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Strategic briefings

Image: Strategic Briefings

A series of publications aimed at senior decision-makers working within children's services.

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

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

Care leaver transitions: Strategic Briefing (2017)

Published: Apr 2017

Care leaver transitions: Strategic Briefing (2017)

This briefing presents the latest research and practice evidence on how to provide the best quality support to care leavers. It highlights innovative and cost-effective approaches to enable evidence-informed local policy making, service redesign and commissioning.

The emerging policy landscape of different transition pathways for young people not in further education, employment or training (NEET), is also explored, along with their entitlements.

Aimed at: Assistant Directors, heads of service, anyone who commissions or provides commissioned services in this area.

Number of pages: 16
Preview available.
Product code: CH-SBR-010
Measuring the wellbeing of looked after children - current approaches and future recommendations: Strategic Briefing (2016)

Published: Jul 2016

Measuring the wellbeing of looked after children - current approaches and future recommendations: Strategic Briefing (2016)

This briefing sets out a range of approaches to measuring and evaluating wellbeing and mental health outcomes for looked after children. It contains practical advice for using existing datasets to monitor the wellbeing of the looked after population and proposes additional tools, measures and methods to improve our understanding of the impact of services and interventions on children's wellbeing and mental health.

Aimed at: Senior managers, Assistant Directors, Heads of Service, workforce development and human resources leads, commissioners, voluntary organisations’ commissioning and delivery teams.

Number of pages: 24
Preview available.
Product code: CH-SBR-009
Building emotional resilience in the children and families workforce – an evidence-informed approach: Strategic Briefing (2016)

Published: Jul 2016

Building emotional resilience in the children and families workforce – an evidence-informed approach: Strategic Briefing (2016)

This briefing provides strategic managers with evidence-informed messages regarding the organisational approaches and personal competencies that underpin emotional resilience in frontline staff. It also highlights ways in which emotional resilience and wellbeing can be enhanced at each level using carefully-targeted interventions.

Aimed at: Senior decision-makers working within Children’s Services and wider partner agencies.

Number of pages: 16
Preview available.
Product code: CH-SBR-008
Independent Reviewing Officers: Strategic Briefing (2015)

Published: Dec 2015

Independent Reviewing Officers: Strategic Briefing (2015)

The Children and Families Act 2014, a number of recent research projects and Serious Case Review (SCR) evidence all highlight themes that have implications for Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) services.

This briefing explores the progress made to implement key messages from research in the increasingly uncertain and complex operation context. It also sets out key elements needed to grow increasingly effective IRO services. It supports a growing view that IRO services cannot be seen in isolation and must be seen through the lens of a whole-system perspective.

Aimed at: Managers of IRO services.

Number of pages: 16
Preview available.
Product code: CH-SBR-007
Social work recruitment and retention: Strategic Briefing [open access download] (2015)

Published: Jul 2015

Social work recruitment and retention: Strategic Briefing [open access download] (2015)

Recruiting and retaining high quality and experienced practitioners is essential. This briefing focuses on research into the factors that influence recruitment and retention and the 'push' and 'pull' factors that influence social workers. The resource draws on learning from pilot projects and interesting local approaches. It includes tools and ideas to help managers think about maximising the well-being of their workforce.

Aimed at: Senior decision makers, managers and supervisors in children's services.

Number of pages: 20
Preview available.

This PDF download is an open access resource.
Social work recruitment and retention: Strategic Briefing [hard copy] (2015)

Published: Jul 2015

Social work recruitment and retention: Strategic Briefing [hard copy] (2015)

Recruiting and retaining high quality and experienced practitioners is essential. This briefing focuses on research into the factors that influence recruitment and retention and the 'push' and 'pull' factors that influence social workers. The resource draws on learning from pilot projects and interesting local approaches. It includes tools and ideas to help managers think about maximising the well-being of their workforce.

Aimed at: Senior decision makers, managers and supervisors in children's services.

Number of pages: 20
Preview available.
Product code: CH- SBR-006
Special guardianship: Strategic Briefing (2015)

Published: Mar 2015

Special guardianship: Strategic Briefing (2015)

This briefing summarises existing evidence alongside findings from Jim Wade’s new research in order to demonstrate how policy and practice is evolving.

It explores how well special guardianship is working through an assessment of children’s progress three to six years after an order has been granted.

It will enable practitioners and managers to assess their approach in the light of this new research and consider its implications for support.

Number of pages: 16
Preview available.
Product Code: CH-SBR-004
Lifespan personalisation: Strategic Briefing (2015)

Published: Mar 2015

Lifespan personalisation: Strategic Briefing (2015)

The aligning of policy across children’s and adults’ services creates an opportunity to implement a lifespan approach to personalisation, improving outcomes for disabled children and young people, individuals and families, whilst reducing duplication and bureaucracy for the professionals working with them.

This briefing shares key research messages relating to personalisation and makes use of existing evidence to explore the challenges and opportunities of a lifespan approach to personalisation.

Number of pages: 20
Preview available.
Product code: CH-SBR-005
Building a business case for investment in edge of care services: Strategic Briefing (2014)

Published: Jul 2014

Building a business case for investment in edge of care services: Strategic Briefing (2014)

Protecting children and young people from significant harm is a vital statutory responsibility of local authorities. The briefing considers:
  • which groups of children and young people may benefit most from edge of care services
  • the key characteristics of effective edge of care services
  • the outcomes that children receiving edge of care services can achieve
  • the costs of providing effective edge of care services.


  • Number of pages: 16
    Preview available.
    Product code: CH-SBR-003
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