• CCTC final report: care leavers' transitions to adulthood in the context of COVID-19

      Munro, Emily; Friel, Seana; Baker, Claire; Lynch, Amy; Walker, Kirsche; Williams, Jane; Cook, Erica Jane; Chater, Angel M.; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2022-05-24)
      The Care Leavers, COVID-19 and Transitions from Care (CCTC) study was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), as part of UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response to COVID-19 (ES/V016245/1). The research explored care leavers’ experience of the pandemic. Analysis of local authority management information system data on over 1300 young people from 10 local authorities and over 60 interviews with young people and professionals informed the study. As part of the study care experienced adults, leaving care workers and operational managers came together to form a Networked Learning Community (NLC). Over a series of sessions the NLC supported the research team to interpret the findings, develop recommendations and tools for practice
    • The consumer, the market and the universal aristocracy: the ideology of academisation in England

      Hoctor, Tom; (Sage, 2022-04-20)
      In 2018, academies accounted for 72% of all English secondary schools, compared to 6% in 2009 (National Audit Office, 2018). English academy schooling conforms to marketizing trends in international education reform, but Conservative politicians have also attempted to promote particular moral values. This article analyses the tensions between neoliberalism and neoconservatism and applies this analysis to a concrete debate taking place within the Conservative Party in the 2000s and 2010s. It uses arguments made by an illustrative group of Conservative politicians to explore and analyse the tension between these two reform trends. The aim of this article is twofold. Firstly, it will present the key arguments which were marshalled by a selection of thinkers affiliated with the Conservative Party in favour of educational reform. It will do this by analysing Conservative articulations of the failure of state education; the role of the consumer and the relationship between democracy and the market. Secondly, it will explore the degree to which marketizing and traditionalist impulses in education reform should be considered complimentary or contradictory. I will conclude by arguing that the parent-consumer functions as a vanishing mediator between neoliberal and neoconservative ideological positions.
    • How the signified went missing in twentieth-century economic theory: Mises, Hayek and Schumpeter and the abolition of value

      Hoctor, Tom (Taylor & Francis, 2022-04-29)
      This article contributes to a growing literature on economic epistemologies by arguing that so-called ‘neoliberal’ ways of thinking are characteristic of a trend in wider social theory to privilege epistemological problematics over ontological ones. It will approach the shared nature of these epistemological precepts through an interrogation of the formal approaches to economic value used in the work of Schumpeter, Mises and Hayek and compare this with Derrida and Saussure’s understanding of linguistic value. Using a Marxian understanding of use-value, it will be argued that the movement to abolish the transcendental signified in post-structural philosophy is homologous to the abolition of objective value in economics. It will be claimed that the impulse to abolish the Thing shared by economic theorists and post- structuralists follows from a shared, though necessarily differently constituted, anti- socialism. In both cases, undermining the Thing is seen as a means of undermining organised socialist politics. I will conclude by arguing that these similarities demonstrate the need for neoliberalism and critique of neoliberalism to be historicised as part of a wider account of the relationship between contemporary capitalism, politics and the production of knowledge.
    • Beveridge or Bismarck? choosing the Nordic model in British healthcare policy 1997-2015

      Hoctor, Tom (Routledge, 2021-10-20)
      Historical and social science literature has a long tradition of interest in the Nordic model and its permutations and developments. This chapter will make two straightforward and related claims. First, that ideas about the Nordic model circulated in British political circles in the period 1997 to 2010 in the field of healthcare, and second, that this Nordic model was a departure from the ‘traditional’ social democratic conception of Norden, instead of relying heavily on New Public Management ideas. It will substantiate this claim using a policy diffusion model to analyse think-tank reports, political speeches, and articles from the popular and business press. I will claim that a dual process of policy learning was taking place in the 2000s with a group of broadly social democratic think tanks and media figures engaging with Nordic countries on the one hand and a group of free-market think tanks, journalists and the Conservative Party looking to Central European examples, especially Germany, on the other hand. Labour’s use of the Nordic model should, therefore, be seen as a means to defend taxation-funded healthcare against policymakers arguing for the adoption of a social insurance system. What Labour policymakers created was, in historical terms, a distinctive and quite British conception of the Nordic model which emphasised marketising and privatising aspects of Nordic reform trajectories that were consistent with Labour’s policy platform for the NHS.
    • From 'no further action' to taking action: England's shifting social work responses to extra-familial harm

