Help shape our research priorities – phase two coming soon

20 January 2020

We have always been clear that the answer to ‘what works’ in children’s social care will come from those closest to it – from social workers, from young people and care experienced people, from parents and carers, from senior leaders, from academics, charities and private sector providers. This is why we want to ensure all of these people are involved in setting our research priorities for 2020 and beyond.

Building consensus
We understand that different groups will have different views and priorities, and it is important they are all heard and considered.

But in order to take on board these views in a useful way – and ensure the research we conduct in the future has the greatest possible impact – we need to bring these different views together. To do this we will be using a modified version of the Delphi method. Our version of the Delphi method involves bringing together groups of individuals to respond to online surveys to identify and then score potential topics for research.

They then receive anonymised feedback on others’ responses and are presented with the survey again. This should work to build consensus on priority topics among groups, whilst also allowing issues of high priority for a particular group to shine through.

How can I get involved?
We are looking for people to join several online panels including:

  • Children’s social care professionals
  • Young people
  • Care experienced people
  • Parents
  • Carers
  • Senior leaders
  • Academics
  • Third sector organisations
  • Private providers

If you are interested in participating in the process, the first survey is now complete, but you can register your interest in participating in the next phase.

What will you do with the findings?
The priority list produced from this will be front and centre when we make decisions about what research we support in the coming year and beyond.

This list will help us decide which projects to undertake, where we should invest time, resources and funding, which projects should be awarded grants, or should be included in our Practice in Need of Evidence programme.

We want to create evidence that is most useful to those closest to children’s social care, so please do get involved to ensure that the work we do reflects the things you believe to be most important.

As a first step, we have compiled an initial ‘long-list’ of potential research priorities, using reports such as the Rees Centre’s outcomes framework, and Cardiff University’s scoping report to draw out recommendations for research. We also consulted with individuals from the Department for Education as well as Directors of Children’s Services and asked for feedback from our ‘Young Advisors’, as well as our ‘Stakeholder Advisory Group’.

Diagram displaying the progress of the process

We are now asking individuals to register their interest in the second phase (beginning mid-February 2020), which provides an opportunity to score the list of priorities identified in the first phase.