The Rees Centre organises a range of free seminars and events related to fostering, many of them open to the public. Related discussions can be found on the Rees blog and video recordings of selected seminars are available in Past Events, Webinars and/or Resources section of our website.


Public Seminar
Monday 15 May 2017 at 5pm
Oxford University Dept of Education 15 Norham Gardens Oxford OX2 6PY
Speaker: Julie Selwyn, Professor of Child and Family Social Work, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol

Bright Spots Project – the subjective well-being of looked after children and survey development

Julie Selwyn CBE is the lead author of the ‘Our Lives, Our Care’ research report. 

It is increasingly recognised that understanding subjective well-being  (SWB) – or asking people how they feel about their own lives – is key to developing policy that supports our quality of life.  The Measuring What Matters programme (Office of National Statistics, 2011) concluded that people’s objective circumstances can improve but this does not necessarily translate into feeling that life is improving. For example, crime can go down, but people do not report feeling more secure. The ONS and the Children’s Society have done a great deal of work on  the SWB of children in the general population but little is known about the SWB of children in care.  Currently only objective measures are collected by the DfE such as educational results, number of teen pregnancies and we do not know how children themselves feel about their own lives in care. Do they identify the same elements as important to their well-being as do children in general population and how might their well-being be measured? What is important to children in care? 

This seminar focuses on  the development of an on-line survey  Our Lives Our Care  to measure the SWB of children in care and the findings from the first 611 children to complete it. Eighteen focus groups were held involving 140 children and young people to understand their perceptions of what was important to their well-being. Although there were domains of well-being that were held in common with children in the general population, looked after children identified other domains and their emphasis differed. The work is the product of the Bright Spots Programme, a long-standing partnership between the Children’s Rights charity Coram Voice and the University of Bristol with the generous support of the Hadley Trust. It aims to improve the care experiences of young people by enabling local authorities to find out directly from young people about how they are doing in the areas that are important to them and what needs to change for the better. During 2016, 611 children and young people completed the surveys with some surprising results. 

Drinks will be served after the event. All welcome. No need to register in advance.

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Webinar Online event 22 March

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