Improving well-being and outcomes for looked after children in Wales: a context sensitive review of interventions

Louise Roberts, Nina Maxwell, Paul Rees, Sally Holland, Nicholas Forbes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Improving outcomes for looked after children and young people has been a longstanding concern in Wales. This article reports the findings of a scoping study which sought to identify interventions aimed at improving outcomes for looked after children that are effective or promising. The study was commissioned by an independent funding body to inform a £5 million investment programme for Wales. It comprised a rapid review of literature, informed through consultation with an expert advisory panel and groups of young people who had been in care. The article outlines the rapid review method, provides details of shortlisted interventions and describes the interventions subsequently approved for investment. It concludes that although there are many promising interventions which address the factors associated with poor outcomes for looked after children, the evidence base is weak. It is argued that decision-making on interventions should be informed by appraisal of the empirical evidence available, but should also be guided by professional judgement that considers the needs, priorities and preferences of service users, carers, practitioners and policy-makers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-324
Number of pages16
JournalAdoption and Fostering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2016


  • Looked after children
  • Wales
  • foster care
  • interventions
  • outcomes
  • policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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