Children in state care learn to work and negotiate with adults who are making important decisions on their behalf. They may have to meet with more adults in a year than most children have to do in ten. As one young person said to us, ‘It’s not just having no parents. That’s just the start of it. We have to deal with the government and social workers and lots of other people….’
The quality of the relationship with their case worker can make or break the important but fragile links between a child and the ‘state’ in its guardianship role. The relationship can make it easier or harder for a child to get what they need for safety and wellbeing.
Starting in November 2008, we conducted a review of the literature, sought the views of 28 children and young people, took evidence from 96 case files and convened a focus group of case workers for their views. In addition to our Youth Advisors, we engaged two young researchers to assist us, one who is in care and one who had been.
You can download Quality Contact between Children and Workers and Quality Contact between Children and Workers – Summary in PDF.