The Hadley Centre was established in October 2000 through the generous funding of the Hadley Trust.
One of the major contemporary concerns is how best to provide stability and permanence for children whose own parents are not able to care for them consistently or predictably. Adoption is a very important route to achieving this, but stability and permanence can come about in a variety of ways - for example, in stable long-term foster care, or through care by relatives. Unfortunately, stability and permanence are often not achieved or achieved only when children have already suffered much harm to their development and their ability to make and sustain relationships. So an important question for us is how research can help in understanding how children’s outcomes might be improved. When do things go right and why do things go wrong?
The Centre aims to promote best practice in this field by linking research, practice and training in order to provide these children with stable and predictable family experiences. Conversely, it seems to us essential to try to understand the needs of practitioners and, with them, to translate these into researchable questions. We see this as a central part of our work. The intention is to undertake and promote scientifically rigorous research and evaluation and to develop ways of disseminating research findings that will be of direct use to practitioners and that will influence policy makers. The distinctiveness and focus of the Centre makes our work unique.