Newsletter July 2023

Find out more about CEI's latest work to improve the lives of children and families below!


EIS2023: International speakers announced

A stellar line-up of global speakers is now confirmed for the Evidence and Implementation Summit (EIS) 2023 in October.

  • Dr Bianca Albers, Institute for Implementation Science in Health Care, University of Zurich
  • Eric Barends, Center for Evidence-Based Management
  • Professor Maureen Dobbins, School of Nursing, McMaster University
  • Professor Sandra Eades, University of Melbourne
  • Andrew Feldman, Centre for Results-Focused Leadership & Gov Innovator podcast
  • Dr Robyn Mildon, Centre for Evidence and Implementation
  • Professor Nick Sevdalis, Centre for Behavioural and Implementation Science Interventions (BISI), National University of Singapore
  • Isabelle Trowler, Chief Social Worker for Children and Families, England
  • Dr Vivian Tseng, Foundation for Child Development (USA)

Bringing together experts from across the globe to share their experience in generating and implementing evidence for better policy and practice, EIS2023 is taking place globally online and in-person in Melbourne.

EIS2023 is co-hosted by CEI, Monash University and the Centre for Behavioural and Implementation Science Interventions (BISI) at the National University of Singapore.

Find out more and register

Calling for evidence-backed policy shifts to end care criminalisation of children with disability

Australia's Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability commissioned a study from CEI and partners at Monash University and Western Sydney University. 

The study recommends a number of policy shifts to address care criminalisation of children with disability: national guidance to reduce criminalisation; expanded availability of support services for families; expansion of policies to engage affected children in school; and other recommendations.

This is the largest-ever Australian study focused on children with overlapping experiences of child protection, disability, and criminalisation.

Read more

Improving foster carer recruitment and retention 

In England today, more than 80,000 children are living in out-of-home care, 70% of them with foster families. While the number of children needing care is rising, foster carer numbers are falling.

With these challenges at the forefront and England’s new children’s social care strategy in place, The Fostering Network – supported by KPMG Foundation – commissioned CEI to explore what we know about retaining existing and recruiting new foster carers. 

Key recommendations from the research include improved allowances and better support, reducing social worker turnover, and being treated with respect as a valued member of a child’s care team.

Read more

Building social-emotional learning for young children through a common elements approach

It's well understood that high-quality early childhood care and education are fundamental to improving outcomes.

CEI is partnering with the National University of Singapore's Centre for Holistic Initiatives for Learning and Development (CHILD) in an Asia-first trial to test the use of a common elements approach to enhance social-emotional and executive functioning skills in preschoolers. This will involve a contextually grounded implementation approach that includes coaching sessions with early childhood educators.

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Devolving decision-making in philanthropy

‘Participatory grantmaking’ is an emerging practice in global philanthropy, devolving aspects of decision-making to grantees with the aim of delivering better outcomes. 

CEI has launched a new study commissioned by Paul Ramsay Foundation that engages with theory and practice in this important area. The study finds that while the evidence is not conclusive on whether these approaches support better outcomes, philanthropists can have confidence that participatory grantmaking holds promise and is worthy of further investment.

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CEI Nordic project puts kids first

Opened in late 2022, CEI's Nordic office is now leading the Kids first! project, funded by Kavli Trust. This innovative work supports communities in Norway to embed locally relevant approaches that better support children, so they can grow into robust adults.

Taking a long-term view and anchored in global and national research, Kids first! is about recognising children's strengths and needs, and prioritising local efforts to detect and deal with challenges earlier.

Read more

Improving mental health outcomes for care-experienced young people

Children who have experienced out-of-home care are disproportionately affected by mental health challenges. Foundations: What Works Centre for Children & Families asked CEI to review the evidence about effective mental health services for care-experienced young people.

The review finds that young people have trouble accessing services due to long waiting times, challenges of geography, and stringent thresholds for acceptance into care, among other factors. Services may be improved through greater client choice and control, having more specialised options, and placing greater importance on the relationships and networks that young people establish for themselves. 

Read more

Events and opportunities

  • CEI is hiring! We are seeking a Senior Advisor in Research and Evaluation based in Sydney. This role offers the opportunity to manage a portfolio of CEI projects across a range of strategic activities.  
  • 6 July, 3pm to 5pm SGT / 5pm to 7pm AEST
    Launch of the Regional Early Childhood Development Landscape Study with Asia Philanthropy Circle. This is the most in-depth exploration to date of the state of early childhood development policies and programs across China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore. To register, visit this link.
  • Be sure to listen to last week's Evidence and Implementation Summit Virtual Series webinar on "Improving social care systems at scale for children and families" with England's Chief Social Worker for Children and Families, Isabelle Trowler, and CEI's CEO Dr Robyn Mildon. A link to an event recording is here.
  • 13-14 July
    6th UK Implementation Science Research Conference 
    Join in-person at the University of Limerick (Ireland) or virtually online.
    CEI is a conference sponsor.

Publications and knowledge sharing