UCL Public Policy


Up Close & Policy: BASW, Ofsted & the Care Leavers Association

14 October 2020, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

Up Close & Policy

An interactive discussion with representatives across academia, government and the charitable sector on care leavers' rights to records.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Audrey Tan

About this seminar

The MIRRA (Memory – Identity – Rights in Records – Access) project collected interview and focus group data from more than 80 care leavers, social work practitioners and information professionals. Researchers found that the voices of the children and young people who lived in social care were often entirely missing from their own records, causing significant distress and upset. This event will focus on care leavers' access to childhood records and feature speakers from the British Association of Social Workers, Ofsted, the Care Leavers Association and MIRRA project team.

Internal UCL Speaker

Elizabeth Lomas is an Associate Professor in Information Governance within UCL’s Department of Information Studies. She is the policy lead on an AHRC funded project MIRRA which stands for Memory – Identity – Rights in Records – Access (https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/mirra/). This work has been designed and delivered by academics and care leavers in conjunction with the Care Leavers Association. The study approaches these issues from a ‘recordkeeping perspective’, meaning that it focuses on how records are created, conceptualised and mobilised by the people who use them. This includes social work practitioners, regulators, information professionals (such as data protection officers and records managers), academic researchers and, most importantly, the children, young people and care leavers who the records are about. For care leavers official records may be their only route to access childhood memories. This link provides a film to care leavers talking about the significance of their records.

External Speakers

Luke Geoghegan is a registered social worker and Head of Policy and Research at BASW (The British Association of Social Workers). BASW is the professional association for social work and social workers. Luke was privileged to work, as a social worker, with care experienced children and young people between 2009 and 2016. He has a career-long interest in how research can improve practice and how practice can inform the priorities of research.

Matthew Brazier is one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors and is Ofsted’s Specialist Adviser for Looked After Children. Based within Ofsted’s social care policy team, Matthew also undertakes inspections of children’s services in local authorities and has led several thematic inspections relating to children in care and care leavers. Before joining Ofsted, Matthew gained more than twenty years’ post-qualifying experience as a manager and social worker within local authority children’s services.

Darren Coyne has just approached his 10th year working with The Care Leavers’ Association (CLA) as a project manager. Much of his work is focused on detached community engagement specific to care leavers, asking questions in a policy context on current discourses in relation to the care experience(s) of post care adults within criminal justice settings and in accessing social care files. He has direct lived experience of living between the care system and the criminal justice system. Prior to working with the CLA Darren graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA Sociology and MA Social Research and moved into youth rights work, opting to work within a framework which develops inclusive approaches to inter-community relations using human rights, anti-racist and social justice models.


About the series

Beyond ministers and their advisers, policy decisions are informed and made by a wide group of people. This series looks at who they are, what they do and how the research community works with the world of public policy to inform decision making.

The Up Close & Policy Series features UCL researchers in open conversation with policy professionals drawn from a wide range of organisations. Come along for your chance to ask the experts about the opportunities and pitfalls in engaging with the world of public policy, find out the insights they have gained, and hear what they consider are the key lessons for successful engagement.

UCL Public Policy is committed to increasing the diversity and inclusivity of its activities. We encourage people from under-represented groups (BAME, LGBTQ+, a mature student, or disabled) to attend.