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The InCLUDE project explores how we can increase inclusion and participation, in the Reflective Fostering Study and in children's social care research more broadly.


We want the Reflective Fostering Study to be as inclusive as possible, so we can better understand the difference the programme can make for all foster carers.

So far, we have noticed that some people are more likely to take part than others. Specifically, our study has fewer South Asian carers, male carers and kinship carers than we would expect based on national levels.

Reflective Fostering: InCLUDE project

The project is asking three main questions:

  • Who is the Reflective Fostering Study not including and how can we change this?

  • How can we recruit more participants to the study in a representative and inclusive way?

  • Who is less likely to be included in research generally and how can we change this?

We are exploring these questions in different ways, including reviewing other literature, speaking with experts and setting up the InCLUDE-ME Group.

The InCLUDE-ME Group

The InCLUDE-ME Group is a place to share experiences and ideas about how to make our research more inclusive. So far the group have:

  1. Redesigned publicity materials for the wider study

  2. Advised on changing our recruitment methods so that we can reach more under-served communities

  3. Helped develop a survey for carers about their experiences and opinions of research

  4. Helped create resources for local authorities about what inclusive recruitment means and how to do it well.

For more information about InCLUDE please email Rachael or Shayma:

Learning and Resources

The InCLUDE team presented some key findings from the project at the ‘Health Services Research UK’ conference 2023, and were awarded an “Innovation in Inclusion” prize for their research. You can watch a presentation of their main findings 

Based on our learning with foster and kinship carers throughout InCLUDE, we have developed a toolkit about building inclusivity into fostering services, available here.