Bright Spots Programme

“The Our Care, Our Lives research provides us with the opportunity to hear what matters to children and young people living in care right now in their own words and also provides an excellent temperature check of our care services and what we need to do better.

“I’d like to commend Coram Voice and the Hadley Centre for Adoption and Foster Care Studies for another wide reaching and insightful survey as part of the Bright Spots programme. I am fascinated to see how the participating local authorities respond and use this unique perspective to drive improvements.”

(Former Minister for Children and Families, Nadhim Zahawi, April 2019)

The Bright Spots Programme is a partnership between Coram Voice and the University of Oxford, funded by the Hadley Trust. It supports local authorities to systematically listen to their children in care and care leavers, about the things that are important to them.

How does Bright Spots work?

Since 2013, we have worked with children and young people to develop two new sets of well-being indicators measured by our online surveys:

By working with over 50 local authorities and gathering almost 10,000 responses from children and care leavers we have gained insight into the key question, what makes life good for children in care and care leavers?

The Your Life, Your Care and Your Life Beyond Care surveys are the largest surveys of their kind, giving more children in care and care leavers the chance to share their experiences. The survey compares local findings with those of other local authorities, as well as with peers in the general population.

Both surveys were co-produced with young people and the questions are based on what 170 young people in care and care leavers said was important to them.

They are evidence-based. The survey is a robust research tool, developed over six years of research. It is comparative to national data, draws on two international literature reviews and piloting with cognitive interviews to test questions. (Selwyn, et. al 2016 and Selwyn et. al 2015).

Bright Spots strategy

Bright Spots has 3 underlying principles:

  •  Focus on what children and young people say about their lives and what is important to them
  • Ensure the views and experiences of children influence service development and strategic thinking
  • Share good practice between local authorities by encouraging opportunities for learning and development

Findings so far

Findings are published in online reports, peer reviewed articles and featured on social media.

Read more:

How to make life good: Examples of innovative practice to improve the well-being of children in care and care leavers

Since 2013, the Bright Spots programme has worked with children in care and care leavers to explore what makes life good for them. Their well-being is measured by the Your Life Your Care and Your Life Beyond Care surveys.

Using the surveys, we have worked with local authorities to understand how children and young people feel about their lives and have identified examples of practice improvement that were developed as a result of what young people said.

The 10,000 Voices Findings (coming soon) showcase how children and young people felt about their lives and our ‘Practice Bank’ showcases case studies of local authority practice. 

Visit the Practice Bank

Get involved

We are always looking to grow our programme.

If you work for a local authority that might want to use the surveys and take part in the Bright Spots Programme, please take a look at our offer or email us at

Keep up to date with Bright Spots news

For monthly updates regarding the project and other related news/events, sign up to the Bright Spots newsletter.