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  • read more about We’re recruiting!
    News

    We’re recruiting!

    12 February 2020
    We are looking to recruit two new roles from April 2020. Research Director The What Works for Children’s Social Care is looking to recruit a Research Director to lead our research team. The team will lead the centre’s analytical work, which covers research relating to a wide variety of outcomes for young people and their […]
  • read more about Announcing our new partners for multi-agency work
    Blog

    Announcing our new partners for multi-agency work

    31 January 2020
    I am excited to be writing this blog post as the Head of Practice at What Works for Children’s Social Care (WWCSC).  I joined the centre in January and I am happy to announce that the practice team is growing and extending our ability to talk to social workers and others from the sector.   As […]
  • read more about The Ongoing Debate Around Machine Learning
    Blog

    The Ongoing Debate Around Machine Learning

    31 January 2020
    It’s been almost a year since we first announced that we would be conducting research on the use of machine learning in children’s social care. Both the topic itself, and our decision to research it were controversial.  Many people are uncomfortable with the idea that opaque algorithms processing large quantities of data – often collected […]
  • read more about Ethics review recommends cautious, thoughtful and inclusive approach to using machine learning in children’s social care
    News

    Ethics review recommends cautious, thoughtful and inclusive approach to using machine learning in children’s social care

    30 January 2020
    A review carried out by the University of Oxford’s Rees Centre and The Alan Turing Institute for What Works for Children’s Social Care finds that there are substantial reasons to be concerned about the ethics of using these techniques, and that these can only be mitigated through care and transparency in their use. What Works […]
  • read more about A year older, a year wiser
    Blog

    A year older, a year wiser

    29 January 2020
    It’s now been a year since the permanent team at What Works for Children’s Social Care took over from the incubator team – and a year since I said on this blog that we would “Start as we mean to go on”. It’s been six months since I reported that we were off to a […]
  • read more about Call for partners for our new workplace wellbeing project
    News

    Call for partners for our new workplace wellbeing project

    27 January 2020
    We are still accepting applications to participate in our new multi-agency workplace wellbeing project
  • read more about We’re looking for someone to chair our research ethics committee
    News

    We’re looking for someone to chair our research ethics committee

    24 January 2020
    Do you have an interest in, and experience of, managing ethical issues in research? What Works for Children’s Social Care is looking for a Chair for our new Research Ethics Committee. The Research Ethics Committee (REC) is responsible for reviewing the research proposals of WWCSC to identify ethical considerations and make recommendations on whether to […]
  • read more about Help shape our research priorities – phase two coming soon
    Blog

    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 […]
  • read more about Reading referrals and forecasting the future: how difficult is it to know what’s likely to happen next in social work?
    Blog

    Reading referrals and forecasting the future: how difficult is it to know what’s likely to happen next in social work?

    16 January 2020
    Child and family social workers in England make crucial decisions every day, affecting the lives of many thousands of children, parents and other family members. Good decision-making in social work almost always involves working collaboratively with families and sharing responsibility for making decisions. Yet it also involves making professional judgements about future harm and the […]
  • read more about New research shows the potential for improving social work decision-making
    News

    New research shows the potential for improving social work decision-making

    16 January 2020
    A pilot project involving almost 300 social workers found that some established approaches used to improve forecasting in other fields may make a positive difference for social workers too – but that others may not be so effective. What Works for Children’s Social Care, in association with its research partners at CASCADE, Cardiff University, today […]
  • read more about Numbers plus
    Blog

    Numbers plus

    19 December 2019
    This month has been dominated by numbers – polls, seat counts, demographics and so on. As someone who’s spent most of his life thinking about data and evaluation, this has been interesting to follow. Early next year, we’ll begin publishing our own numbers – the results of our study on forecasting, the indicative evidence of […]
  • read more about Why evaluate?
    Blog

    Why evaluate?

    28 November 2019
    Last week we were at the National Children and Adult Services conference in Bournemouth. As well as attending the conference, and talking with people visiting the stand of our partner the Social Care Institute of Excellence, we were pleased to host a session on the morning of the last day of the conference. The session, […]