Our pioneering projects

Coram has long acted as a test bed for new ideas of  ways to help children, young people and families.

We have pioneered new approaches to legal proceedings for families where a drug or alcohol problem is a key issue and in outreach from children’s centres to those most in need. Other new ways of working developed by us include Creative Therapies for children and our Concurrent Planning service.

A number of our projects were validated by the former Centre for Excellence and Outcomes in Children and Young People’s Services (C4EO).

Examples of our pioneering projects include:

Blonde teenage girl staring into Camera Family Drug and Alcohol Court  The three-year Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) pilot was funded by the boroughs of Camden, Islington and Westminster. It has now been extended so that more London families can receive support, thanks to continued funding from the original three boroughs and additional funding from Hammersmith and Fulham, and Southwark councils.

Following the success of the pilot, the Coram team gave training and advice to Gloucester County Council which launched its own FDAC. We are now working to extend FDAC to at least two further locations across the country. Find out more about FDAC

Matching project  The Matching Project is a one-year DfE-funded project designed to support the improvement of adoption matching in local authorities. It runs from April 2015 to March 2016.

  • As part of the study we will identify and offer support to 7-10 LAs in the form of a diagnostic analysis, and also offer support and follow-up in matching their hard to place children.
  • We will review the effects of the support on adoption trends and the process of implementing new forms of working.
  • Based on the experiences of the local authorities we will produce a practice and implementation guide and train 50 practitioners and managers across England on its use.

Black toddler playing outdoors on play structureFirst4Adoption In partnership with Adoption UK, Coram and Coram Children's Legal Centre (CCLC) launched First4Adoption, the new dedicated information service for people interested in adopting a child in England. Supported and funded by the Department for Education (DfE), the telephone line and online guides give information to help potential adopters navigate the process, bust the myths preventing people from considering adoption and encourage more people to come forward. Visit First4Adoption

Concurrent Planning As part of our work advancing early permanence for young babies, Coram pioneers a scheme called Concurrent Planning that helps minimise delay in the adoption process. Concurrent Planning sees babies under two fostered in the short term by parents who are also willing to adopt them long-term. The scheme is validated by C4EO. Learn more about early permanence on our special adoption website.

Concurrent Planning Subscription programme Coram also runs a national Concurrent Planning Subscription programme, currently working with 13 local authorities and three independent adoption agencies so that concurrent planning can be offered more widely across England. Read more about our Concurrent Planning Subscription programme 

Activity Days for Fostering Coram are currently pioneering Activity Days for Fostering (ADFs), a new way of finding families for looked-after children. ADFs offer a supported, safe and fun opportunity for approved foster carers – and approved prospective adopters who are willing to foster – to meet a range of children waiting for a permanent home. Following the sucessful completion of three pilot events we are curerntly hosting information sessions to inform local authority social workers, fostering social workers and independent fostering agencies about the project. Read more about Activity Days for Fostering.

Past projects

Ealing outreach project Commissioned by Ealing Council in 2010, Coram worked with children’s centres across the borough, offering support to parents-to-be and families with children under five. Confidence in parenting improved for nearly all parents who had previously lacked this. Ealing Council’s audit concluded that Coram was successful in reaching families who would have otherwise “fallen through the net” and the service was validated as “promising practice” by C4EO, the Centre for Excellence and Outcomes in Children and Young People’s Services.

White girl staring out of a rainy windowPost-Adoption Support pilot Coram led the Post-Adoption Support Service pilot (PASS), funded by the Department for Education, aimed at increasing the number of children and parents benefitting from post-adoption support. The service delivered support through parenting programmes which were adapted for the needs of adoptive parents, and/or art or music therapy for their adopted children.

The pilot was delivered in five geographic hubs: North West, East Midlands, East Anglia, London and Kent, with the findings disseminated nationally.

As part of that, our Creative Therapies was used to provide a safe place where children could explore how to communicate and express their feelings using art, music and play. In a recent outcome study, 94% of parents reported their child’s emotional wellbeing improved after Coram Creative Therapies. Find out more about Coram’s Creative Therapies


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