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Calling data science managers and researchers interested in children’s social care

26 November 2018

Press Release

The What Works Centre for Children's Social Care is looking to recruit a Researcher and a Data Science Manager to work in our newly established research team.

The team will lead the centre’s programme of work to understand how best to support social workers and young people in contact with the care system, from the point of contact and referral, all the way through to foster care and adoption.

Among other responsibilities, the Researcher role will include:
• Data analysis. Working with the head of research and the leadership team of the centre, the Researcher will conduct data analysis to help identify the impact of interventions in children’s social care.
• Collaboration and Partnerships. The Researcher will work on projects being conducted in partnership with other research organisations, notably the Centre’s Research Partner (led by Professor Donald Forrester at Cardiff University’s CASCADE) and other What Works Centres. They will also work with the sector and with officials at the department for education to ensure that the centre’s research is of a high standard both in terms of its robustness and its usefulness.
• Randomised Controlled Trials. The Researcher will develop and assist with the leadership of randomised controlled trials in children’s social care, focused on helping improve the outcomes of young people and their families.
• Happier, healthier professionals. To work with our academic collaborators as part of our happier, healthier professionals programme, designing and evaluating interventions to improve the wellbeing, and reduce sickness, absence and burnout, of social workers.

Data Science Manager
Among other responsibilities, the Data Science Manager role will include taking the lead within the team on:
• Predictive Analytics. Working with local government partners to analyse case note data
and other sources of data using topic modelling and machine learning to predict likely
outcomes for young people, and to develop tools that allow social workers to make use
of this risk assessment in their practice.
• Machine learning and ethics. Working with the social work profession, and other
researchers, to understand both the practical and ethical implications of using machine
learning in children’s social care, to assess when and where it is likely to be appropriate.
• Data analysis. Working with the head of research and the leadership team of the Centre,
the researcher will conduct data analysis to help identify the impact of interventions in
children’s social care.

How to apply
To find out more about each role and how to apply, please follow the links above to the Nesta job pages.

The closing date for completed applications for each role is 7 December 2018.

What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care
The What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care is a new initiative that seeks better outcomes for children, young people and families by bringing the best available evidence to practitioners and other decision makers across the children’s social care sector. Our mission is to foster a culture of evidence-informed practice. We will generate evidence where it is found to be lacking, improve its accessibility and relevance to the practice community, and support practice leaders (e.g. principal social workers, heads of service, assistant directors and directors) to create the conditions for more evidence-informed practice in their organisations.