Funding awarded for research on Service children and the social care system

Forces in Mind Trust has awarded £150,000 to RAND Europe for a research project on the needs of Service families in the children’s social care system.

The two-year study will seek to identify the extent to which children’s social care services in the UK are adequately supporting the needs of Service children in England and Wales.

The unique nature of Service life may have an impact on the needs of Service children within the social care system. However, there is currently no evidence base on how many Service children there are in the social care system and how their particular needs are being addressed. RAND Europe, in collaboration with Dr Michael Sanders, will seek to understand any disparities in access to children’s social care services between Armed Forces and civilian families. The research team will also explore the unique dynamics of social care provision for children attending schools on-base and off-base.

Tom McBarnet, Chief Executive (Acting) of Forces in Mind Trust, said

“Service children experience unique circumstances due to the nature of Service life. At Forces in Mind Trust, we seek to ensure that current and ex-Service personnel and their families are not disadvantaged by their service, and to increase understanding of areas in which they might face additional challenges. There is currently a gap in information and evidence about how Service children experience and interact with the social care system. Therefore, we are pleased to be able to fund this research, which we hope will lead to a better appreciation of the support needs of Service children within the social care system and, where found, avenues for potential improvement.”

Dr Ben Wilkinson, Deputy Director of Defence and Security at RAND Europe, said

“We are grateful to the Forces in Mind Trust for sponsoring this important research which will bring us a step further in understanding the unique support needs and experiences of Service children and their families. As challenges facing the Armed Forces community are evolving, providing robust evidence on the extent, dynamics and gaps in support provision is even more critical.”

Dr Michael Sanders said

“I’m so excited that this project is happening. We know far too little about how Armed Forces families interact with the children’s social care system, and this project will help shine a light on how the state supports those who serve and their families”

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