Newsletter November 2021

With offices in London, Melbourne, Singapore, and Sydney, CEI’s teams bring diverse perspectives on what COVID has meant for each of our regions. Each of our communities has been touched in different ways by this challenging season. Despite the barriers they’ve faced our partners and clients have continued to push to create impact for the most vulnerable amongst us. Whilst this period has been testing it has also driven learning and sparked inspiration as we’ve witnessed the resilience and innovation of the people and communities we work with.
In this month’s newsletter we share some of our recent work including our efforts to build system capacity for implementation and scale up of common elements in child and family services through the Victorian Department of Families, Fairness and Housing; insights from new reviews of ‘matching’ in foster care and evidence on young people leaving care; and results of an evaluation of Make-A-Wish Foundation’s work in Singapore. We also share details of upcoming events; we hope that you will join us.

An invitation to the 3rd CHILD Evidence to Policy and Practice webinar 

CHILD Nov 2022 Webinar



The CHILD Evidence to Policy and Practice Webinar Series is part of CHILD’s key outreach initiatives aimed at engaging policymakers, academics, clinicians and practitioners in collaborative dialogue focused on translational research, child development, and implementation science.

The first and second webinars from the series are now available online and can be accessed here

Supporting government reform initiatives in child protection to meet increased service demands during the pandemic and beyond

In 2020 CEI began working closely with the Victorian Department of Families, Fairness and Housing to support the development of an evidence-informed Family Preservation and Reunification Response.  The aim of the ‘Response’ is to address the increasing demands on child protection services during the COVID-19 pandemic and to prevent children entering the Care system. CEI has used ‘common elements’ to develop evidence informed modules for the Response and is currently supporting scale up, assisting 36 community service agencies across the State to ensure its adoption and implementation.


Watch the 'Innovations in Behavioural and Implementation Science for Healthcare' webinar series 

Behavioural and Implementation Science Interventions (BISI), situated in the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore, is currently hosting a webinar series on 'Innovations in Behavioural and Implementation Science for Healthcare.’ Recordings of both the first and second webinars are now available

The third webinar in the series is scheduled for Tuesday December 7th at 4pm SGT / 7pm AEDT / 8am UKT.

Join us and engage with leading sector experts from around the globe as they discuss public health challenges and consider what role evidence informed policy and practice can play in shaping  healthcare. We will circulate further details as they become available closer to the date.


Synthesising evidence on what works to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for young people leaving care

In partnership with the Monash University Department of Social Work, The Fostering Network in the UK and the School for Policy Studies at the University of Bristol, CEI undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis for What Works Children’s Social Care, examining the strength of evidence that supports a diverse range of policies, programs and interventions that seek to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for young people as they transition from out-of-home care into independent living arrangements.

The review found no support for limited, ‘light touch’ intervention, such as training youth to live independently without other substantial support. It is clear far more substantive efforts are required to meet the very real challenges facing young people leaving care. The most promising approach was extending the age at which young people can remain in care; we found emerging evidence that these policies can improve outcomes across several domains. This makes sense considering young people who are not leaving care often need the continued provision of financial, psychological and other supports. However, the evidence for extended care is limited and there are indications that a substantial portion of young people may require additional support or different interventions to successfully transition to adulthood. In particular there is a need for further research to understand which aspects of extended care and other intensive interventions such as housing support and mentorship, and their implementation, work best for young people. Our findings endorse the need for governments and agencies to make changes to policies and services that aim to address this. High quality evaluations of such initiatives will be very valuable in building the evidence base.


Understanding the impact of interventions to improve the lives of critically ill children

Make-A-Wish is an organisation established for the purpose of creating life-changing wishes for critically ill children. It operates in nearly 50 countries around the globe. Since its inception in Singapore in 2002, Make-A-Wish Singapore has granted wishes to over 1,600 critically ill children in the form of unique experiences or items of value chosen by the child. CEI led an evaluation on the organisation’s wish granting activities that found that wish recipients and their families felt that both the Wish Journey and the Wishes themselves had a positive effect on their lives, particularly in enhancing emotional well-being. 


Maximising the chances of successfully implementing evidence based policing strategies.   

Senior Advisor Dr Karla Lopez has published in the ANZ SEBP (Australia and New Zealand Society of Evidence Based Policing) Police Science journal – Policing Insight, on maximising the chances of implementing evidence based policing strategies successfully. She writes, "The implementation phase should be active and planned rather than left to chance. What implementation science brings to policing is an enhanced understanding of the methods and strategies used to promote the uptake of evidence-informed practices, initiatives or solutions into business as usual, to improve quality and effectiveness in policing."


Events, News and Publications

Executive Director Dr Robyn Mildon presented a keynote 'Ensuring the implementation of evidence in policing: Implementation Science - another force for change at the rescheduled ANZ Society for Evidence Based Policing conference; Senior Advisor Dr Karla Lopez also presented.

Managing Director Mary Abdo participated in (and live tweeted) an Asia Venture Philanthropy Network Panel for its Policy Leadership Lab on Data for Impact.

Managing Director Mary Abdo delivered the opening keynote The view from here – evidence and evaluation in Asia at the Australian Evaluation Society’s FestEVAL21 4-day conference.

Advisor Tom Steele presented at the Public Health Association Australia Conference on the ‘Our Voice’ evaluation

Executive Director Dr Robyn Mildon spoke at the STEPPS (Strengthening and Transferring Evidence for Policies and Politics Society) Knowledge Brokering between Research and Government conference on Governmental knowledge bodies: Making evidence fit for purpose

Director Dr Melinda PolimeniSenior Advisor Dr Karla Lopez and Advisor Tamara White all presented at the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare #OPEN2021 symposium; Working on what matters, sharing what works.

The Wellcome Trust published a report that included a systemic review CEI conducted of international evidence on the effectiveness of problem-solving interventions for adolescents and young adults.

The Nuffield Foundation published a blog on the Impact of Covid on Early Childhood Education and Care project that included research contributions from CEI. 

The CEI UK team co-sponsored a 'Welcome to the Neighbourhood' event at our workplace in The Evidence Quarter in Westminster to formally launch the shared workspace of organisations committed to powering evidence-based change. David Halpern, CEO of the Behavioural Insights Team, spoke about the movement of evidence-based policy and practice and the creation of What Works Centres. Event co-sponsors included the Centre for Homelessness Impact, Transforming Access and Student Outcomes (TASO), and What Works for Children's Social Care.