      Firmin, Carlene Emma; Lloyd, Jenny; Walker, Joanne; Owens, Rachael; University of Bedfordshire (Policy Press, 2021-07-15)
      In 2018, England’s safeguarding guidelines were amended to explicitly recognise a need for child protection responses to extra-familial harms. This article explores the feasibility of these amendments, using quantitative and qualitative analysis of case-file data, as well as reflective workshops, from five children’s social care services in England and Wales, in the context of wider policy and practice frameworks that guide the delivery of child protection systems and responses to harm beyond families. Green shoots of contextual social work practice were evident in the data set. However, variance within and across participating services raises questions about whether contextual social work responses to extra-familial harm are sustainable in child protection systems dominated by a focus on parental responsibility. Opportunities to use contextual responses to extra-familial harm as a gateway to reform individualised child protection practices more broadly are also discussed.
    • Transitional safeguarding: transforming how adolescents and young adults are safeguarded

      Cocker, Christine; Cooper, Adi; Holmes, Dez (Oxford University Press, 2021-01-17)
      This article argues for a transformation in the protection and safeguarding needs of young people during their transition between childhood and adulthood. In order to explore with local authorities how they would address some of these challenges, the authors facilitated four national workshops with principal social workers, senior and middle managers (n = 88) from approximately one-third of Local Authorities in England (n = 52) from both Children and Adult social services. Participants discussed enablers and barriers to local and regional approaches to transitional safeguarding at practice, managerial, strategic and multi-agency levels. Findings from the workshops showed many examples of commitment to improvement and change, despite funding constraints and system barriers. No single local authority had a coherent and comprehensive approach to Transitional Safeguarding. Although some partnerships had started to lead innovation, it was still too early to demonstrate any effective impact throughout all systems, including whether outcomes for young people had improved. Participants also emphasised that young people should be involved as key stakeholders in developing appropriate responses. The system changes required to improve Transitional Safeguarding practices are complex and involve a re-configuration of the ‘risk’ versus ‘rights’ paradigms that permeate societal responses to the protection of young people.
    • Growing sideways: re-articulating ontologies of childhood within/through relationships and sexuality education (RSE)

      Atkinson, Catherine; Coll, Leanne; McBride, Ruari-Santiago; Whittington, Elsie; Zanatta, Francesca; University of Manchester; Dublin City University; University of Limerick; University of Bedfordshire; University of East London (Wiley, 2022-02-01)
      This article presents a collaborative reflective-thinking-writing project that draws from the authors’ experiences of co-productive and critical inquiry with children in the field of gender, sexualities and education. Integrating our collective concerns regarding how childhood can be negatively framed and policed within/through RSE, we explore how these ontological boundaries might be queered through a collective engagement with the possibilities for/of RSE that is affirmative, playful and co-produced with, rather than for, children.
    • Learning from safeguarding adult reviews about Transitional Safeguarding: building an evidence base

