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Who’s involved

We are working with a wide range of stakeholders to help to develop the Centre. This includes people who will use the Centre’s future products and services, as well as stakeholders with a wider interest in the creation and use of evidence.

As at June 2018, we have actively engaged with at least:

25 children, young people and family members
137 frontline practitioners and managers
54 senior managers and strategic leaders
33 representatives of partner organisations (e.g. health, education)
39 national organisations, including voluntary sector organisations.

In addition, 1,000 people registered to receive regular email updates about the development of the Centre.

63 local areas have actively engaged with the development of the Centre.

View larger image of the map of the areas.

Engagement activities

Practice insights design research

We carried out detailed practice insights design research at nine local authorities between October and December 2017. This involved meeting families, practitioners, practice experts, managers, senior leaders and strategic leaders, to explore how evidence is currently used, and how it may be developed and used in future.

Site visits

We visited seven local authorities, speaking to senior leaders, managers and practitioners about their views on the Centre.

Practitioner events

We held four practitioner events between December 2017 and January 2018 in Coventry, Bristol, Leeds and London. These were attended by 160 children’s social care practitioners and managers from across the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Local authority partners

Local authorities have applied to become Centre partners. They will work with us to co-develop and test a range of promising approaches to generating and sharing evidence. There will be a second call for partners later in 2018.

For more information visit Co-designing with partners.

Stakeholder panels

Children and young people’s panel

Over 50 children and young people aged 13 to 24 applied to join the Panel.

The first meeting in February 2018 was attended by 20 young people with a range of experiences of social care, including having been on child protection or child in need plans, young people currently in care and care leavers.

View the artwork that they created at this session – Young people’s views on social care and skills needed by social workers

At the second meeting on 1 August 2018, the group considered how young people should be involved in the Centre as it develops, and what outcomes good social care might help them to achieve – now and in the future.

Families and parents

We are working with the Family Rights Group and their networks to engage with parents, grandparents, siblings and carers.

Practitioners’ panel

The panel includes principal social workers, lead practitioners, frontline social workers, and voluntary sector practitioners from across the country.

The following organisations are represented on the panel:

  • Brighton and Hove City Council
  • CoramBAAF
  • Doncaster Children’s Services Trust
  • Leicester YMCA
  • Lincoln FAST
  • Leeds City Council
  • London Borough of Newham
  • Newcastle City Council
  • Salford City Council
  • Oakhill Secure Training Centre, Milton Keynes
  • Oxfordshire County Council

Voluntary and community sector leaders

A group of voluntary sector leaders have met twice (as at July 2018) to provide advice and insights. This includes representatives from:

  • Action for Children
  • The Adolescent and Children’s Trust
  • Barnardos
  • Catch 22
  • The Children’s Society
  • CoramBAAF
  • Councils for Disabled Children
  • Family Action
  • Family Rights Group
  • Rees Foundation
  • Scope
  • Young Minds

Meetings with national stakeholders

We meet regularly with key stakeholders including the Children’s Improvement Board, the Principal Social Worker Network, ADASS, BASW, LGA and the Department for Education.

Advisory Council

An advisory group comprising national stakeholders, senior leaders, academics and a young person’s representative. The group guided the very early stages of development. The Group is now disbanded and a new, wider Advisory Council is currently being established.

The Group members were:

  • Chair: Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive, Nesta
  • Yvonne Anderson, Director, Mind of my Own
  • Tom Bennett, Founder and Director, ResearchED
  • Zoe Betts, Founder, #iamsocialwork
  • Michael Bichard, Chair, National Audit office
  • Marvin Campbell, Social Entrepeneur (Care leaver)
  • John Coughlan, Chief Executive, Hampshire County Council
  • Colin Hilton, Former Chair, Doncaster Children’s Services trust
  • Annie Hudson, Strategic Director, Children’s Services London Borough of Lambeth
  • Jim Leivers, Interim Director of Children’s Services, Sandwell Council
  • Josh MacAlister, Chief Executive, Frontline
  • Eileen Munro, Professor of Social Policy, London School of Economics
  • Lee Pardy-McLaughlin, Principal Social Worker, Coventry City Council

Expert advisors panel

The Expert Advisors are working with the Research Partner to develop the standards of evidence and outcomes framework for the Centre.


  • Professor Elizabeth Allen, Professor at the London School of Hygenie and Tropical Medicine
  • Professor Jane Barlow, Professor of Evidence-Based Intervention and Policy Evaluation, St. Hilda’s College Oxford Unviersity
  • Professor Jennifer Beecham, Professor of Health and Social Care Economics at the University of Kent and a Professorial Research Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Professor Nina Biehal, Professor of Child and Family Social Work, York University
  • Professor Janet Boddy, Professor of Child, Youth and Family Studies and Director of the Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth
  • Professor Marion Brandon, Professor, UAE
  • Professor Karen Broadhurst, Professor of Social Work, Lancaster University
  • Professor John Carpenter, Professor John Carpenter (Emeritus)
  • Professor Brigid Daniel, Dean at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh
  • Professor John Devaney, Centenary Professor and Head of Social Work, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Julien Forder, Professor of the Economics of Social Policy and Director of PSSRU at the University of Kent
  • Professor Leon Feinstein, Director of Evidence at the Children’s Commissioner’s Office
  • Dr José-Luis Fernández, Deputy Director and Associate Professorial Research Fellow at PSSRU
  • Professor Geraldine Macdonald, Professor of Social Work, Bristol University
  • Professor Alan Montgomery, Professor of Medical Statistics and Clinical Trials, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences at Nottingham University
  • Dr Louise Morpeth, LM Research and Consulting Ltd and Senior Associate at Dartington Service Design Lab
  • Professor Kate Morris, Professor of Social Work, Sheffield University
  • Professor David Shemmings, Professor of Child Protection Research, University of Kent
  • Linda Sheppard Senior Technical Analyst at NICE, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
  • Dr Peter Sidebotham, Associate Professor in child health (Reader), Warwick University
  • Professor Ian Sinclair Emeritus Professor, York University (previously Professor of Social Work and head of the Social Work Research and Development Unit @ York) now a consultant at the Rees Centre
  • Professor Carole Torgerson, Professor at Durham University in the School of Education. Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and Visiting Chair, SFI, Copenhagen, Denmark. Fellow of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing and Affiliate of the Durham University Evidence Centre for Education


  • Professor Kathleen Coulborn Faller, Marion Elizabeth Blue Endowed Professor Emerita of Children and Families in the School of Social Work at the University of Michigan; Director, Family Assessment Clinic
  • Professor Neil B. Guterman, Dean and Paulette Goddard Professor of Social Work, New York University (Silver School of Social Work)
  • Trevor Spratt, Director of Children’s Research Centre, Trinity College, Dublin


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