Professional Zone

Your Life, Your Care survey

Find out more about the Your Life, Your Care survey

Bright Spots, Your Life, Your care survey showing looked after children talking about what makes them happierThe Your Life, Your Care survey measures the wellbeing of looked-after children and young people from as young as four years old.

The survey is unique because:

  • It is designed by young people themselves
  • It helps local authorities (LAs)  understand what works well for children in care, and where things could improve
  • It helps LAs demonstrate how they are meeting Ofsted requirements by showing that children and young people are being listened to, and that their views and experiences are considered when services that affect them are developed
  • It forms the basis for a new child-led service improvement framework that complements and enhances existing frameworks, such as DfE performance data and Ofsted
  • It is strongly evidence based – the survey draws on two international literature reviews by the University of Bristol [link to page]
  • It captures the experience of younger children (from four years) through age-appropriate questionnaires and using trusted adults
  • It enables good practice to be shared between LAs
  • It is confidential. The data is aggregated and no one will be able to identify what individual children have said
  • It is quick and easy to complete with age-appropriate questionnaires that only take around 10 minutes to complete
  • It is secure. The online survey is administered through SmartSurvey, which is registered under the Data Protection Act. All data is stored on UK-based servers and will never leave the UK.

What we’ve discovered so far

Coram Voice Bright Spots logoOur new report Our Lives, Our Care: Looked after children’s views on their well-being details all the findings from the first cohort of 611 children to complete the Bright Spots 'Your Life, Your Care' survey.

The report and our key findings and policy recommendations booklet were published in March 2017.

The survey was run in six local authority areas. Age appropriate questionnaires (4-7 years, 8-10 years, and 11-18 years) were distributed to looked after children in schools. The response rates varied between 23% and 55%.

Key findings

  • The majority of children felt that being in care had improved their lives.
  • Children in care were as positive about the future as other children but, as would be expected given the often traumatic experiences that led to them being in care, they were more likely than other children to have low wellbeing.
  • Wellbeing decreased with age, particularly in girls.

Find out more

Download the Key findings and policy recommendations booklet

Download the full report Our Lives Our Care: Looked after children's views on their well-being

Get involved

We are always looking to grow our programme. If you work for a local authority that might want to run Your Life, Your Care and/or Your Life Beyond Care, or to find out more about Bright Spots, please email us at

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