Permanently Progressing? Phase Two: Middle Childhood
December 2020 - September 2024
The Nuffield Foundation and an anonymous donor
In 2018, 14,738 children were looked after in Scotland (Scottish Government 2019) whilst around 85,000 children were looked after in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland (DfE 2018; Statistics Wales 2018; DoH 2018). Until recently, little was known about children’s experiences and pathways through the Scottish care system; the balance of voluntary and compulsory placements, the routes taken and time to permanence (at or away from home), and what influences outcomes and wellbeing.
The Permanently Progressing? study is addressing these gaps by gathering information on all 1,836 children who became looked after in Scotland when aged five or under in 2012-13. This three-phase longitudinal research project is tracking children’s progress at key life stages (early childhood, mid childhood and late adolescence/early adulthood). Phase 1 (2014-18) – Building Secure Futures for Children in Scotland - analysed children’s pre-care experiences, pathways and early outcomes. It used administrative data, surveys of caregivers and social workers, interviews with caregivers, and play and talk sessions with children. We found that a third of the children were not in permanent placements after four years and that adoption generally took over two years.
During Phase 2 (2020-24) the research team will revisit the cohort children in middle childhood (age 7+) to find out where they are living, their legal status, wellbeing, and what services bolster resilience. This will provide important and robust information for families, practitioners and policy makers, in Scotland and internationally, which in turn will result in more effective services and better outcomes for children and families.
Dr Linda Cusworth, Co-investigator
Jade Hooper, Senior Research Associate
Dr Helen Whincup, PI
Dr Margaret Grant, Co-Investigator
Jade Hooper, Research Assistant
Dr Adele Laing, Research Assistant
Dr Alison Hennessy, Lecturer
For further information contact Linda Cusworth (firstname.lastname@example.org)