Innovation in Children’s Social Care: From Conceptualisation to Improved Outcomes?

Call for papers for: Journal of Children's Services

Guest Editors: Emily R. Munro, Steve Walker, Helen Skouteris and Fiona Newlands

The Munro Review of Child Protection (2011) highlighted that child protection had become procedurally driven, bureaucratic and risk adverse and emphasised the importance of implementing evidence-based models of practice, supported by training, supervision, IT changes and monitoring to facilitate the provision of timely and effective help to children and their families (p. 8-10).  Professor Eileen Munro also acknowledged the importance of maintaining a focus upon the quality of help that is provided, taking into account the views and experiences of children and families and those working with them.  The Department for Education subsequently invested around £300 million in the Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme (2014-2020) with the aim of developing, testing and sharing new approaches to transform outcomes for children in and on the edge of care.

This special issue of Journal of Children’s Services will focus on exploring both national and international innovations in children’s social care settings from conceptualisation to implementation.  It will also contribute to understanding how and why innovative practices have (or have not) affected change and/or been sustained.  It aims to illuminate what motivates ‘bottom up’ or ‘top down’ innovations, why specific models or approaches are selected for adoption, how these are (or are not) embedded in practice, and whether changes in service delivery ultimately improve outcomes for children and families who are in touch with children’s social care. 

We welcome submissions to this special issue. Topics covered include (but are not limited to):

  • Factors influencing decisions about which innovations to test, the target group (children in need, child protection, children looked after, care leavers) and the strategies employed to implement change
  • What works: Creating the organisational conditions and a culture to embed and sustain system change and/or innovative practices (the role of leaders, practitioners and/or service users, and the potential importance of implementation science)
  • Learning from cross-national transfer of innovate programmes or models of practice
  • Working in co-production with children and families to inform the design, delivery and adaptation of innovations in children’s social care services
  • Which innovations to protect and promote the wellbeing of children and families do not work as intended, in what context, and why?
  • Evidence standards: the role and contribution of different evaluative approaches to inform decisions about ‘what works’ in children’s social care and the potential to scale and spread innovations in other settings.

Deadline and Submission Details

Abstract deadline (300 words):  5th October 2020
The submission deadline for all papers is: 14th December 2020
The publication date of this special issue is:  September 2021

To submit your paper, please visit:

To view the author guidelines for this journal, please visit:

Contact the Guest Editors or submit an abstract:

Name: Professor Emily R. Munro
Institution: University of Bedfordshire
Email: [email protected]

Name: Steve Walker
Institution: Leeds City Council
Email: [email protected]

Name: Professor Helen Skouteris
Institution: Monash University
Email: [email protected]

Name: Fiona Newlands
Institution: University of Bedfordshire
Email: Fiona. [email protected]