Dez Holmes is the director of research in practice and sits on the Care Inquiry steering group.
“I have always believed that evidence should be at the heart of progress within the care system. The Care Inquiry has spent months pulling together a range of evidence, from many sources, to inform our thinking.
“We have heard from leading academics, strategic leaders, and social care practitioners at three enormously valuable evidence sessions. Very importantly, we have also learnt from those with experience of the care system including birth families, adoptive parents, foster carers, kinship carers and young people who have experienced care. The sheer volume of information that we have received, and the willingness of people to offer their knowledge and ideas, shows that the ambition of a new approach for looked-after children and those on the edge of care, is one shared by all of us.
“The messages from the Care Inquiry evidence sessions, that the system should be one that enables positive relationships to be established and maintained, are absolutely consistent with by feedback from the research in practice network. This year our members have asked us to focus on relationship based practice, managing contact, working effectively with families at risk of entering the care system, and supporting carers. There is a clear desire within the sector to understand how to improve these areas – and it is a real privilege to be working alongside people to this end.
“The Care Inquiry steering group is now examining all of the evidence provided to pull together our recommendations. We haven’t decided what format they will be presented in yet, though we are confident that our thoughts will resonate with those involved in caring for looked-after children across England.
“The sector doesn’t need hundreds of pages of financially unviable recommendations that will only add pressure to the ever increasing workload. This is why we will produce something more contained, something that is grounded in reality whilst still being ambitious, and something that contributes to the discourse rather than shutting it down. As our work has been guided by the views, experience and the evidence of those involved in the system, we are hopeful that it can and will create much-needed positive change.”
You can find out more about the Care Inquiry on the website or Pinterest page. There will be more details about the launch of the Care Inquiry report over the coming weeks.