• Study protocol for the optimisation, feasibility testing and pilot cluster randomised trial of Positive Choices: a school-based social marketing intervention to promote sexual health, prevent unintended teenage pregnancies and address health inequalities in England

      Ponsford, Ruth; Allen, Elizabeth; Campbell, Rona; Elbourne, Diana; Hadley, Alison; Lohan, Maria; Melendez-Torres, G. J.; Mercer, Catherine H.; Morris, Steve; Young, Honor; et al. (BMC (part of Springer Nature), 2018-05-23)
      Background: Since the introduction of the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy (TPS), England's under-18 conception rate has fallen by 55%, but a continued focus on prevention is needed to maintain and accelerate progress. The teenage birth rate remains higher in the UK than comparable Western European countries. Previous trials indicate that schoolbased social marketing interventions are a promising approach to addressing teenage pregnancy and improving sexual health. Such interventions are yet to be trialled in the UK. This study aims to optimise and establish the feasibility and acceptability of one such intervention: Positive Choices. Methods: Design: Optimisation, feasibility testing and pilot cluster randomised trial. Interventions: The Positive Choices intervention comprises a student needs survey, a student/staff led School Health Promotion Council (SHPC), a classroom curriculum for year nine students covering social and emotional skills and sex education, student-led social marketing activities, parent information and a review of school sexual health services. Systematic optimisation of Positive Choices will be carried out with the National Children's Bureau Sex Education Forum (NCB SEF), one state secondary school in England and other youth and policy stakeholders. Feasibility testing will involve the same state secondary school and will assess progression criteria to advance to the pilot cluster RCT. Pilot cluster RCT with integral process evaluation will involve six different state secondary schools (four interventions and two controls) and will assess the feasibility and utility of progressing to a full effectiveness trial. The following outcome measures will be trialled as part of the pilot: 1. Self-reported pregnancy and unintended pregnancy (initiation of pregnancy for boys) and sexually transmitted infections, 2. Age of sexual debut, number of sexual partners, use of contraception at first and last sex and non-volitional sex 3. Educational attainment The feasibility of linking administrative data on births and termination to self-report survey data to measure our primary outcome (unintended teenage pregnancy) will also be tested. Discussion: This will be the first UK-based pilot trial of a school-wide social marketing intervention to reduce unintended teenage pregnancy and improve sexual health. If this study indicates feasibility and acceptability of the optimised Positive Choices intervention in English secondary schools, plans will be initiated for a phase III trial and economic evaluation of the intervention. Trial registration: ISRCTN registry (ISCTN12524938. Registered 03/07/2017).
    • The state of youth justice 2020: an overview of trends and developments

      Bateman, Tim; National Association for Youth Justice (National Association for Youth Justice, 2020-09-23)
      The report provides a comprehensive overview of trends in youth justice policy and developments in policy and provides a detailed analysis of what these mean for the treatment of children in trouble.
    • Australian social work research: an empirical study of engagement and impact

      Tilbury, Clare; Bigby, Christine; Fisher, Mike; Hughes, Mark; Griffith University; La Trobe University; University of Bedfordshire; Southern Cross University (Oxford University Press, 2020-09-23)
      Internationally, non-academic research impact is assessed by governments as part of evaluating the quality of publicly funded research. A case study method was used to investigate the non-academic impact of Australian social work research. Interviews were conducted with 15 leading researchers about outputs (research products, such as publications and reports), engagement (interaction between researchers and end-users outside academia to transfer knowledge, methods, or resources), and impact (social or economic contributions of research). Twelve case studies were prepared using a standardised template. Content analysis highlighted examples of impact, and theoretical and in-vivo coding uncovered processes of engagement and impact. Different types of engagements with research end-users influenced impact in three areas: legislation and policy; practices and service delivery; and quality of life of community members. Engagement and impact were intertwined as research altered policy discourses and illuminated hidden social issues, preparing ground for subsequent, more direct impact. Likewise, academic and non-academic impacts were intertwined as research rigour and academic credibility were perceived to leverage influence. There was no evidence of achieving impact simply through the trickle-down effect of scholarly publication. The findings broaden understandings of how research influences policy and practice and iterative and indirect relationships between engagement and impact.
    • From victimhood to sisterhood part II – exploring the possibilities of transformation and solidarity in qualitative research

