Project: Evaluation of the Moving On service at Break 

Funder: Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

Dates: 2013-2015

Research Team: Professor Gillian Schofield, Dr Emma Ward and Dr Birgit Larsson

BREAK, a Norfolk based voluntary organisation providing residential child care and other services to children, received funding in 2012 from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, to develop a Moving On team.  Gillian Schofield and the Centre for Research on Children and Families were funded to undertake the evaluation of this innovative project.  The transitions team works alongside Break's residential units preparing young people for independence and moving on into the community.  When a young person has left their care, the expectation is that support and advice will be available whenever it is needed and for as long as required for young people on their path towards adulthood and act as positive role models.  

Over the three year period of this development project at Break, interviews were conducted with a sample of 20 young people involved with transitions workers in the Moving On team.  The evaluation sought to establish young people's perceptions of their experiences and close relationships during their time in care and since leaving care, and the support available to them. Their sense of security, identity and belonging, a key goal of permanence, was a particular focus.   Focus groups were conducted with a range of residential care practitioners to capture their views and experiences of their parenting /caregiving role. Interviews were also conducted with transitions workers, to understand  the challenges and rewards of their role.

The findings from the evaluation will inform a range of practice in relation to the quality of residential care and the support for the transitions to adulthood.  Adolescence is a crucial period of development for vulnerable young people and supportive relationships that promote resilience are essential. This project is an important opportunity to consider how new approaches can improve outcomes as young people in care move through adolescence into adulthood.

The final report was launched by Professor Gillian Schofield at the annual CRCF conference held at the Nuffield Foundation, London on the 14th July 2015.

You can view the Professor Schofield's presentation here - Permanence and Transitions in Residential Care

You can read the full report here - Moving On - But Staying Connected