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PLoS One ; 17(6): e0265354, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1933209


BACKGROUND: Child and family social workers in the UK work closely with other agencies including schools and the police, and typically they are based in local authority offices. This study will evaluate the effectiveness of placing social workers in schools (SWIS) on the need for social care interventions. SWIS was piloted in three local authorities in 2018-2020, and findings from a feasibility study of the pilots suggests SWIS may operate through three key pathways: (1) by enhancing schools' response to safeguarding issues, (2) through increased collaboration between social workers, school staff, and parents, and (3) by improving relationships between social workers and young people. METHODS: The study is a two-arm pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial building on three feasibility studies which found SWIS to be promising. Social workers will work within secondary schools across local authorities in England. 280 mainstream secondary schools will be randomly allocated with a 1:1 ratio to SWIS or a comparison arm, which will be schools that continue as normal, without a social worker. The primary outcome will be the rate of Child Protection (Section 47) enquiries. Secondary outcomes will comprise rate of referrals to children's social care, rate of Child in Need (Section 17) assessments, days spent in care, and educational attendance and attainment. The study also includes an economic evaluation, and an implementation and process evaluation. Social care outcomes will be measured in July 2022, and educational outcomes will be measured in July 2023. Days in care will be measured at both time points. DISCUSSION: Findings will explore the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of SWIS on the need for social care interventions. A final report will be published in January 2024. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study was registered retrospectively with the International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number registry on 13.11.2020 (ISRCTN90922032).

Schools , Social Work , Adolescent , Child , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Feasibility Studies , Humans , Parents , Pragmatic Clinical Trials as Topic , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Retrospective Studies
Qualitative Social Work ; 20(1-2):383-389, 2021.
Article in English | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-1133511


This essay describes the impact of the pandemic on our experiences as Independent Visitors (IVs) forchildren who are looked-after. Independent Visitors are volunteers who visit, advise and befriend children with the aim of helping them develop a positive, long-term relationship beyond the care system. Based on our personal experiences of being matched with and visiting two young people, we consider how supporting the children remotely during the pandemic has helped us reflect on our relationships with them and our role as IVs. We discuss the role that foster carers play in supporting the IV relationship, the significance of developing routines and rituals with young people, and the challenges and opportunities offered by the transition from visits to virtual contact. We conclude with an outline of the response of service providers to the pandemic, and suggest that increased support for Independent Visiting might improve provision and allow more children to benefit from a relationship with an Independent Visitor. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Qualitative Social Work is the property of Sage Publications, Ltd. and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)