Permanently Progressing? Building secure futures for children in Scotland

22nd October 2019 : 14:00 - 15:30

Category: Seminar

Research Group: Rees Centre

Speaker: Helen Whincup, University of Stirling and Linda Cusworth, Lancaster University

Location: Department of Education, Seminar Room K/L

We welcome anyone with an interest in this topic to join us. If you would like to attend, please send an email to so we know to expect you on the day.

Seminar Abstract


This seminar will present key findings from Phase One of the Permanently Progressing? Study in Scotland.

Statistics from 2018 show that 85,000 children were looked after in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (31st March 2018) and 14,738 children were looked after in Scotland (31st July 2018) (DfE 2018; Statistics Wales 2018; DoH 2018; Sottish Government). Despite the numbers, until recently little was known about: children’s experiences and pathways through the care system; the balance of voluntary and compulsory interventions; time and routes to permanence; what factors influence outcomes.

The Permanently Progressing? study is increasing understanding by following the progress of all children who became looked after in Scotland aged five or under in 2012-2013 (n=1,836) until adolescence and early adulthood. It is a mixed methods, three-phase longitudinal research project which will provide important information for families, practitioners and policy makers across the UK. Phase One (2014-2018) tracked children’s experiences, pathways and early outcomes analysing information from different sources. These included annual Children Looked After Statistics (CLAS); surveys of caregivers and social workers, interviews of caregivers; play and talk sessions with children. This seminar will present key finding from Phase One, including information about the levels of abuse and neglect children experienced before coming in to care, their routes and times to permanence, and how children were getting on three to four years after coming in to care.

Reports and summaries for this study including an information sheet for children

About the speakers


Dr Helen Whincup is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Stirling

Dr Linda Cusworth is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Child & Family Justice Research, Lancaster University


About the Rees Centre


The Rees Centre is located within the Department of Education at the University of Oxford. Established in 2012, the Centre produces research evidence to inform policy and practice in the areas of children’s social care and education. We aim to improve the life chances and particularly the educational outcomes of those who are, or have been supported by children’s social care services, with a focus on children in need (including those in care), adoptive and special guardianship families and care experienced adults. The primary audiences for the Centre’s work are children’s social care practitioners and managers, foster carers, adopters, guardians, schools, virtual schools, health, the judiciary, therapeutic services, policymakers and other researchers. We often work in partnership with others and have well-established relationships across the sector with both statutory and third sector organisations as well as the care-experienced community.




In 2019, the University of Oxford’s Department of Education celebrates the 100th year since the passing of a statute creating what was known in 1919 as the University Department for the Training of Teachers. To celebrate our centenary a year-long series of activities will be delivered to address some of the department’s top initiatives for 2019, answer some of the big questions facing education today and to reveal the advancements the department has made to the study of and research in the field of education. Join us as we mark our 100th year and discover more about our anniversary here.

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