Conversations for Care is an interdisciplinary knowledge exchange project funded by TORCH, at University of Oxford. We want to encourage better engagement between research and practice about experiences of care. The project proposes to stimulate conversations about care by bringing together key stakeholders – young people, social workers, foster carers and others – and researchers. Our aim is to foster an environment in which we can co-create knowledge with the care community and generate new ways of working together. We hope to suggest strategies for more engaged research.
Children in care and care experienced adults are some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Research shows that people with experience of care are overrepresented in prisons, hospitals or psychiatric care, and in unemployment figures. Only 6% go to university at 18, compared to nearly 50% of young people who are not care experienced. While research and policy efforts are ongoing to redress these inequalities, there remains a significant disconnect between these stark statistics and the lived experiences of care experienced people and those supporting children in care. This means that critical expertise is not shared, and practice remains ad-hoc and at times ineffective.
Working together with a range of partners, we plan to:
- Host monthly discussions on Twitter at #CareConvos
- Facilitate workshops for young people to tell us what’s important for them
- Organise coffee mornings to meet foster carers, social workers, people working in education and any other professional who wants to join
- Host seminars and workshops with our partners and those who want to make a difference
- Listen to feedback from our partners about other activities we might organise
#CareConvos is now looked after by the Care Experienced Young People’s Network (YPN) which is a small group of care experienced (CEP) young people, campaigning for improved support for care leavers.
You can find out more about their fantastic work here.