Learn on the go: the Community Care podcast podcast

Children's networks, episode 2: Lifelong Links

Rewind 15 seconds
Fast Forward 15 seconds
Welcome to Learn on the go, a Community Care Inform podcast where we discuss what the latest research, practice models and policy guidance mean for your practice.

This is our second episode looking at approaches to practice around children’s networks. We discuss the Lifelong Links model with: Pam Ledward, principal social work advisor at Family Rights Group (the charity that developed the model); Eathan, a young person who has built relationships with his uncle, cousins, sister and other family members after spending five of his six years in care without any family connections; Becky, a social worker and Lifelong Links coordinator at Birmingham Children’s Trust who carried out the work with Eathan to start meeting his family; and Emma, team manager for the family group conferencing service at Birmingham Children’s Trust. The questions were asked by Joanna Silman, senior content editor at Community Care Inform.

Community Care Inform subscribers can access additional resources and a written transcript of the podcast: https://www.ccinform.co.uk/learning-tools/childrens-networks-part-2-lifelong-links-podcast-episode/

For more information about Lifelong Links or to contact Family Rights Group, see https://frg.org.uk/lifelong-links/

If you want to ask Eathan anything, you can contact him at [email protected]. Also he explains on the episode, he does public speaking and mentoring. As Becky says, he 'is truly inspirational and is really passionate about his story and how what he has been through in his life may help other care experienced young people.'

In this episode:
2:14 – What is Lifelong Links?
4.11 – A social worker's experience of carrying out Lifelong Links work with a young person
12.10 – Eathan’s experience of finding his family
14.26 – Implementing the approach in a children’s service17.50 – The co-ordinator role
25.58 – The experience of other local authorities
29.49 – Dealing with challenges that come up when doing this work
41.26 – Evidence and evaluations
43.33 – What can social workers elsewhere take from this, even if their service isn’t implementing the model?

You can also listen to episode 1 about children’s networks where we spoke to Family Finding, Family Seeing: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/49103861

And our 2020 episode on siblings, placement and contact: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/23506960


Lifelong Links: Embedding practice. Briefing paper by Rees Centre, University of Oxford, April 2022 (the longitudinal evaluation that Pam refers to): https://frg.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Lifelong-Links-Embedding-Practice.pdf
Lifelong Links, Evaluation report. Department for Education, November 2020 (review of the 2017-2020 pilot): https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/955953/Lifelong_Links_evaluation_report.pdf

More episodes from "Learn on the go: the Community Care podcast"