Permanently progressing: Outcomes for children in Scotland accommodated before age 5

Funded by British Association for Adoption & Fostering and Confidential Donor.

Collaboration with Lancaster University and University of York.

For information about the project take a look at the Permanently Progressing? summary

Coming soon:

Permanently Progressing? Building Secure Futures for Children in Scotland: Conference Wednesday 19th September 2018 Venue : Stirling Court Hotel University of Stirling FK9 4AE Since 2014, the Permanently Progressing study has been following a cohort of 1836 children who became ‘looked after’, or ‘looked after and accommodated’ in Scotland in 2012-2013 when they were aged five or under. Many of those children remained or returned to the care of their parents, but for some the decision has been taken to permanently place them with kin, long term foster carers, or adoptive parents. This ground breaking study explores pathways to permanence and outcomes, asking how decisions are made, how long children wait, and what promotes feelings of belonging. It draws on national data from the Children Looked After Statistics (CLAS) for all 32 Local Authorities, surveys of carers, adoptive parents and social workers across 19 Local Authorities. It also includes interviews and focus groups with 160 decision makers including members of Children’s Hearings, and interviews with children and their carers/adoptive parents.

This exciting one day event will present the key findings and core themes from the study, and will contribute to policy, practice and research in Scotland, across the UK and internationally. The day is aimed at practitioners, decision makers, policy makers, and researchers/academics.

Scotland’s Poet Laureate Jackie Kay, author of ‘The Adoption Papers’, and alumni of University of Stirling will contribute to the day.

We know that interest will be high and the Online Shop will open at the end of March 2018.

Total award value £362,949.39

People (3)


Dr Helen Whincup

Dr Helen Whincup

Senior Lecturer, Social Work

Professor Alasdair Rutherford

Professor Alasdair Rutherford

Professor, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology

Dr Marina Shapira

Dr Marina Shapira

Associate Professor, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology

Outputs (2)


Research Report

Whincup H, Grant M, Burgess C & Biehal N (2019) Decision making for children. Commissioned by an anonymous donor. Permanently Progressing? Building secure futures for children in Scotland. Stirling: University of Stirling.


Whincup H & Grant M (2017) Permanently Progressing? Summary 2017 [Permanently Progressing? Building secure futures for children in Scotland]. [Project update]. Scotland.