At TACT we care deeply about research because it is an effective way to get the voices of the children and young people in our care heard. The experiences of the young people that we support are at the centre of our research. This is precisely the reason our policy ideas are so pertinent and powerful.
We believe that care can and should be a positive, transformative experience for every young person. No matter what we do, our motivation is the same: building better lives for children and young people in care. TACT carers and staff work every day to ensure that children and young people are at the core of TACT’s work.
One of the main ways that we gather views of our children, young people and carers is through a regular survey. We conduct face to face interviews with our children and young people across TACT ranging from age 9 to 18. We also survey our foster carers, adoptive parents and social workers to find out their experiences and views of the care system so that we can improve our practice.
We believe that listening to and valuing young people’s views and ideas doesn’t just help us deliver better services and campaign more effectively; it also helps young people reach their potential. We are proud to help young people in our care to find their voice and we are determined to ensure their voices speak loud and clear. The voice of the child will always define what we do.
Current Research Projects
Education - Reaching for the Best
Every three years TACT carries out a children’s survey to gather the views of young people on the service we are offering them. In 2015, TACT’s Children’s Champions group chose education to be the topic of the survey. The report detailing the findings from TACT’s Education Survey is due to be published in September 2016.
The survey on education provides an important opportunity to influence changes in the system of care and education, in order to improve the life chances of children and young people in or leaving care.
The attainment gap between children in care and their counterparts in education is persistent and still in evidence despite the best efforts by the children’s workforce.
It is now 12 years since local authorities were given a duty to promote the educational achievement of looked after children since the Children Act 2004. But new figures show that improvements are not happening quickly enough to make a positive impact on their life chances.
The most up to date figures are published in the DfE annual report on ‘Outcomes for children looked after by local authorities in England’ (31 March 2016). Attainment is slightly increasing for maths and writing and is stable for reading. But compared to non-looked after children, levels of attainment are much lower. Last year only 63% of looked after children achieved level 2 or above for their writing, compared to 88% of non-looked after children. Yes, at key stage 2 attainment for looked after children between the ages of 7 and 11 continues to improve especially in grammar, punctuation and spelling And there is improvement in the percentage off looked after children achieved 5 or more A *C GCSEs including English and Maths. Higher education gives more cause for concern. The DfE says only six per cent of care leavers were higher education in England in the year ending March 2015 – the same proportion as in 2014.
TACT is in a unique position to collect the thoughts, experiences and stories of not just children and young people in care, but also those of the foster cares. This survey is will be instrumental in shaping our day to day practice and influencing improved outcomes for children and young people in and leaving care.