IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Children, young people and families: Care, education, health and wellbeing

Children and young people who are in need, in care, receiving family support services or leaving care are particularly vulnerable to poor outcomes, but also rich in talents and possibilities.

This stream of work examines the lived realities of and professional contexts for practice with this group including, for example:

  • Secondary analysis of large scale data sets, such as the Children in Need dataset
  • Primary studies of the workforce, such as its characteristics and competences, and working across established disciplines and domains such as health, social care and education
  • 'Voice' and participation of children, young people and families
  • Professional practice and ethics of practice in foster care and residential care
  • Education of looked after children and care leavers trajectories in adulthood
  • Cross-national studies
  • Evaluations of practice initiatives
  • Arts, mental health and social care


We use a broad range of methods, including literature reviews, analyses of administrative data, qualitative interviews and observations within our studies.


Our funders include NIHR, Department of Health, The Academy of Medical Sciences and the Wellcome Trust as well as charities and local authorities.



Whole-family approaches to addressing health need for parents and children within healthcare settings

July 2017 - April 2018

A scoping study of published literature with rapid effectiveness review

In collaboration with UCL Institute of Child Health.



  • Department of Health
Understanding engagement between health and social care services for managing vulnerable children

September 2017 - August 2018

A mixed methods study using child in need administrative data and interviews with professionals

Child in need data users group

Set up in collaboration with the Department for Education and the Research in Fostering and Education (REES) Centre, University of Oxford.

This user-led group will support researchers, policy-makers and local authorities who are using the 'Child in Need' data from England - national data collected on all children referred to children's social care since from 2008.



  • Academy of Medical Sciences
  • Wellcome Trust

as a Health of the Public Spring Board Award.

Towards a Family Justice Observatory

August 2016 - December 2017

A project to improve the generation and application of research in the family justice system

Jenny Woodman (TCRU) collaborated on a scoping study of the opportunities and challenges of relevant 'population data' for research in this area, with colleagues from UCL Institute of Child Health.


Other academic collaborations from across the UK.


  • Nuffield Foundation


Further information