      Preston-Shoot, Michael; Cocker, Christine; Cooper, Adi; University of Bedfordshire; University of East Anglia; Adult Social Care and Safeguarding (Emerald Group Holdings Ltd., 2022-04-12)
      Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to set out the evidence base to date for Transitional Safeguarding to support authors of Safeguarding Adult Reviews (SARs) where Transitional Safeguarding is a key theme in the review. Design/methodology/approach: This paper draws on key evidence from several published sources about Transitional Safeguarding in England. This evidence is presented in this paper as a framework for analysis to support SAR authors. It follows the same four domains framework used in other adult safeguarding reviews: direct work with individuals; team around the person; organisational support for team members; and governance. This framework was then applied to two SARs written by two of the article’s authors. Findings: The framework for analysis for Transitional Safeguarding SARs was applied as part of the methodology of two separate SARs regarding three young people. Key reflections from applying the framework to both SARs are identified and discussed. These included: providing an effective framework for analysis which all participants could use and a contribution for developing knowledge. Whilst many issues arising for safeguarding young people are similar to those for other adults, there are some unique features. The ways in which the gaps between children and adults systems play out through inter-agency and multi-professional working, as well as how “lifestyle choices” of young people are understood and interpreted are key issues. Practical implications: This paper presents an evidence base regarding Transitional Safeguarding for SAR authors who are tasked with completing a SAR where Transitional Safeguarding is a key theme. Originality/value: This paper draws together key literature and evidence about Transitional Safeguarding practice with young people. This paper argues that this framework for analysis provides SAR authors with a useful tool to support their analysis in this complex area of practice.
    • Nothing about me without me

      Hill, N.; Warrington, Camille (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2022-04-19)
      This chapter aims to provide an overview of how participation and empowerment-focused approaches can promote improved relational practice and outcomes for young people in safeguarding . It builds on learning from emerging practice in interrelated disciplines such as youth and community work, social work, youth justice and adult safeguarding.
    • An inter-disciplinary perspective on evaluation of innovation to support care leavers’ transition

      Lynch, Amy; Alderson, Hayley; Kerridge, Gary; Johnson, Rebecca; McGovern, Ruth; Newlands, Fiona; Smart, Deborah; Harrop, Carrie; Currie, Graeme; University of Bedfordshire; et al. (Emerald Group Holdings Ltd., 2021-07-31)
      Purpose: Young people who are looked after by the state face challenges as they make the transition from care to adulthood, with variation in support available. In the past decade, funding has been directed towards organisations to pilot innovations to support transition, with accompanying evaluations often conducted with a single disciplinary focus, in a context of short timescales and small budgets. Recognising the value and weight of the challenge involved in evaluation of innovations that aim to support the transitions of young people leaving care, this paper aims to provide a review of evaluation approaches and suggestions regarding how these might be developed. Design/methodology/approach: As part of a wider research programme to improve understanding of the innovation process for young people leaving care, the authors conducted a scoping review of grey literature (publications which are not peer reviewed) focusing on evaluation of innovations in the UK over the past 10 years. The authors critiqued the evaluation approaches in each of the 22 reports they identified with an inter-disciplinary perspective, representing social care, public health and organisation science. Findings: The authors identified challenges and opportunities for the development of evaluation approaches in three areas. Firstly, informed by social care, the authors suggest increased priority should be granted to participatory approaches to evaluation, within which involvement of young people leaving care should be central. Secondly, drawing on public health, there is potential for developing a common outcomes’ framework, including methods of data collection, analysis and reporting, which aid comparative analysis. Thirdly, application of theoretical frameworks from organisation science regarding the process of innovation can drive transferable lessons from local innovations to aid its spread. Originality/value: By adopting the unique perspective of their multiple positions, the authors’ goal is to contribute to the development of evaluation approaches. Further, the authors hope to help identify innovations that work, enhance their spread, leverage resources and influence policy to support care leavers in their transitions to adulthood.
    • ‘Keeping the informal safe’: strategies for developing peer support initiatives for young people who have experienced sexual violence

      Cody, Claire; Bovarnick, Silvie; Peace, Delphine; Warrington, Camille; University of Bedfordshire; Durham University (John Wiley and Sons Inc, 2022-02-27)
      There is increasing recognition of the value of trauma-informed approaches when working with young people affected by sexual violence. Peer support is a key principle of a trauma-informed approach; however, there are limited examples of peer support programmes for this group. This paper draws on interviews with 25 respondents with knowledge and experience of peer support initiatives with young people impacted by sexual violence. The article outlines their perspectives on how peer support initiatives – that may be viewed as more ‘risky’ than traditional casework – can be kept ‘safe’. Six strategies are identified together with implications for practice.
    • Young people negotiating intra-and extra familial harm and safety: social and holistic approaches

