Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth

Children’s Information: improving lives through better listening and better data

A 5-year research project funded by the Nuffield Foundation Strategic Fund.

A great deal of information is collected about the children, young people and families involved with children's services, but it is not always best used to meet their needs and interests. This innovative project will help to shape and support services to improve the ways they use children’s information. Core to this is ensuring that the voices of children, young people, parents, carers and the practitioners who work with them are heard more clearly within children’s information, are listened to, and influence how the information is gathered, shared, processed and used.

This collaborative project is led by Professor Leon Feinstein at the Rees Centre, University of Oxford.

The University of Sussex team includes Professors Elaine Sharland, Lisa Holmes and Gillian Ruch, and Dr.s Liam Berriman, Perpetua Kirby and Caitlin Shaughnessy. We are working with the London School of Economics, University College London, Manchester Metropolitan University and Research in Practice, in partnership with North Yorkshire, Hampshire, Oldham and Rochdale local authorities, and Greater Manchester Combined Authority. Together with children, young people, parents and carers, practitioners, managers, data analysts, service leaders and policymakers, we will develop insights, approaches, methods and strategies to enhance meaningful and ethical use of information.

A Learning Network run by Research in Practice will bring together 20 other local authorities to test the findings in relation to their experiences, and co-produce guides and learning materials to improve the quality and use of children’s services information in England, ultimately to address inequalities and improve lives.