We are delighted to have received £2.9 million funding from Health and Care Research Wales to help us build an ambitious and exciting programme of work over the next five years.

This funding will allow CASCADE and our partners in the School of Psychology, the Centre for Trials Research and SAIL (Secure Anonymised Information Linkage) at Swansea University to develop our work in the following areas:

  • Expanding the ExChange Network – to provide an all-Wales social care research engagement network. This includes delivering an extensive programme of face to face and online events and resources.
  • Involving children and parents across our work – as well as a dedicated specialist worker who can help us ensure the voice of young people and carers is at the heart of everything we do, we also have opportunities to provide work experience and paid employment for care experienced young people – to help us make sure where possible our research is created with those with lived experience of issues.
  • Developing research capacity in social care – we will be supporting early and mid-career researchers, and aim to develop a community of practitioners and researchers dedicated to improving the quality and use of research in practice.
  • Improving our evaluative work – we already have great experience in research aimed at finding out what works, as shown in our role in setting up What Works for Children’s Social Care. This funding allows us to build on that, developing new and innovative approaches to answering the question that practitioners most often ask: what makes a difference?
  • Exploring the potential of data linkage – anonymous linking of existing data promises the potential for us to understand more about the long-term causes and consequences of children’s services involvement. We will be developing research ideas to explore the potential of this approach in Wales and beyond.

Our aim is that over five years we will have built CASCADE into a leading centre for research in children’s social care. We hope that this will allow us to ensure that the research we do makes a positive difference for children and families across Wales and the rest of the UK.