      Salter, Leah Karen (Routledge, 2017-02-15)
      This paper will build on ‘From Victimhood to Sisterhood’, previously published in this journal; to answer some of the questions posed to and by the author relating to the complexities of being a practice-based/insider researcher. The paper provides a context to the inter-related practices of the author as a psychotherapist, a group facilitator and a doctoral researcher; with particular reference to her work (as both a practitioner and researcher) with women who have been sexually abused. The (potentially isolating) context of practising in an island community alongside stories of connection is offered within a frame of ‘solidarity’. Developing ideas from the first paper, which as a reflective piece, featured a first person, auto-ethnographic account of the author’s practice, this paper positions itself more firmly as aligned with research as social action.
    • From victimhood to sisterhood – a practice-based reflexive inquiry into narrative informed group work with women who have experienced sexual abuse

      Salter, Leah Karen (Routledge, 2015-11-09)
      This paper will present some of the relational contexts and considerations of a female therapist’s role within an island community group for women who have shared experiences of abuse and injustice; her relationship to the group, to her systemic and narrative practices; and to the research that has ensued. Exploring the changing relational contexts as the group moves from a facilitator led to a peer support group; and the associated language shifts from a binary discourse of ‘other than’ to a collective definition of ‘sisterhood’ is part of the story, which also includes the important themes of community engagement, social action and the complexities of insider/practice-based research.
    • Factors influencing routine cognitive impairment screening in older at-risk drinkers: Findings from a qualitative study in the United Kingdom

      Madoc-Jones, Iolo; Wadd, Sarah; Elliott, Lawrie; Whittaker, Anne; Adnum, Laura; Close, Ciara; Seddon, Jennifer L.; Dutton, Maureen; McCann, Michelle; Wilson, Fiona (Wiley, 2020-07-14)
      Cognitive Impairment (CI) screening is recommended for those engaged in harmful levels of alcohol use. However, there is a lack of evidence on implementation. This paper explores the barriers and facilitators to CI screening experienced across a service specifically for older drinkers. The findings draw on data gathered as part of an evaluation of a multilevel programme to reduce alcohol-related harm in adults aged 50 and over in five demonstration areas across the United Kingdom. It is based on qualitative interviews and focus groups with 14 service providers and 22 service users. Findings are presented thematically under the section headings: acceptability of screening, interpretation and making sense of screening and treatment options. It is suggested that engagement with CI screening is most likely when its fit with agency culture and its purpose is clear; where service providers have the technical skills to administer and discuss the results of screening with service users; and where those undertaking screening have had the opportunity to reflect on their own experience of being screened. Engagement with CI screening is also most likely where specific intervention pathways and engagement practices can be accessed to respond to assessed need.
    • Young people's self-reported experiences of sexual exploitation and sexual violence: a view from Northern Ireland

      Beckett, Helen; Schubotz, Dirk (Taylor and Francis, 2013-08-13)
      The issue of young people's experiences of sexual exploitation and sexual violence has received increasing political and media attention within recent years. However, whilst many studies have identified this to be an emerging issue of concern, the collation of prevalence data on the extent of these issues is still very much in its infancy. In this article we report on the findings of a large-scale project on the sexual exploitation of young people, undertaken in Northern Ireland from 2009 to 2011. The article primarily explores young people's self-reported experiences of sexual violence and exploitation, collated from their responses to a module of questions placed in the 2010 Young Life and Times Survey. The quantitative dataset from the survey covers both prevalence of sexually exploitative experiences and young people's reports about the type of individuals perpetrating these incidents. This dataset is illustrated and contextualised with reference to the qualitative findings from interviews with young people and professionals conducted as part of the wider sexual exploitation study. The article concludes with a consideration of the implications of the findings, with particular reference to the need for further preventative work in this field. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis.
    • Something old or something new: do pre-existing conceptualisations of abuse enable a sufficient response to abuse in young people's relationships and peer-groups?

      Firmin, Carlene Emma (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013-12-31)
      Evidence in the UK has identified that children and young people experience violence and sexual exploitation in their intimate relationships (Barter, 2009; Pearce, 2009) or in their peer groups and street gangs (Beckett et al., 2012; Firmin, 2010, 2011; OCC, 2012a). In response, policy makers and practitioners have applied pre-existing conceptualisations of ‘domestic abuse’, ‘CSE’ and ‘serious youth violence’ to address this ‘peer-on-peer’ abuse, with each involving different definitions, policy frameworks and operational responses.
    • Child sexual exploitation

