Building trusted relationships

Reviews of the child protection system have suggested that children who experience abuse lack a designated adult to provide consistent support, or a ‘trusted relationship’. In response to this the Home Office and Early Intervention Foundation are working together on a new initiative to increase access to trusted adults for vulnerable children.

Evidence shows that relationships can support the development of skills, coping strategies, confidence and behaviour change. We know, for example, that one important ingredient in building resilience in young people is the power of a strong positive adult relationship. While there is a widespread belief that individual grit or innate strength of character can enable people to overcome problems, evidence suggests that it is often the reliable presence of at least one supportive relationship that creates the capacity to do well in the face of adversity.

We are seeking to understand the most important features of building trusted relationships for vulnerable children and young people with public services, and to identify how to integrate these features within local early intervention systems.

  • Which aspects of trusting relationships between children and adult professionals are key to improving young people’s resilience and outcomes?
  • How can more of these relationships be enabled in our existing public services?

The project will report in early November. For more information, please contact Ben Lewing.