account arrow-down-linearrow-down-small arrow-downarrow-download arrow-left-small arrow-leftarrow-link arrow-rightarrow-upawarded books calendar close-modal closedate delete document education emailevent facebookhamburger impact instagramjustice linkedin location-outline location opinion page phonepinterestplay plusplyr-pause plyr-play post preview project publication reports search-bigsearch share star-full star-open startime twitterwelfare youtube zoom-in zoom-out

Feasibility study for research into improving children’s social services

Researchers: Matt Barnard | Ivana La Valle

Project overview


This feasibility study is examining fundamental questions about the definition of a ‘good’ service for children in need, as well as ways of accurately assessing whether that standard has been reached. Evidence on these questions will pave the way for a fuller investigation of exactly how these standards have been achieved, sustained or eluded in a sample of local authorities that reflect different journeys between success and failure.

The feasibility study consists of:

  • A review of the literature on what works in delivering effective children’s social care and how service improvement can be achieved and embedded.
  • A review of current national measures and existing national datasets used to assess the effectiveness of children’s social care, which will identify gaps and suggest how the national statistical evidence could be improved.
  • The development of a typology of local authorities based on their children’s social services performance and capacity to improve, or lack thereof.
Context

Some local authorities appear to have become trapped in an apparent cycle of failure when it comes to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in need. There is evidence that action taken in response to critical Ofsted inspections often fails to deliver sustained improvement, suggesting that understanding why things go wrong and what constitutes success does not necessarily translate into the ability to improve practice.

Alongside this is the question of how best to accurately assess the quality of children’s services. The current inspection programme is resulting in falling Ofsted ratings, but the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, the Local Government Association and the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives are questioning whether this approach is either accurate or helpful.

Team


  • Matt Barnard
    Anna Freud Centre
  • Ivana La Valle
    University of East London

  • Director, Justice
    Nuffield Foundation
  • Mark-Franks-Nuffield-Foundation-Together-alone-connecting-individual-and-collective-well-being-through-our-work-in-welfare
    Director, Welfare
    Nuffield Foundation

Explore our projects

Girl with mum reading School availability parental labour supply and family wellbeing
New

Welfare | 2020 - 2021

COVID-19 and school availability: impact on parental labour supply and well-being

View project
New

Welfare | 2020 - 2022

Pension saving over the lifecycle

View project
New

Education | 2020 - 2022

Evaluating the short- and medium-term impacts of Sure Start

View project
Older-man-reads-textbook-Assembling-data-jigsaw-Greater-Manchester-PROJ
In progress

Welfare | 2020 - 2024

Assembling the data jigsaw: powering robust population research in MSK disease

View project
Medical-professional-massages-patient-knee-Understanding-joint-replacement-surgery-decision-making-for-older-patients-PROJ
In progress

Welfare | 2020 - 2023

Supporting older patients to make informed decisions about knee surgery

View project
Woman-medical-professional-treats-patient-impact-MSK-conditions-outcomes-other-illnesses-PROJ
In progress

Welfare | 2020 - 2022

The impact of musculoskeletal conditions on outcomes of other illnesses

View project
Female-nurse-sees-patient-in-office-Integrating-enriched-longitudinal-data-North-Staffordshire-Stoke-on-Trent-PROJ
In progress

Welfare | 2020 - 2025

Enriched data integration for population musculoskeletal health intelligence

View project
Older-man-and-woman-walk-together-Geographical-mapping-prevalence-outcomes-MSK-conditions-Wales-Scotland-PROJ
In progress

Welfare | 2020 - 2022

Mapping rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease in Scotland and Wales

View project
In progress

Welfare | 2020 - 2022

Older people in England: the geography of challenges and opportunities

View project
Senior-woman-enjoys-video-call-on-smartphone-Social-cohesion-in-context-of-COVID-19-PROJ
In progress

Welfare | 2020 - 2021

Social cohesion in the context of COVID-19

View project
Toddler-gleefully-eats-baked-beans-How-COVID-19-is-affecting-food-security-proj
In progress

Welfare | 2020 - 2021

How the COVID-19 crisis is affecting food security

View project
In progress

Welfare | 2020 - 2022

Vulnerability, migration and well-being: experiences, perceptions and barriers

View project
New

Welfare | 2020 - 2022

Pension saving over the lifecycle

View project
Girl with mum reading School availability parental labour supply and family wellbeing
New

Welfare | 2020 - 2021

COVID-19 and school availability: impact on parental labour supply and well-being