      Wroe, Lauren; Pearce, Jenny J. (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2022-03-21)
      This chapter provides a holistic and structurally informed framework for understanding the intersections between intra-familial and extra-familial harm in adolescence. It proposes this contextual, social and structural understanding of child harm as a way to interpret and respond to young peoples’ experiences of multiple forms of harms in their families and beyond. Building upon poverty aware, contextual and 'social models' of social work, it considers the need for holistic service responses that acknowledge and alleviate the structural pressures on families and young people. It challenges individualised social work approaches that ask individuals to change as opposed to social work approaches that embrace the impact of social and structural inequalities. Rather than understanding this focus on ‘context’ as a new voice in the room, the chapter draws on Black feminist scholarship that outlines how context might be used in social work.
    • Being ‘good enough’: perfectionism and well-being in social workers

      Kinman, Gail; Grant, Louise Jane; Birkbeck, University of London; University of Bedfordshire (Oxford University Press, 2022-02-03)
      Perfectionism refers to a tendency to set unrealistically high standards for oneself and others. Although often seen positively, perfectionism can threaten health, relationships and performance. This study examined the effects of three types of maladaptive perfectionism on burnout in 294 UK social workers: self-oriented (having excessively high standards for oneself), other-oriented (having excessively high expectations of others) and socially prescribed (perceiving external pressure to excel). In line with previous research, we predicted that socially prescribed perfectionism would have particularly powerful effects on well-being, but significant relationships with self and other-oriented perfectionism were also expected. We also examined whether maladaptive perfectionism intensified the negative impact of work-related emotional demands on burnout. Significant positive relationships were found between socially prescribed and other-oriented perfectionism and burnout. A higher level of socially prescribed perfectionism was found than self and other-oriented and its relationship with burnout was particularly strong. We found no evidence, however, that perfectionism was an additional risk factor for burnout when emotional demands were high. Early career social workers were found to be at greater risk of dysfunctional perfectionism and burnout. The implications of the findings for the well-being of social workers are considered and potential interventions outlined to reduce maladaptive perfectionism.
    • Autism and autistic traits in those who died by suicide in England

      Cassidy, Sarah; Au-Yeung, Sheena K.; Robertson, Ashley E.; Cogger-Ward, Heather; Richards, Gareth; Allison, Carrie; Bradley, Louise; Kenny, Rebecca; O'Connor, Rory; Mosse, David; et al. (Cambridge University Press, 2022-02-15)
      Autism and autistic traits are risk factors for suicidal behaviour. To explore the prevalence of autism (diagnosed and undiagnosed) in those who died by suicide, and identify risk factors for suicide in this group. Stage 1: 372 coroners' inquest records, covering the period 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2017 from two regions of England, were analysed for evidence that the person who died had diagnosed autism or undiagnosed possible autism (elevated autistic traits), and identified risk markers. Stage 2: 29 follow-up interviews with the next of kin of those who died gathered further evidence of autism and autistic traits using validated autism screening and diagnostic tools. Stage 1: evidence of autism (10.8%) was significantly higher in those who died by suicide than the 1.1% prevalence expected in the UK general alive population (odds ratio (OR) = 11.08, 95% CI 3.92-31.31). Stage 2: 5 (17.2%) of the follow-up sample had evidence of autism identified from the coroners' records in stage 1. We identified evidence of undiagnosed possible autism in an additional 7 (24.1%) individuals, giving a total of 12 (41.4%); significantly higher than expected in the general alive population (1.1%) (OR = 19.76, 95% CI 2.36-165.84). Characteristics of those who died were largely similar regardless of evidence of autism, with groups experiencing a comparably high number of multiple risk markers before they died. Elevated autistic traits are significantly over-represented in those who die by suicide.
    • Spirituality and social networks of people with intellectual and developmental disability

