Department of Education

Research projects

Evaluation of Bright Spots

This evaluation explored how local authorities (LAs) had used the findings from the Bright Spots surveys to improve the lives of the children they look after.

The Bright Spots Programme is a partnership between the Rees Centre, Department of Education, University of Oxford and Coram Voice funded by the Hadley Trust. It supports local authorities to systematically listen to their children in care and care leavers, about the things that are important to them.

Since 2013, we have worked with children and young people to develop two new sets of well-being indicators measured by our online surveys: For children in care aged four upwards (Your Life, Your Care) and for care leavers (Your Life Beyond Care).

By working with over 50 local authorities and gathering more than 15,000 responses from children and care leavers we have gained insight into the key question, ‘What makes life good for children in care and care leavers?’ The Your Life, Your Care and Your Life Beyond Care surveys are the largest surveys of their kind, giving more children in care and care leavers the chance to share their experiences. The survey compares local findings with those of other local authorities, as well as with peers in the general population.

The evaluation of the Your Life, Your Care surveys involved interviews with senior leaders, the virtual school , participation workers and social workers, and focus groups with looked after children in six LAs in England. As part of the evaluation, examples of changes to policy and practice were collected and are available in the Practice Innovation databank.

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