Fostering a Shared Understanding of Educational Success for Children in Care


fostering understanding

'Fostering a Shared Understanding of Educational Success for Children in Care'


Knowledge Exchange Fellow:
Dr Aoife O'Higgins   |   Department of Experimental Psychology   |   University of Oxford

Partner Organisation:
National Association of Fostering Providers



Conversations for Care is an interdisciplinary knowledge exchange project funded by TORCH, at the University of Oxford. Our aim is to facilitate better engagement between research and practice with regards to children’s experiences of the care system. The project proposes to stimulate conversations about care by bringing together key stakeholders – young people, social workers, foster carers and others – and researchers. Our conversations will take place on twitter, over coffee and cake, and through creative workshops. Our aim is to co-create knowledge with the care community and generate new ways of working together. Ultimately, 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
•    Listen to feedback from our partners about other activities we might organise

Find out more at :

Past Events