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

12 October 2017

Development Team starts to set up new What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care

For immediate release

Work is underway to establish a new centre to improve children’s social care and social work by fostering evidence-informed practice.

The What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care is being set up with support from a development team led by Nesta and its Alliance for Useful Evidence, in partnership with the Social Care Institute for Excellence, FutureGov and Traversum.

Following a competitive tender process, Robert Goodwill, Minister of State at the Department for Education, made the announcement of the award for this development role at today’s National Children and Adult Services Conference.

The development team will establish and test the initial model for the new Centre from now until June 2020 when the Centre will become an independent organisation.

The development team will work with the sector to agree what the new centre should focus on, how it should identify and share evidence, and how it should be managed and led.

Greg Wilkinson, who will lead the development team as Programme Director, set out the approach:

Our first priority is to listen and learn from frontline professionals, the evidence and policy communities, and children and young people themselves. Every member of our consortium recognises the importance of making the future Centre a creative, responsive and practical source of support to children’s social care.

The Centre will be developed through three main phases:

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.

Social media – use #whatworksforchildren

Notes to editors

The Department for Education announced plans to establish a formal What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care in 2016. The Centre will become a central mechanism and driving force for evidence-informed practice in children’s social care.

The DfE ran two parallel procurement exercises to support development of the Centre:

  • An 'incubator’ or development team to establish and test a WWC model; and
  • A research partner to start the evidence synthesis and generation of new research (contract award yet to be announced).

The new Centre – when fully established - will join the What Works Network of seven existing independent What Works Centres and two affiliate members, promoted and supported by Cabinet Office. The network is underpinned by the principle that good decision-making should be informed by the best available evidence.

Media enquiries

For enquiries about the Development Team, please contact: Iris Steen, Head of Marketing and Communications, Social Care Institute for Excellence Tel 020 7766 7375 or Mobile 07792 636761. iris.steen@scie.org.uk

For enquiries about the Department for Education procurement process, please contact: Kitty Dann, Media Officer, Department for Education. 020 7340 7190. kitty.dann@education.gov.uk

Media Contact

Steve Palmer, Press and Public Affairs Manager
Tel: 020 7766 7419 | Mob: 07739 458 192 | Email: steve.palmer@scie.org.uk