Let's Connect Fostering Communities

Retired Project
Foundations have chosen to retire the Let’s Connect Fostering Communities study, as it became clear that it could not meet its aims. Find out more:

Let’s Connect Fostering Communities


This protocol summarises plans for a pilot RCT of Let’s Connect, an intervention to improve the mental health and wellbeing of foster and kinship families.

Who, what, why and how?

Let’s Connect is a support programme developed by Barnardo’s, based on the Wellness Recovery Action Planning model (WRAP), which is delivered to foster/kinship communities, with the aim of improving the mental health and well-being of foster/kinship families.

WRAP helps participants to identify and understand their personal wellness resources and then to develop an individualised plan to use these resources on a daily basis to manage their mental health and wellbeing. WRAP will be delivered in the following group sizes:

  • Adults: three full-day sessions with a maximum of 16 participants
  • Foster children: 10-week sessions with maximum of 8 participants
  • Birth children: 10-week sessions with maximum of 12 participants.

We have commissioned Coram to conduct a pilot randomised controlled trial of the Let’s Connect programme in Hull, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire.

The evaluation consists of three elements: a pilot impact evaluation, an implementation and process evaluation, and a cost analysis. The primary outcome for the pilot impact evaluation is foster/kinship carer wellbeing. Secondary outcomes include the wellbeing of children (as reported by carers), carer peer support networks, carers’ family relationships, and placement stability. The implementation and process evaluation will focus on the evidence of feasibility, fidelity, acceptability, and readiness for a full-scale trial.

Research Questions

The impact evaluation will look at the following research questions:

  • What impact does referring a family to WRAP, relative to usual support for the mental health and wellbeing of fostering and kinship care families, have on:
    • Carers’ wellbeing?
    • Carers’ perceived peer support as measured by the number of other foster or kinship carers a carer could ask for help if needed?
    • The mental health of children in fostering and kinship households, as reported by their carers?
    • Carers’ family relationships?
    • The rate of placement changes?

The implementation and process evaluation will look at the following research questions:

  • To what extent was the intervention implemented as intended compared to the activities detailed in the theory of change and logic model?
  • What is the experience of taking part in WRAP for (birth/foster/kinship) children and their carers?
  • What is the learning from introducing WRAP in the new context of the fostering and kinship community?

The cost evaluation will look at the following research question:

  • How much does it cost Barnardo’s and local authorities to introduce WRAP in the first year?

Delivery Partners


Evaluation partners

Due Date

This project is due to be completed by November 2024.

Research Protocol


Intervention Protocol


Related Projects

Exploring local area data & monitoring of Family Group Conferences

What interventions improve outcomes for kinship carers and their children