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Recent publications

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Online abuse – recognition and response: Frontline Briefing

upcoming publications Published: Nov 2017

Online abuse – recognition and response: Frontline Briefing

Online abuse is any type of abuse that happens on the web, whether through social networks, playing online games or using mobile phones. Children and young people may be subjected to cyberbullying, grooming, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or emotional abuse.

Practitioners working with children and young people need to understand the risks that young people face online and be equipped with the knowledge and skills to safeguard them effectively.

This Frontline Briefing outlines key messages on the risks that children and young people face from online abuse and highlights approaches for working with children and young people who are experiencing or engaging in online abuse.

Aimed at: Professionals working directly with children and young people who are at risk of experiencing or engaging in online abuse.

Social work practice in the family court: Practice Tool

upcoming publications Published: Nov 2017

Social work practice in the family court: Practice Tool

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.

Deprivation of liberty in relation to children and young people: Strategic Briefing

upcoming publications Published: Nov 2017

Deprivation of liberty in relation to children and young people: Strategic Briefing

The deprivation of liberty for children and young people is a complex and sensitive area of practice with an evolving legal framework. This Strategic Briefing considers the legal basis to support local authorities in decision-making in this field of work.

Aimed at: Senior managers, Assistant Directors, heads of service, children’s guardians, family support workers, children’s home managers.

Working Effectively to Address Child Sexual Exploitation: Evidence Scope (2017)

evidence scopes Published: Oct 2017

Working Effectively to Address Child Sexual Exploitation: Evidence Scope (2017)

Protecting children and young people from sexual exploitation is a challenging area of practice across all sectors, including health, education, the police and third sector organisations, as well as social care and social work.

This Evidence Scope aims to support local areas in the continual development of child sexual exploitation (CSE) services by reviewing and critically appraising relevant evidence. It brings together evidence that supports interventions and multi-agency and inter-professional approaches to working to improve outcomes for young people who may be affected by CSE.

The resource, produced by Research in Practice, was commissioned by Wigan and Rochdale councils as part of the Greater Manchester project on CSE, funded by the Department for Education Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme.

Please note. This resource was first published in September 2015 by Jan Webb and Dez Holmes. The Evidence Scope has been revised and republished in October 2017 by Jessica Eaton and Dez Holmes to reflect new evidence and practice wisdom.

Aimed at: All social care practitioners.

Number of pages: 100

This PDF download is an open access resource.

Working effectively with men in families – including fathers in children's social care: Frontline Briefing (2017)

frontline resources Published: Jul 2017

Working effectively with men in families – including fathers in children's social care: Frontline Briefing (2017)

This briefing focuses on including and working with fathers where children’s welfare or safety is a concern, and the practice issues raised by domestic abuse.

In particular, it reflects on practice messages from research in relation to three inter-related areas:

  • Early intervention
  • Family support
  • Child protection

The briefing should be read alongside the accompanying Frontline Tool: Working effectively with men in families – practice pointers for including fathers in children’s social care – where suggestions for practice are set out more extensively.

Aimed at: Child and family social workers and their frontline managers.

Number of pages: 20
Preview available
Product code: CH-FBR-010

Working effectively with men in families – practice pointers for including fathers in children's social care: Frontline Tool (2017)

frontline resources Published: Jul 2017

Working effectively with men in families – practice pointers for including fathers in children's social care: Frontline Tool (2017)

'Fathers in child protection are rarely either "all bad" or "all good". Fathers are important to children, and (like mothers) most present a combination of positive and negative factors. Men and social workers need to recognise and work with this so that, wherever possible, children can stay safe and be involved with their fathers.' (Brandon et al, 2017)

This tool sets out key practice pointers to help include fathers in children’s social care and should be read alongside the accompanying Frontline Briefing: Working effectively with men in families – including fathers in children’s social care.

Aimed at: Child and family social workers and their frontline managers.

Number of pages: 12
Preview available
Product code: CH-FBT-017

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) – identifying and responding in practice with families: Frontline Briefing (2017)

frontline resources Published: Jul 2017

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) – identifying and responding in practice with families: Frontline Briefing (2017)

Exposure to alcohol before birth can lead to development of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs), the most important preventable cause of brain damage in children. Effects range from disabilities to damage which increases the risk of violent and criminal behaviour in later life. Many children, including those in care, are given multiple inaccurate diagnoses.

There is an urgent need to recognise prenatal alcohol exposure at an early stage and to develop pathways for diagnosis, assessment and support. This briefing introduces practitioners working with children and families to key research and practice surrounding FASDs, including:

  • What constitutes a dangerous level of alcohol intake during pregnancy.
  • The impact on the fetus, child and family at different stages of development.
  • How to identify and respond to FASDs, including appropriate referral.
  • Guidance on prevention and management.

Aimed at: Early help, targeted support and statutory services with children and families.

Number of pages: 20
Preview available
Product code: CH-FBT-010

Note on terminology: After much discussion with the author and peer reviewers we have used the spelling ‘fetal’ rather than ‘foetal’ throughout this publication. Fetal is the internationally agreed (including by the UK) diagnostic term used by those working within this field.

Comparing placement options to meet children and young people's current and future needs: Strategic Briefing (2017)

strategic briefings Published: Jul 2017

Comparing placement options to meet children and young people's current and future needs: Strategic Briefing (2017)

This briefing sets out key messages from an evidence review commissioned and published by the Department for Education in March 2017, which aimed to provide judicial and local authority decision-makers with an independent summary of relevant research evidence that focuses on comparative outcomes of different placement options.

The review brought together an accessible summary of key research findings on two themes:

  • The impacts of abuse and neglect on children.
  • The strengths and weaknesses of different types of long-term placements in relation to their impact on children.

This briefing focuses on the second of these themes to help leaders and decision-makers think about how they can influence and organise local policy development and services to meet the current and future needs of children and young people.

Aimed at: Local authority strategic leaders and decision-makers, though it will also be of interest to frontline managers and their staff in local authority Children's Services.

Number of pages: 16
Preview available

Public Law Outline: Mapping Resource (open access)

practice tools and guides Published: Jul 2017

Public Law Outline: Mapping Resource (open access)

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.

View the Mapping Resource.

Workforce perspectives on harmful sexual behaviour: Research Report (open access)

evidence scopes Published: Jul 2017

Workforce perspectives on harmful sexual behaviour: Research Report (open access)

This open access report, published in partnership with the National Children’s Bureau, outlines findings from a national survey of over 500 professionals combined with local research. This is the seventh research project undertaken by the Local Authorities Research Consortium (LARC).

The report examines the current knowledge, skills and confidence of the children’s workforce in relation to working with children and young people who are displaying Harmful Sexual Behaviour (HSB). It highlights some of the challenges, what works well to develop capabilities, and what further support may be needed.

Aimed at: Managers across the multi-agency partnership, in particular those with a role in workforce development.

This PDF download is an open access resource.

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