Member of the Stakeholder Advisory Group for the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care

About the What Works Centre

We believe that all children should have the opportunity to live safely and happily, and to fulfil their potential regardless of their background or experiences. We recognise the need for research and evidence to support those tackling this ever evolving challenge, in children’s social care and beyond. We work with others to collate and produce research that can be as useful to practitioners, policy makers and practice leaders as possible.

What we do

From the everyday actions of those delivering children’s social care to the decisions that shape national policy and practice, we are working to make sure those involved have the very best evidence to draw on, that they can apply every day to every level of practice. We’re pulling together what we already know, supporting the good work that is already happening, commissioning new research and giving practitioners, young people and families a platform to share their expertise, experiences and insights so we build up a powerful case for what really works. We hope to inspire those involved in children’s social care to change the way they work, and to empower social workers and the wider sector to make the best decisions working with children, young people and their families.

Why we do it

Everyone wants the best possible outcomes for children, young people and families. A vital part of achieving this goal is ensuring that the professionals have robust, accessible evidence to draw on and be inspired by. It’s also vital that the system they work within evolves and adapts using this evidence. Knowing what really works for young people and families within children’s social care, is our best way of supporting people to have the life we all want them to have.

Stakeholder Advisory Group

We are seeking to recruit a Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) for the Centre. This group will play a key role in shaping the Centre’s activities, and in championing the Centre within the sector. Members of the SAG will help set research priorities, contribute to research design and advise on how to share research findings with the sector to improve practice and outcomes. We do not expect applicants to have a high level of knowledge about research methods so training will be provided.

We are looking for individuals with good knowledge and practical experience of children’s social care, and interest in and experience of evidence-informed practice. We aim to encourage a diversity of applications to reflect experience and diversity across the sector. We are seeking:

  • Adults with lived experience of children’s social care1, including experiences as children (for example being looked after), or as parents and carers
  • Practitioners, supervisors and managers working across a range of social care services including front door (e.g. MASH), safeguarding, children in need, family support, looked after children, care leavers, adoption and disabled children’s teams.
  • Representatives of community and voluntary organisations related to children’s social care
  • Practice leaders, including Principal Social Workers, Directors (and Assistant Directors) of Children’s Services and representatives of key national organisations.

Skills and experience

In addition to experience of children’s social care, the key skills and experience we are looking for include:

  • An interest in evidence-informed practice and research;
  • An ability to take an impartial and balanced view during discussions concerning complex and sometimes emotive subject matters;
  • A commitment to learning about the work of the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care.
  • Commitment to equality, diversity, co-production and inclusivity.

Time commitment and conditions

Participants must be able to commit to:

  • Three half day meetings in London between September 2019 and March 2020 (approximately 3-4 hours each):
  • A training day in London in July 2019
  • Preparation for the above by reading panel papers and other relevant literature provided by the Centre. Panel members will also be asked to support the production of basic consultation documents.

All members of the SAG will be remunerated for their time and travel expenses will be paid.

Proposed meeting dates are:

Induction and training: Thursday 18th July (9.30-17.00)

Meeting one: Monday 2nd September (12.30 – 16.00)

Meeting two: Thursday 5th December (9.30 – 13.00)

Meeting three: Thursday 5th March (9.30 – 13.00)

How to apply

Please submit:

  • A short Expression of Interest outlining how you meet the requirements of the person specification and your motivation for applying for the role (no more than one page). Please include your name and a contact email address and telephone numbers, and complete the appended register of interest.
  • An equality monitoring form.

Expressions of interest should be returned to or by post to:

Recruitment, SCIE, Third floor, 54 Baker Street, London W1U 7EX

Closing date for applications: 5pm Monday 3rd June 2019

Please note that submitting an expression of interest will not automatically guarantee a place on the Panel.

To discuss the role further, please contact:

Hannah Roscoe, Senior Manager - Research

Address: SCIE, Fourth floor, 54 Baker Street London W1U 7EX

Phone: 020 7766 7372


SCIE is committed to the values of equality and diversity and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.