      Firmin, Carlene Emma; Beckett, Helen (Cambridge University Press, 2014-10-01)
      The issue of child sexual exploitation (CSE) has received increasing attention in recent years following a number of high-profile legal cases, a growing body of research evidence, and a series of policy imperatives clarifying agency responsibilities and expected responses to the issue. Acknowledging that awareness and understanding of CSE is, in many ways, still in its infancy – yet recognizing that there are clear expect-ations upon professionals in terms of their required responses to the issue – this chapter provides a synopsis of learning around CSE in terms of definition, identification and response. The chapter purposively does not consider issues specific to forensic gynaecology in terms of examination or aftercare, but instead refers the reader to Chapters 8 and 9 for a detailed expos-ition of these issues.
    • Criminal gangs, male-dominated services and the women and girls who fall through the gaps

      Firmin, Carlene Emma (Ashgate Publishing Ltd, 2016-01-01)
      This chapter reviews the literature on seeking and receiving help for black women, and the knowledge base on black women in the UK is very limited. African-American women have been also found to stay silent for longer about experiences of sexual violence because of internalised concepts of female strength. Beth Richie's concept of gender entrapment was used to map how violence against women may be reprioritised by the protecting, or overvaluing of black boys/men or through the systematic bodily devaluation of black girls/women. The contemporary construction of the strong black woman may enable some African-American women to cope with little support while simultaneously creating the illusion that the multiple social injustices they contend with can be overcome through individual psychological resolve. African-American woman are thus found to be less likely to seek help from mental health services in the aftermath of sexual violence, unless they are severely distressed.
    • Developing research and scholarship in law teaching for social work education

      Braye, Suzy; Preston-Shoot, Michael (Taylor and Francis Inc., 2016-03-31)
    • What is really wrong with serious case reviews?

      Preston-Shoot, Michael (John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2017-07-20)
      Concern about the effectiveness of Serious Case Reviews for generating improvements in child protection in England led to proposals in the Wood review to replace the current system with rapid local learning inquiries and a national system of learning from significant incidents. This article challenges both the analysis in the Wood review and the proposals themselves. Whilst not uncritical of Serious Case Reviews, this article addresses five criticisms of the current review system. It explores how systemic the focus of reviews has been, and argues that findings and recommendations have become repetitive and lessons not fully appreciated because of an overly simplistic approach to change management. It suggests that there are methodologies that can effectively engage practitioners and managers in case reviews and that criticism of the review process itself can be addressed with refinements rather than wholesale change. The article concludes by questioning the assumptions upon which proposals for changing the current Serious Case Review are based. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. ‘Challenges both the analysis in the Wood review and the proposals themselves’. Key Practitioner Messages A systemic approach to Serious Case Reviews must engage legislative, social policy and societal systems as well as local policy and practice. A linear approach to learning and service development, often reflected in recommendations for training and policy refinements, is a less effective change management approach than engaging with single and multiagency contexts. Safeguarding children involves practice which is inherently social and relational, full of complexity and complicated truths; so too is the practice of reviewing cases. ‘Safeguarding children involves practice which is inherently social and relational, full of complexity and complicated truths’.
    • Self-neglect and hoarding: a guide to safeguarding and support

      Preston-Shoot, Michael (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2019-03-07)
    • ‘Traffickers and their victims’: anti-trafficking policy in the United Kingdom

      Sharapov, Kiril; University of Bedfordshire (SAGE Publications Ltd, 2015-08-20)
      This paper relies upon the ‘what’s the problem represented to be?’ approach to policy analysis to interrogate key representations of human trafficking implicit in the UK government’s anti-trafficking policy. It identifies six policy vectors, or representations, of human trafficking embedded within the policy, including organized crime, ‘illegal’ immigration, and victim assistance as three primary vectors; sexual exploitation/prostitution, poverty in countries of victims’ origin, and isolated instances of labour law infringements as three secondary vectors. In addition, a series of assumptions, which underlie the current interpretation of trafficking, are also identified. By exploring what the problem of human trafficking is represented to be, the paper also provides an insight into what remains obscured within the context of the dominant policy frameworks. In doing so, it highlights the role of state-capital entanglements in normalizing exploitation of trafficked, smuggled and ‘offshored’ labour, and critiques the UK’s anti-trafficking policy for manufacturing doubt as to the structural causes of human trafficking within the context of neoliberalism.
    • 'What's going on' to safeguard children and young people from child sexual exploitation: a review of local safeguarding children boards' work to protect children from sexual exploitation

