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Health Minister launches new children’s social care research centre

27 May 2014

Launch of new research centre at Cardiff University that will focus on children’s social care in Wales.
Arwel Ellis Jones (Chair, Care Council for Wales), Professor Elizabeth Treasure (Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Cardiff University), Lisa Armstrong (CASCADE Voices), Mark Drakeford AM, Dr Sally Holland, Professor Andy Pithouse

Minister for Health and Social Services, Mark Drakeford AM, has launched a new research centre at Cardiff University that will focus on children's social care in Wales.

Covering support to families, child protection, children in care and adoption; the Children's Social Care Research and Development Centre (CASCADE) is the only centre of its kind in Wales. 

It brings together more than £1.35 million of current research grants and is led by Dr Sally Holland, a leading researcher in social work and child welfare based at the School of Social Sciences.

Its principal aim is to improve the well-being and safety of children and their families by generating primary research evidence of an internationally recognised high quality.

Mark Drakeford AM officially launched CASCADE and in his talk explained how the centre is an excellent example of co-production, which here involves seeking the expertise of citizens who use social services and involving them in the research process from the beginning.

"CASCADE is a real example of how co-production is put into practice. Work at the centre will be connected to the life and work of the community in which it is based.

"The work in our universities really makes a difference to policy-making and CASCADE is going to be an important player in social work policy in Wales" Mr Drakeford added.

Speaking at the launch, Dr Holland said: "CASCADE is about research informed practice and practice informed research. Our young people's advisory group CASCADE Voices informs our research questions and research designs and our relationship with the Care Council for Wales means that all registered social workers and social care workers will have access to our research findings."

Lisa Armstrong, a member of CASCADE Voices, spoke at the launch about how the group members gain from their involvement with the university through being valued and listened to while learning new skills.

Find out more about CASCADE at and follow on Twitter @CASCADEresearch.