• The AVA project : empowering young people to address domestic and sexual violence : final evaluation report

      Warrington, Camille; Thomas, Roma; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2016-09-01)
      The AVA Project: Empowering young people to address domestic and sexual violence (hereafter referred to as ‘the Project’) was developed and led by AVA, a UK charity committed to ending gender based violence and abuse. The overarching aim of the project was: “to deliver therapeutic group-work and leadership development to disadvantaged and marginalised young people to improve their understanding of domestic and sexual violence, to improve their emotional wellbeing and to empower them to influence peers and advocate for the needs of themselves and others within social care and education services”. The project defined itself as underpinned by a number of key values including: youth work (specifically the principle of voluntary engagement); participation; and feminist practice. It was funded for £298,254 over three years by Big Lottery: Reaching Communities Fund, commencing in April 2013 and, with a short project extension continued until July 2016. The project was delivered in five local sites (localities) across England, through two distinct though related models: MODEL 1: ‘Peer Education’ - a therapeutic group-work model across two project sites focused on improving emotional wellbeing and awareness of domestic and sexual violence (DSV). MODEL 2: ‘Youth leadership’ - a youth leadership project to improve young people’s emotional wellbeing, their understanding of domestic and sexual violence (DSV) and that of their peers, whilst increasing opportunities for, and the abilities of, young people to influence services aimed at them in relation to DSV.
    • Combatting child sexual exploitation with young people and parents: contributions to a twenty-first century family support agenda

      Thomas, Roma; D'Arcy, Kate (Oxford University Press, 2017-10-14)
      This article discusses family work with young people, parents and carers affected by child sexual exploitation (CSE). It seeks to address a key gap in child protection responses to CSE, namely family support which addresses the needs both of young people and of parents and carers. The paper presents learning from the evaluation of an early-intervention project with young people at risk of or affected by CSE and their families (D’Arcy et al., 2015). It links this empirical evidence to existing research and recent debates in the social work literature about what constitutes effective practice with families and young people. While acknowledging the need for CSE specialist services, it argues that separation between mainstream social work and CSE prevention work with families and young people is not always helpful. The research presented, based on interviews, roundtable discussions and a literature review, highlights the ways of working needed in this field. By connecting family support, work with young people and CSE prevention, we seek to contribute to a broader agenda for social work. This agenda calls for a twenty-first-century reconfiguration of social work using holistic family support practices that work with families’ strengths and apply a participatory approach, providing services which emphasise ‘relationships’ and ‘support’.
    • Families and Communities Against Child Sexual Exploitation (FCASE) : final evaluation report

      D'Arcy, Kate; Dhaliwal, Sukhwant; Thomas, Roma; Brodie, Isabelle; Pearce, Jenny J.; University of Bedfordshire (Barnardo’s and University of Bedfordshire, 2015-01-01)
      This is the final evaluation report for the Barnardo’s Families and Communities Against Sexual Exploitation project (FCASE), produced by the International Centre, researching Child Sexual Exploitation, Violence and Trafficking at the University of Bedfordshire. The programme was launched in April 2013, funded by the Department for Education (DfE) and concluded in March 2015. The evaluation was undertaken during the same period. The FCASE model has been piloted in three sites, which for the purposes of this report have been anonymised and will be referred to using pseudonyms. It consists of the following elements: a structured programme of six to eight weeks direct work with young people and families where a risk of child sexual exploitation (CSE) has been identified; delivery of CSE training with professionals; and undertaking community awareness raising. The evaluation has been informed by a range of qualitative data. The report identifies the elements that work well and some of the challenges in its implementation. This had been done in order to determine good practice in supporting families and communities and embed more effective practice on protecting children and young people, including those in foster care, from sexual exploitation, harnessing the protective factors within a child’s family and/or foster home. The learning from the project is intended to help other agencies to implement the FCASE model. An on-line learning resource is to be produced in order to facilitate this process1
    • Is there a shared social work signature pedagogy cross-nationally? Using a case study methodology to explore signature pedagogy in England, Israel, Finland, Spain and Sweden

