research in Practice Change Project.
Aimed at: Staff with supervisory responsibilities across early help, targeted support and statutory services with children and families.
A short video of the Camden group supervision model in action
Published: Mar 2017
This open access website provides resources for practitioners in making evidence-informed post-adoption contact plans and supporting birth relatives and adopters through contact and planning for their child.
The resources cover:
- Planning and reviewing contact plans
- Supporting birth relatives
- Supporting adopters
- Listening to children
- Letterbox contact
Each section contains:
- Research briefings and practical tools for training and working with families.
- Exercises and case studies to consolidate learning.
- Video and audio testimonies from children, birth and adoptive families on contact and support.
‘Contact: making good decisions for children in public law’, was a joint project between Research in Practice and the University of East Anglia which brought together practitioners from local authorities and national organisations to work with Professor Elsbeth Neil and independent social worker Polly Baynes to develop these resources.
Aimed at: Those involved in making, reviewing and supporting plans for post-adoption contact.
These learning resources are open access.
Go to the contact after adoption website.
Published: Feb 2017
This is an open access resource.
This work was commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE) and is the original text from which the summary document ‘Tackling child sexual exploitation: Advice for Professionals’ has been drawn.
The document outlines the new civil definition of child sexual exploitation, developed by the Home Office and DfE, together with an overview of our current understanding of the issue and an evidence-informed set of principles for responding. This extended version of the ‘advice’ provides professionals with further background information about child sexual exploitation and offers additional commentary around some of the complexities of practically responding to the issue.
Aimed at: social workers and other children’s services professionals, the police, adult services professionals, teachers and other school staff, GPs, nurses (including school nurses), Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services practitioners, midwives, health visitors, early years professionals, youth workers, youth justice professionals, A&E staff, paediatricians, and voluntary and community workers.
Number of pages: 75
This PDF download is an open access resource.
Published: Jul 2016
The site includes materials to support learning in practice for LSCBs, social work and early help, police and criminal justice, health and education practitioners.
These learning resources are open access.
Go to the Serious Case Reviews website.
Published: May 2016
The Care Act 2014 and Children and Families Act 2014 (section 96) place new requirements on children’s and adult social care to identify young carers and assess their needs.
Set within the context of these two Acts, and with a focus on whole family approaches to working with young carers and their families, this Practice Tool aims to equip people working in children’s and adult services with skills and confidence to work with young carers and their families. This is not an assessment tool, but a tool to support practitioners to develop the skills needed to build relationships with young carers and their families.
- frontline practitioners in children’s and adult social care who work with young carers and their families
- workforce development teams delivering training to those working with young carers
- health and education professionals working with young carers, including those in Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
Number of pages: 23
Published: Feb 2016
Support professional development with this resource which maps Research in Practice's extensive catalogue of resources against the ten requirements of assessment laid out by the Knowledge and Skills Statement, and includes a template to record Continuous Professional Development and evidence of learning against each statement.
Aimed at: ASYEs, social workers, supervisors and team managers, learning and development leads, Principal Social Workers and practice leaders.
Number of pages: 13
This PDF download is an open access resource.