Projects & Funding

We currently have a number of open opportunities:

Sign up – call for projects to improve mental health of children with a social worker

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  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.

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

Open call to join our Panel of Evaluators

What Works for Children’s Social Care (WWCSC) is looking to expand our Panel of Evaluators.

Organisations on this panel will design, lead and conduct independent evaluations of promising projects supported or funded by WWCSC, and will work closely with us and our delivery partners to provide high quality evidence on the impact of interventions.

If you are interested in applying please find more information by downloading the application form linked here (a Word document should automatically download – if this doesn’t happen, please right click on the link and choose to either ‘open link in a new tab/window’ or to ‘save the link’).

Deadline: 12PM, Thursday 28th January 2021

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):

Sign up: Our Skills Signs of Potential project

What Works for Children’s Social Care are fully funding places for up to 1,200 children who have or have had a social worker in the last 6 years to participate in the Our Skills literacy programme, delivered by Learning Unlimited. Our Skills supports parents and carers of children in Reception or Year 1 to develop their skills, knowledge and confidence in supporting their child’s literacy. We will also be evaluating the programme to see how it benefits children with a social worker. Our Skills will start after February half-term, 2021 and  is being re-developed so all sessions can be delivered virtually through an innovative COVID-friendly online system. Watch the animation for more information.  

Next steps: