In 2024, CASCADE proudly celebrates a decade of transformative impact on children’s social care. Our ten-year journey has been marked by groundbreaking studies and significant contributions to policy and practice in children’s social care.

Over these years, CASCADE has delved into numerous research areas, profoundly influencing how care is administered and policies are formulated. Our 10th anniversary is not just a milestone but a testament to the relentless pursuit of excellence and the tangible changes we’ve effected in children’s lives and the broader social care landscape.

To honour this landmark year, we’re hosting an Exchange conference that revisits our past research through multiple webinars, a podcast series that dives into different topics that matter to us and the future of children’s social care, and so much more, all leading up to the 23rd of May and 10th Anniversary event.

Our official CASCADE birthday is on May 23rd. On this day, we will celebrate CASCADE with a partnership event featuring explorations of our past and present research, guest speakers, performances, and a big look back at all that CASCADE has achieved.

Please note that this event is by invitation only, but video recordings and stills from the event will be published here after the event.

CASCADE: 10 Years of Influencing Policy and Practice

2024 marks 10 years since the inception of CASCADE, the Centre for Children’s Social Care Research and Development. It is the home of ExChange Wales and one of the largest, leading research centres of its type in the UK.

During CASCADE’s first 10 years we have undertaken and been involved in many studies across a wide variety of areas of children’s social care. To celebrate our 10-year anniversary, we aim to revisit some of those studies and consider what impact they have had on policy and practice.

Five topics are being presented during this conference series, via live webinars, which will run alongside a CASCADE podcast series. The webinars include ‘Impact of the Looked After Children and Education (LACE) research’ led by Professor Dawn Mannay, ‘Rights focused social work’ led by Professor Donald Forrester (book launch), ‘Child Criminal Exploitation’ led by Dr Nina Maxwell, ‘Improving practice with fathers in children’s services’


Enabling talk and reframing messages: Working creatively and collaboratively to create impact from the accounts of care experienced children and young people

Professor Dawn Mannay

Dawn will present on the impact of the Looked After Children in Education (LACE) research, one of CASCADE’s most well known and successful research programmes from the last 10 years.

“It’s never going to work for him, he just wants to die”: Working with stakeholders to enhance responses to child criminal exploitation

Dr Nina Maxwell

This session will provide an overview of our work on child criminal exploitation in Wales.

The session will consider how the research team engaged with young people, parents and professionals to ensure the research added value to existing practice.



12:00 – 13:00

Improving practice with fathers in children’s services

Professor Jonathan Scourfield

There is a long-standing and ongoing problem of practice in children’s services focusing primarily on mothers and failing to properly engage fathers (the term used here in an inclusive sense).

This webinar will introduce the issue and then describe research-based training and organisation development designed to improve the situation.



12:00 – 12:45

From research recommendation to government initiative: The Wales Safeguarding Repository

Professor Amanda Robinson

Our research has led the Welsh Government to overhaul its safeguarding review procedures for the most serious incidents and deaths in Wales due to domestic violence, mental ill-health, offensive weapons and those involving vulnerable adults and children at risk.

This presentation will discuss the research, stakeholder engagement, and distinctiveness of the WSR as a resource for practitioners and researchers. It has the potential to significantly impact policy and professional practice in Wales.



13:00 – 14:00

An exclusive 50% discount code will be offered to attendees purchasing the book.

At CASCADE, we are excited to announce our new series of podcasts that delve deep into various themes and topics that matter to us. Join us and explore these topics together.

What’s the point of research for children’s social care?

Sally Holland & Donald Forrester

Why is changing children’s social care so difficult?

Donald Forrester, Clive Diaz & Lorna Stabler

Why do we take the children of children in care away from them?

Jen & Sally Holland

How can we know we make a difference?

Donald Forrester, Sally Holland & David Westlake

A Public Health Approach to Tackling Harms and Inequalities

Sally Holland,
Martin Elliott & Nell Warner

Lemn Sissay OBE reflections on care – ExChange Wales ExChange Wales: Social care training & resource

  1. Lemn Sissay OBE reflections on care – ExChange Wales
  2. The Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (VAWDASV) Network – ExChange Wales
  3. Survivors’ stories: Survivors of domestic abuse in conversation – ExChange Wales
  4. Building and developing strengths-based approaches in adult services – ExChange Wales
  5. 'In My Skin' writer, Kayleigh Llewellyn – ExChange Wales