      Pearce, Jenny J. (John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2013-06-21)
      This article draws on findings from research into the implementation by local safeguarding children boards (local government multi-agency panels responsible for child protection in England) of national guidance on safeguarding children from child sexual exploitation (CSE). Despite there being some excellent examples of practice, a lack of awareness of the issues faced by sexually exploited children or a lack of resources to address them meant that only a quarter were implementing the dual aim of the guidance: protecting children and prosecuting abusers. The research developed a data monitoring tool, its use showing that children experiencing CSE had multiple problems, many already receiving support from a range of service providers for other related problems. This suggests that there might be scope for better early identification and prevention of CSE. The research showed new forms of CSE, including peer-on-peer sexual exploitation, raising important questions about engaging with children who were both perpetrators and victims of abuse. Finally, research findings identified methods of disrupting and prosecuting abusers, giving insight into some of the complexities involved in achieving both. In the main, safeguarding children was best facilitated through co-located multi-agency teams where child protection and law enforcement practitioners worked together. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    • Cyberstalking: Fear of phyisical confrontation and its effects on trauma

      Brown, Antony; Short, Emma (IADIS, 2011-12-31)
      This paper aims to communicate the major fears of a diverse population that has experienced sustained online harassment, the fears that victims have reported and how these might relate to trauma related thoughts and beliefs. Initial results from an international study of cyberstalking are presented. The ECHO pilot project (Electronic Communication Harassment Observation) www.nss.org/ECHO 2010 was a six month project run in collaboration with The Network for Surviving Stalking (NSS). The project was designed with the aim of gaining a clearer view of the nature and impact of cyberstalking. The major fears of harassment victims are reported. Initial results indicate the presence of trauma in those reporting cyberstalking as well as evidence of changes in trauma related thoughts and beliefs (PCTI: Foa, et al. (1999) for those victims who either feared or experienced face to face harassment, when compared to those who did not.
    • The impact of cyberstalking: review and analysis of the ECHO pilot project

      Short, Emma; Maple, Carsten (IADIS, 2011-12-31)
      The impact of cyberstalking on victims is increasing rapidly due to the spread and heightened importance of electronic communications in modern society. This paper reports the results of a survey concerning the methods and impact of cyberstalking. The ECHO (Electronic Communication Harassment Observation) pilot project was a six month survey developed in collaboration with The Network for Surviving Stalking to establish a knowledgebase to define behaviours and responses which may enable authorities to recognize and respond to cyberstalking more quickly and effectively. The diversity of population that has experienced sustained online harassment and the particular trauma related thoughts and beliefs that victims experience are also investigated.
    • ‘The language is disgusting and they refer to my disability’: the cyberharassment of disabled people

      Alhaboby, Zhraa Azhr; al-Khateeb, Haider; Barnes, Jim; Short, Emma; ; University of Bedfordshire (Routledge, 2016-10-05)
      Disabled people face hostility and harassment in their socio-cultural environment. The use of electronic communications creates an online context that further reshapes this discrimination. We explored the experiences of 19 disabled victims of cyberharassment. Five themes emerged from the study: disability and health consequences, family involvement, misrepresentation of self, perceived complexity, and lack of awareness and expertise. Cyberharassment incidents against disabled people were influenced by the pre-existing impairment, perceived hate-targeting, and perpetrators faking disability to get closer to victims online. Our findings highlight a growing issue requiring action and proper support.
    • Revenge porn: findings from the Harassment and Revenge Porn (HARP) Survey - preliminary results

      Short, Emma; Brown, Antony; Pitchford, Melanie; Barnes, Jim (Interactive Media Institute (IMI), 2017-06-30)
    • Victims’ voices: understanding the emotional impact of cyberstalking and individuals’ coping responses

      Worsley, Joanne D.; Wheatcroft, Jacqueline M.; Short, Emma; Corcoran, Rhiannon (SAGE, 2017-04-01)
      Recent quantitative research has identified similar detrimental effects on victims of cyberstalking as those that arise from traditional stalking. The current study thematically analyzed one hundred victim narratives gathered by means of an online survey with a view to assessing the mental health and well-being implications of the experience of cyberstalking. Coping strategies employed by victims and the perceived effectiveness of each strategy were also explored. The findings suggest that the emotional impact of cyberstalking predominantly includes comorbid anxiety and depression. Common coping strategies adopted by victims in our sample include avoidant coping, ignoring the perpetrator, confrontational coping, support seeking, and cognitive reframing. Taken together, the findings demonstrate that the ramifications of cyberstalking are widespread, affecting psychological, social, interpersonal, and economic aspects of life. To adapt, some victims made major changes to both their work and social life, with some ceasing employment and others modifying their usual daily activities. The widespread negative effects of cyberstalking identified in this study highlight that this phenomenon should be a concern to both legal and mental health professionals, particularly as the comments made by our sample illustrate the current inadequacy of response and provision. Recommendations are discussed and provided for law enforcement and mental health professionals.