      Thomas, Roma; Wallengren Lynch, Michael; Chen, Henglien Lisa; Muurinen, Heidi; Segev, Einav; Carrasco, Marta Blanco; Hollertz, Katarina; Bengtsson, Anna Ryan; University of Sussex; Sapir College, Israel; et al. (Taylor and Francis, 2020-04-24)
      While there is an international definition of social work as a profession, little is known about whether there is also a shared pedagogy in social work cross-nationally. To our knowledge, this paper is the first empirical study which aims to fill this gap by applying the concept of signature pedagogy in social work education to explore the commonality of social work pedagogy across countries. The study uses a multi-site case study (six universities in five European countries) through applying a ‘critical teacher-researcher’ approach in generating the data, followed by a two-phased thematic analysis. The study evidenced a shared principle of social work pedagogy which nurtures social work student to think and perform like a social worker and develop the professional self through developing relationships and dialogue, professional practice, group work, self-reflection and critical thinking. It is argued from, this exploratory study, that even between countries which have different welfare ideology as well as social work history and education systems, there is some common ground in social work pedagogy where one can learn from another through the use of ‘teacher as researcher’ methodologically.
    • Nightwatch : CSE in plain sight : final evaluation report

      D'Arcy, Kate; Thomas, Roma; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2016-12-01)
      This is the final evaluation report for the Barnardo’s Nightwatch: CSE in Plain Sight project produced by The International Centre: researching child sexual exploitation, violence and trafficking at the University of Bedfordshire. The Nightwatch project was launched in April 2015 and concluded at the end of March 2016. The evaluation was undertaken during the same period. The aims of Nightwatch were described by the DfE (2015:7-8): ‘To safeguard children and young people from child sexual exploitation (CSE) by increasing awareness of CSE among businesses and services working in the night-time economy (NTE), and by developing strategies, in co-production with these businesses and others, to identify and protect children at risk at night, and intervene early by providing advice, support, training and guidance’.
    • A randomized controlled trial of training in Motivational Interviewing for child protection.

      Forrester, Donald; Westlake, David; Killian, Mike; Antonopoulou, Vivi; McCann, Michelle; Thomas, Roma; Waits, Charlotte; Whittaker, Charlotte E.; Hutchison, Dougal; Thurnham, Angela; et al. (Elsevier, 2018-02-12)
      There has been interest in developing more evidence-based approaches to child and family social work in the UK in recent years. This study examines the impact of a skills development package of training and supervision in Motivational Interviewing (MI) on the skills of social workers and the engagement of parents through a randomized controlled trial. All workers in one local authority were randomly assigned to receive the package (n = 28) or control (n = 33). Families were then randomized to trained (n = 67) or untrained (n = 98) workers. Family meetings with the worker shortly after allocation were evaluated for MI skill. Research interviews gathered data including the WAI. Follow-up interviews 20 weeks later repeated the WAI, and other outcome measures including Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS) and rating of family life. Between group analysis found statistically significant difference in MI skills, though these were not substantial (2.49 in control, 2.91 MI trained, p = .049). There was no statistically significant difference between groups in any other outcome measures. The package of training and supervision did not create sufficient increase in MI skills to influence engagement or outcomes. Implications for understanding the relationship between skills, engagement and organizational change are discussed.
    • What is the relationship between worker skills and outcomes for families in child and family social work?

      Forrester, Donald; Westlake, David; Killian, Mike; Antonopoulou, Vivi; McCann, Michelle; Thurnham, Angela; Thomas, Roma; Waits, Charlotte; Whittaker, Charlotte E.; Hutchison, Douglas (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2019-01-28)
      Communication skills are fundamental to social work, yet few studies have directly evaluated their impact. In this study, we explore the relationship between skills and outcomes in 127 families. An observation of practice was undertaken on the second or third meeting with a family. Practice quality was evaluated in relation to seven skills, which were grouped into three dimensions: relationship building, good authority and evocation of intrinsic motivation. Outcomes at approximately six months were parent-reported engagement (Working Alliance Inventory), Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS), an eleven-point family life satisfaction rating, the Family Environment Scale and General Health Questionnaire and service outcomes from agency records including children entering care. Relationship-building skills predicted parent-reported engagement, although good authority and evocation had stronger relationships with outcome measures. Where workers visited families more often, relationships between skills and outcomes were stronger, in part because workers had more involvement and in part because these families were more likely to have significant problems. The relationship between skills and outcomes was complicated, although the findings provide encouraging evidence that key social work skills have an influence on outcomes for families.
    • Youth and community approaches to preventing child sexual exploitation: South African and UK project experiences

      D'Arcy, Kate; Thomas, Roma; Wallace, Candace T. (Sage, 2018-06-14)
      This chapter brings together case studies from two pieces of research – an evaluative study in the UK (D’Arcy et al., 2015) and a participatory action research project in South Africa (Wallace, 2015). The chapter aims to provide international perspectives on youth and community approaches to empowering children, young people and their families in preventing and raising awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and Child SexualAbuse (CSA). It highlights the potential relevance and significance of central tenets of youth and community approaches to prevention work in CSE and CSA by drawing upon the concepts of education, voluntary engagement,participation, strengths-based approaches and rights-based models of working with children and young people.