Children’s chances tackled in four major reports

Children's chances pageMajor reports tackling the challenges faced by children and ensuring they have the best chances in life, produced by emerging leaders in policy with academics from the University of Sheffield, have been launched at an event in London.

The Crook Public Service Fellowships at the University of Sheffield provide the opportunity for future leaders in public and not-for-profit sectors to immerse themselves in a collaborative project with academic colleagues on a pressing policy issue or challenge.

This year’s theme was Children’s Chances, with reports by Isabelle Trowler, Chief Social Worker for England; Sara Gowen, Managing Director of Sheffield Young Carers; Sumi Rabindrakumar, former Research Officer at Gingerbread; and Alice Field, Residential Manager at Young Futures.

Issues explored in the reports include the effectiveness of early intervention, single parent families, the role of voluntary organisations in supporting and monitoring young carers and the services provided for young people leaving care.

The reports were launched at an event at the Wellcome Collection.

Professor Gill Valentine, Interim President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sheffield, said: "The Crook Public Service Fellowships are a fantastic opportunity for future leaders in policy to combine their practical experience with academia to identify solutions to some of society's biggest challenges.

"We're extremely grateful to Professor Crook for his generosity and support of this scheme, which reflects his deep commitment to public service."

The Crook Public Service Fellowship scheme, named in honour of the donor, Emeritus Professor Tony Crook, CBE FAcSS FRTPI, from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning and former Pro-Vice-Chancellor, aims to encourage original thinking and influence public policy.

Professor Crook said: “I am delighted to see how the Crook Fellowships have achieved what I wanted to see when we set these up. They are helping to build strong collaborations between academic colleagues and Crook Fellows working in the policy and practice communities.

“The fundamental aim is to help make the world a better place through rigorous research on difficult policy challenges. These reports show what we can do through building strong links between academics and policy makers.”

Next year’s cohort of Crook Public Service Fellows will address the highly pressing theme of ‘Disability and Disadvantage’ alongside academics from the University of Sheffield’s Faculty of Social Sciences.

Crook logoMore than 10 million people in the UK have a limiting long term illness, impairment or disability, which is over 18 per cent of the population – yet there remain a number of barriers and obstacles faced by disabled communities where fresh thinking and insights could have real impact.

Each Fellow will visit Sheffield for short periods over the next 12 months to work in collaboration with academic colleagues on a diverse range issues affecting people with disabilities.

Read the reports

Find out more about the Crook Public Service Fellowships