View project
New

Education | 2020 - 2022

Evaluating the short- and medium-term impacts of Sure Start

View project
Serious-teenage-girl-gestures-as-sits-on-couch-in-school-counselor-office-Mental-health-service-provision-for-children-state-care-England-PROJ
In progress

Justice | 2020 - 2021

Mental health service provision for children in state care in England

View project
In progress

Justice | 2020 - 2022

Youth custody: Educational influences and labour market consequences

View project
In progress

Welfare | 2020 - 2022

Vulnerability, migration and well-being: experiences, perceptions and barriers

View project
Toddler-gleefully-eats-baked-beans-How-COVID-19-is-affecting-food-security-proj
In progress

Welfare | 2020 - 2021

How the COVID-19 crisis is affecting food security

View project
In progress

Welfare | 2020 - 2022

Older people in England: the geography of challenges and opportunities

View project
Senior-woman-enjoys-video-call-on-smartphone-Social-cohesion-in-context-of-COVID-19-PROJ
In progress

Welfare | 2020 - 2021

Social cohesion in the context of COVID-19

View project
Teenage-girl-looks-at-smartphone-next-to-laptop-Growing-up-under-COVID-19-PROJ
In progress

Education | Welfare | 2020 - 2021

Growing up under COVID-19

View project
In progress

Welfare | 2020 - 2022

COVID-19 social study

View project
Empty-street-with-cyclist-and-pedestrian-in-distance-Law-and-compliance-during-COVID-19-PROJ
In progress

Justice | 2020 - 2021

Law and compliance during COVID-19

View project
New

Welfare | 2020 - 2022

Pension saving over the lifecycle

View project
Girl with mum reading School availability parental labour supply and family wellbeing
New

Welfare | 2020 - 2021

COVID-19 and school availability: impact on parental labour supply and well-being

View project
New

Education | 2020 - 2022

Evaluating the short- and medium-term impacts of Sure Start

View project
Serious-teenage-girl-gestures-as-sits-on-couch-in-school-counselor-office-Mental-health-service-provision-for-children-state-care-England-PROJ
In progress

Justice | 2020 - 2021

Mental health service provision for children in state care in England

View project
In progress

Justice | 2020 - 2022

Youth custody: Educational influences and labour market consequences

View project
In progress

Welfare | 2020 - 2022

Vulnerability, migration and well-being: experiences, perceptions and barriers

View project
Toddler-gleefully-eats-baked-beans-How-COVID-19-is-affecting-food-security-proj
In progress

Welfare | 2020 - 2021

How the COVID-19 crisis is affecting food security

View project
In progress

Welfare | 2020 - 2022

Older people in England: the geography of challenges and opportunities

View project
Senior-woman-enjoys-video-call-on-smartphone-Social-cohesion-in-context-of-COVID-19-PROJ
In progress

Welfare | 2020 - 2021

Social cohesion in the context of COVID-19

View project
Teenage-girl-looks-at-smartphone-next-to-laptop-Growing-up-under-COVID-19-PROJ
In progress

Education | Welfare | 2020 - 2021

Growing up under COVID-19

View project
In progress

Welfare | 2020 - 2022

COVID-19 social study

View project
Empty-street-with-cyclist-and-pedestrian-in-distance-Law-and-compliance-during-COVID-19-PROJ
In progress

Justice | 2020 - 2021

Law and compliance during COVID-19

View project
Reported

Welfare | 2013 - 2017

IFS Green Budget 2013 – 2016

View project
Reported

Welfare | 2013 - 2016

Data about fathers in birth cohort studies (Life Study)

View project
Reported

Welfare | 2017 - 2017

General Election 2017

View project
Reported

Justice | Welfare | 2015 - 2018

Bridging the Evidence Gap in Family Proceedings

View project
Reported

Justice | 2016 - 2018

The impact of Litigants in Person on the Northern Ireland court system

View project
Reported

Justice | 2016 - 2017

Transparency and privacy in family courts

View project
Reported

Welfare | 2018 - 2018

Interdisciplinary conference on evidence use in policy

View project
Reported

Justice | 2016 - 2019

Implementation of recommendations of the Carlile report

View project
Reported

Justice | 2017 - 2020

Enhancing problem-solving practice in youth court

View project
Reported

Welfare | 2019 - 2020

Valuing data: foundations for data policy

View project
Reported

Justice | 2008 - 2012

The impact of anti-social behaviour interventions on young people

View project
Reported

Welfare | 2018 - 2019

Overview of the major ethical issues arising from data, algorithms and AI

View project
Search projects

We aim to improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

We are an open, collaborative and engaged funder that offers more than money. Through connecting the individual projects we fund, we strengthen their collective impact and give voice to an overarching narrative.

Profile