This Critical Commentary reviews progress in research into planning and reviewing for children in care in England and Wales since the publication of two major studies in the late 1990s (roughly coinciding with the New Labour period). It briefly considers the changing context of law, regulation and guidance and the aims and objectives of the care planning and review system. It then reviews the limited research literature available, in relation to a series of key topics. Consideration is also given to guides for children and practitioners on the subject. The commentary concludes by suggesting that this is an area in which research has failed to keep pace with changes in policy and practice, and recommends a more systematic approach.