PRESS RELEASE: Voice and the University of Bristol's Hadley Centre for Adoption and Foster Care Studies launch 'Bright Spot' project
Children’s advocacy charity, Voice, and the Hadley Centre for Adoption and Foster Care Studies at the University of Bristol have launched the ‘bright-spot’ project to identify practices and policies within local authority areas that make a positive and significant difference to a child’s journey through care. The project which is funded by the Hadley Trust, will be delivered by working with seven to ten local authorities in England, and is expected to last for 24 months.
The aim of the project is to give local authorities a better understanding of the practices that contribute to a positive care experience for children and young people and to use this information to improve the delivery of their services.
Children and young people who are or have been looked after will be the main informants. It will be their perspectives on the key elements of a good care journey that the project team will translate into indicators. We will seek the views from children with experience of foster care, residential care and secure accommodation, as well as children with a disability and children with other specific needs. Local authorities who meet all or most of the ‘good care experience’ indicators will be identified as ‘bright spots’ and work will be undertaken to identify what practices and polices the local authority has in place to achieve these good outcomes. The final phase will be to roll out the learning to other local authorities.
The overall vision is that all local authorities should be enabled and encouraged to adopt best possible standards of practice for the children in their care. Therefore ensuring they have a greater likelihood of achieving their potential and play a full role in society.
Wendy Lewington, Director of Policy at Voice says “the current care system recognises the importance of a ‘good’ care journey, but this has come about mainly through information collected and interpreted by adults, rather than children and young people.” She continues, “more importantly, a significant amount of this information tends to focus on children’s negative behaviours and poor outcomes. This has now resulted in an urgent need to understand what young people think can contribute positively to the success of a good care journey; a good care journey will enable young people to fulfil their potential and play a full role in society.”
Phase 1 of the ‘bright-spot’ project will commence in April 2013.