The What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care: Development Team

The What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care will be a new project to foster evidence-informed practice in England.

Commissioned by the Department for Education, the Centre will be established as an independent organisation by 2020. This initiative is being supported by a Development Team that will set up the Centre, and a research partner, that will start to synthesise evidence and generate new research and products.

The Development Team is a consortium, led by Nesta and its Alliance for Useful Evidence, that will develop the new Centre. The consortium includes the Social Care Institute for Excellence, FutureGov and Traversum.

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Practitioners’ Events: December 2017 and January 2018

The Development Team held a series of four events for practitioners to help gather detailed information and perspectives on:

The events were aimed at:

  • Children’s social work practitioners such as frontline social workers, team managers, principal social workers, senior managers, practice leaders (e.g. Heads of Service and Assistant Directors)
  • Other practitioners in the children’s social care system (e.g. non-qualified workers in residential care, family support workers, personal advisers and independent advocates)
  • Practitioners in other services relevant to vulnerable children and young people (e.g. education, health, youth work, and the youth/criminal justice system).

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Practitioners’ Panel

We are recruiting a range of members (8 to 10) with good knowledge and practical experience of children’s social care to join our Practitioners’ Panel. We aim to reflect experience and diversity across the sector. Panel members will include:

Closing date for applications was : 5pm Monday 29 January 2018

Further updates to follow.

Next steps

The Development Team is keen to work closely with the sector – including frontline professionals, children, young people and families, managers, researchers and policy makers in establishing the new centre.

Phase 1: October 2017 – June 2018

The Team will engage with the sector, and research the use of evidence, the policy environment, and sources and dissemination of evidence. They will also design the organisation and start to recruit the executive team for the future Centre.

Phase 2: June 2018 – June 2020

The Team will provide mentoring and support to the new executive team to help the development of the Centre as an independent organisation.

Phase 3: June 2020 onwards

The Development Team’s role comes to an end and the Centre will be an autonomous, independent and sustainable organisation.

Development Team partners

The Development Team is a consortium led by Nesta and its Allliance for Useful Evidence which will support the set-up of the future What Works for Children centre. It is NOT the Centre itself.

Greg Wilkinson is the Programme Director for the Development Team.

The Development Team – led by Nesta who are the lead contractor - will report to the DfE and have an independent advisory group to provide the programme with expert challenge and support.