Projects & Funding

We currently have a number of open opportunities:

Supervision of Primary School Designated Safeguarding Leads Scale-up Evaluation: Call for Local Authority Delivery Partners

What Works for Children’s Social Care (WWCSC) is seeking proposals from local authorities in England to participate in a large-scale evaluation of a programme providing supervision to Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) within mainstream primary schools in 10 local authorities.

This primary school scale-up is also a direct scale up of the original Supervision of Designated Safeguarding Leads trial that ran in primary schools in Bolton Council between September 2019 and March 2020, to test an innovative approach to collaboration between Children’s Social Care (CSC) services and schools. The report of their delivery and findings can be found here. This research found indicatively positive evidence but was unable to draw firm conclusions due to the onset of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Information sheet and application form

Submit your completed application form via email to programmes@whatworks-csc.org.uk by 9am on Friday 30 April.

Supervision of Secondary School Designated Safeguarding Leads Scale-up Evaluation: Call for Local Authority Delivery Partners

What Works for Children’s Social Care (WWCSC) is seeking proposals from Local Authorities to deliver a programme providing monthly group supervision to Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) within secondary schools in England; the Programme will be delivered across 10 Local Authorities. 

This secondary school scale-up follows the original Supervision of Designated Safeguarding Leads trial that ran in primary schools in Bolton Council between September 2019 and March 2020, to test an innovative approach to collaboration between Children’s Social Care (CSC) services and schools. The report of their delivery and findings can be found here. This research found indicatively positive evidence but was unable to draw firm conclusions due to the onset of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Information sheet and application form

Submit your completed application form via email to programmes@whatworks-csc.org.uk by 9am on Friday 30 April.

Supporting the education of young people with a social worker: Call for new Further Education Programmes

What Works for Children’s Social Care (WWCSC) is seeking proposals for projects that aim to increase educational attainment for young people with a social worker in further education (FE) settings. This could be further education colleges, sixth form colleges, or any other FE setting, and could consider vocational courses, GCSE resits, or A-levels.

Proposals should outline the organisation’s idea for a project that will positively impact young people with a social worker and vulnerable children more widely. We expect to fund the development and piloting of up to two new projects, in collaboration with the Department for Education (DfE). Programmes will be implemented and piloted throughout the academic year 2021/22 and evaluated by an independent evaluator appointed by WWCSC.

The programme:

  • Can be specifically designed and developed for young people with a social worker
  • Can be an existing programme that has been tailored for young people with a social worker
  • Can be an existing programme, that is able to provide evidence that it is beneficial for the educational attainment of young people with a social worker
  • Should focus on young people in further education settings

Information sheet and application form

Submit your completed application form via email to programmes@whatworks-csc.org.uk by 12 noon on Friday 30 April.

WWCSC-NIHR joint funding call to improve the mental health of children with a social worker

Submit your project summary: for those who have a project idea and are seeking research support

What Works for Children’s Social Care (WWCSC) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Service and Delivery Research Programme are pleased to announce a new opportunity for funding and evaluating interventions to improve the quality of care, support and access to services for children and young people with mental health conditions, who have a social worker.

In order to be eligible for consideration for this funding, applications must include details of the project/intervention/approach as well as details of how it would be evaluated. WWCSC is pleased to be offering additional support – webinars, workshops, ‘match-making’ and advice – to help potential applicants with sector expertise  (including, but not limited to, children’s social care professionals in local authorities, CAMHS, other multi-agency partners or third sector providers) identify and form suitable research partnerships, to submit collaborative joint research proposals.

In order to help us to assist those applicants seeking research partners, we ask that applicants submit short summaries of their proposed research idea to WWCSC  via email programmes@whatworks-csc.org.uk  by 5pm Friday 26th February. Please note that acceptance of this additional support is not mandatory and will not impact on funding decisions. Applicants may proceed directly to Stage 1 applications. Watch the animation for more information on this call.

Find out more about the funding and the support offered by WWCSC

Register for the information webinar – 12pm 4 February

Apply to Stage 1

Key milestones

Funding call announced18 January 2021
Information webinar4 February 2021, 12pm
Deadline for short summaries26 February 2021, 5pm
Consultation meetings with applicantsEarly March 2021
Virtual workshops to match intervention providers to researchers/evaluatorsLate March 2021 – early April 2021
Stage 1 application deadline3 June 2021

Register your interest: for researchers and evaluators who wish to establish partnerships

As part of What Works for Children’s Social Care (WWCSC) joint-funded NIHR call for projects to improve mental health of children with a social worker, we are calling for any researcher who is interested in forming a partnership and submitting a joint proposal with sector professionals (including, but not limited to, children’s social care professionals in local authorities, CAMHS, other multi-agency partners or third sector providers).

WWCSC are offering workshop(s) in which researchers can engage with sector professionals and begin discussions about developing joint applications.

In order to help us organise the workshop(s), we asked those seeking research partners to submit short summaries of their proposed programmes to WWCSC, so that we can work with them to develop their ideas ahead of the workshop(s). At the workshop(s), potential applicants will be invited to present/discuss their idea and researchers will be given the opportunity to ask questions.

After the workshop(s), we would look to circulate contact information to all attendees, so that suitable partners can begin conversations about developing joint applications.

The workshop(s) will take place throughout April.

If you are a researcher interested in potentially submitting a joint proposal and would like to find out more about the workshop(s), please complete our registration interest form by Monday 22nd March, 12PM.

Register your interest: Call for researchers to improve the mental health of children with a social worker

  • Please tick all that apply in relation to the experience of your organisation and proposed team’s experience in: * Required

For more information about the match-making process, please contact us at: programmes@whatworks-csc.org.uk

Sign up: Study on Social Worker Decision-Making

Social workers make life-changing decisions every day, many of which involve complex judgements about likely future outcomes. As humans, our susceptibility to cognitive bias makes this a very difficult process and can result in poor decision-making.  

Researchers at Cardiff University aim to explore ways of mitigating cognitive bias in social work by testing an intervention and measuring the difference it makes to confirmation bias and forecasting abilities.  

What will you be asked to do? 

The study is held online via Qualtrics and is now live. It will take approximately one hour to complete. Participation will involve:  

  1. Reading referrals and predicting what happened next  
  2. Random allocation into a control or intervention group  
  3. For those in the intervention group, reading through a case study and using a checklist with the aim of prompting reflection about the decision-making process 
  4. Reading more referrals and predicting what happened next  
  5. Completing a short online task  

Those who complete the study will receive a £10 Love2shop gift card to say ‘thank you’ for taking part.  

Who can take part and how do I sign up? 

Registered local authority social workers in England are eligible to participate in the study. If you would like to take part, please follow this link.  

For more information, please contact the research team (Melissa): MeindlM@cardiff.ac.uk.