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Commissioning Care – Research evidence: Sufficiency report

This report provides analysis of all up-to-date local authority sufficiency strategies with a focus on identifying the main perceived challenges for councils to meet their sufficiency duty, what actions are being undertaken or planned to improve commissioning outcomes, and perceived negative consequences associated with using certain commissioning or market shaping approaches.

Youth work and sport: Research evidence

Analysis from the children’s commissioner for England in 2022 revealed that as children came out of lockdown, what they most wanted to do was play. Play and sport help children to build friendships, empathy and understanding.

Teachers’ views on the value of outdoor residential trips

In June 2021, residential education provider Kingswood, part of outdoor learning and education group Inspiring Learning, carried out a Schools Residential Survey of teachers across England to find out their views on the benefits of residential school trips and to what extent children’s wellbeing and mental health have been affected by the pandemic.

Matching in foster care and how we can improve it

The process of “matching” children and young people in care to their foster carers is a pivotal moment in the care journey; a good “match” decision, process of sharing information, and process of moving into the household can help a child feel safe, loved, and happy. In the UK, the majority of children in care live in fostering households and are affected by matching.

Tackling youth violence: research evidence

Peter Henderson, the Youth Endowment Fund’s head of toolkit, on why the organisation has created a resource summarising the best research on different approaches to preventing serious youth violence.

Child sexual exploitation: research evidence

Kairika Karsna, senior research and evaluation officer at the Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse, on why we need to ensure that we are capturing and understanding all forms of sexual abuse.

Sexual health and relationships: Research evidence

Jonathan Baggaley, chief executive of the PSHE Association, outlines research on the impact of pornography on young people and how schools can cover the topic in statutory relationships, sex and health education. Pornography and Human Futures, Fully Human Issue 1

Profit Making and Risk in Independent Children’s Social Care Placement Providers

Local authorities in England spend more than £2bn a year buying fostering and children's homes services alone from private and voluntary sector organisations (collectively referred to as the independent sector). Local authorities themselves continue to provide most foster placements, but around two in every five foster placements are made with independent sector providers. In children's homes the reverse is true. Here, three in every four placements are made in the independent sector.

Children's Homes Research

The concerns of London local authorities in meeting sufficiency duties described in the first study and the severity of this in relation to residential children's homes, are recognised as a theme across the country. This study was commissioned by the LGA to look at the policies, barriers, and facilitators for local authorities and smaller independent providers in establishing children's homes.

Association of Race/Ethnicity and Social Disadvantage with Autism Prevalence

Autism spectrum disorder is characterised by communication difficulties and restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests or activities. It is thought to affect between one and two per cent of the world's population. Researchers at the University of Cambridge, in collaboration with researchers from Newcastle University and Maastricht University, wanted to chart the prevalence of autism in different demographic groups to help with the planning of support services.

Review of Sufficiency Strategies in London

Demand for children's services has been increasing nationally in recent years. Changing demographics and evolving complexity of needs are also exerting cost pressures on local authorities. At the same time suitable accommodation is in short supply in the regulated children's homes sector and there are concerns about the increased use of unregulated placements. The situation is particularly acute in London.