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‘Bright Spots’ is helping children in foster care

With the largest survey measuring the well-being of children and young people in care, the Bright Spots programme helps local authorities better understand what life in care is like for children. Making it possible to identify and promote practices that have a positive influence on their experience and time in care. 

The Bright Spots programme was developed by Coram Voice with the University of Bristol.

‘Your Life, Your Care’ survey

Bright Spots conducted; two international literature reviews, an expert group roundtable, as well as eighteen focus groups with 140 children and young people. The research identified domains and indicators of well-being common to all children and those unique to children in care. This all led to the development of an online survey, ‘Your Life, Your Care.’ The survey asks children and young people aged 4 to 18, age appropriate questions about their carer, social worker, friends, where they live, happiness and things they get to do.

2,263 children completed the ‘Your Life, Your Care’ survey in 2017 and in February 2018 a report and summary report were published. Some of the key findings showed that the majority of children felt that their lives were getting better in care. However, children and young people’s well-being decreased with age, and girls were more likely than boys to have low well-being. The low well-being overall was associated with not knowing why they were in care and not knowing their social worker (4-7 year olds), feeling isolated and unhappy with contact arrangements (8-10 year olds), and feeling unhappy with their appearance and not given opportunities to be trusted (11-18 year olds).

Dr Claire Baker, head of the Bright Spots programme said “Our surveys are one of the few ways that children in care can give honest feedback on their experiences in care and share how they feel their lives are going. This is absolutely crucial to working out how we, as adults and as corporate parents, can give children in care the very best experience, which is surely what they deserve.”

Author: Julia Zvobgo

Julia Zvobgo is a Cultural Anthropologist and the Community Manager of Child in the City.

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