About the Research
>Three Welsh Local Authorities
>Three Child and Family Services Teams
>Thirty Children and Young People in Care
Talking Changes is a project designed to explore and develop social care practice in Wales in relation to children and young people in Local Authority care. It is funded under the Heath and Care Research Wales Post-Doctoral Fellowship awards scheme and was co-developed with a steering committee from Voices from Care Cymru.
It is well-established that those who have experienced state care go on to have poorer outcomes relating to education, mental health, and physical health.
New legislation was passed in Wales in 2014 with the aim of improving well-being and outcomes for all users of social care, including children and young people, by placing the principles of co-production and user-led practice at the heart of care.
This project will document the roll-out of this legislation in social care practice with children and young people. The research questions I seek to answer are:
How, in practice, are local authorities implementing the co-productive element of the Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act 2014 with children and young people in care?
How do the working cultures of the three teams affect that implementation?
Are young people experiencing their care as co-productive, wellbeing focused, and outcomes-based?
What are the best approaches to delivering and measuring co-productive, wellbeing-focused personal outcomes?
In collaboration with social workers, it will discover and seed best practice in co-producing well-being outcomes for children and young people in care.
Across 2019-2021 I will be working with three local authority children's services departments to explore how they are interpreting and using the co-production and well-being elements of the Act. I will be generating qualitative data with social workers and with children and young people in their care, and offering my research skills to help them develop areas of their practice that they identify as needing improvement. Together we will try and find the best evidence-based approaches to co-production and well-being, and monitor how they work in practice. Crucially, we will ask whether children and young people in care feel they help deliver improved well-being and participation.
Reports on the research and a toolkit of successful approaches to co-production and setting personal well-being outcomes will be published in 2021. Academic publications will supplement this work across the lifespan of the project.
If you have any questions about the project, or would like to be involved in some way, please contact me.