      Sango, Precious Nonye; Forrester-Jones, Rachel; ; Canterbury Christ Church University; University of Kent (Taylor and Francis, 2017-05-24)
      Background: Researchers contend that religious and spiritual communities may provide a conduit to friendship for people with IDD. This research explored the interface between social networks and spirituality for individuals with IDD living in either a faith or non-faith based service. Method: A mixed-methods approach was used including semi-structured interviews, the Social Network Guide and the Spiritual Belief Inventory-15R with individuals with IDD (or staff members who provided their opinions of what individuals who lacked capacity to consent would say if they had capacity). These findings were corroborated with extensive field notes generated from participant observation. Results: The faith-based group had a higher network size (m = 78) compared to the non-faith based group (m = 44). Those with larger social networks also reported higher SBI-15R scores. Conclusion: Findings highlight the possible role of social, religious and spiritual activities for expanding individuals’ social networks.
    • Visible but invisible: people living with disability in Nigeria

      Sango, Precious Nonye (2013-11-14)
      Nigeria is estimated to have a population of 169 million; although it is argued that the country had not had any credible census since 1816. Based on the World Report on Disability approximately 25 million Nigerians have a disability, with 3.5 million of these having very significant difficulties in social and physical functioning. These disabilities include physical and intellectual developmental conditions. Regardless of the large number of people with disabilities in Nigeria, little support, if any is given to individuals living with disabilities. These individuals are often excluded from social, economic and political affairs in the society. The most common avenue of social aid for people with disabilities is usually through families. non-governmental organisations and religious organisations.
    • Spirituality and learning disability: a review of UK government guidance

      Sango, Precious Nonye; Forrester-Jones, Rachel; ; University of Kent (Emerald, 2014-09-30)
      Purpose Despite spirituality being a key aspect of quality of life, it appears to remain a low-priority area for social and health care government policy. The purpose of this paper is to identify and describe what, if at all, UK policy says about spirituality in relation to the care of people with learning disabilities (LD). Design/methodology/approach A systematic policy review using three government databases: legislation.gov.uk; Department of Health and Directgov (now known as gov.uk) was carried out. Findings The review identified policy gaps and a general lack of government directives in relation to the spiritual care of people with LD. Whilst research in this area is gathering momentum, practical implementation which makes a real difference to the spiritual experiences of people with LD appears to be sparse. Originality/value To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first systematic policy review on this subject area, highlighting the need for spirituality to become a more supported aspect of social care within LD services.
    • Social prescribing in Bexley: pilot evaluation report

      Palmer, D.; Wheeler, J.; Hendrix, E.; Sango, Precious Nonye; Hatzidimitriadou, Eleni; Mind in Bexley; Canterbury Christ Church University (Mind in Bexley, 2017-01-27)
      Social prescribing is becoming recognised as an important means of harnessing the resources of the voluntary and community sector to improve the health and wellbeing of the public. It provides GPs with a non-medical referral option that can operate alongside existing treatments to improve health and well-being. While there is no widely agreed definition of social prescribing, or ‘community referrals’, reports on social prescribing include an extensive range of prescribed interventions and activities. The paper ‘A Call to Action’ by NHS England highlights social prescribing as a crucial means of empowering the public, enabling greater self-management of health and providing for people’s non-clinical needs in a timely way. The aim being to promote integrated health and social care, partnered with the voluntary and community sector. There is however little in the way of supporting evidence of effect to inform the commissioning of a social prescribing programme. Evidence on the cost effectiveness of social prescribing schemes is also lacking. The aim of this research was to evaluate the benefits and limitations of a social prescribing pilot which took place in the Clocktower locality (London Borough of Bexley) over a 24-month period and this work forms the main body of the study. The evaluation primarily covers individuals who accessed and fully engaged in the first eight months. The pilot which started in April 2015 was hosted by Mind in Bexley and focuses on nine GP practices covering a population of approximately 80,000. The evaluation was thorough and comprehensive incorporating both quantitative and qualitative analysis. Quantative data analysis and draft findings were undertaken by the School of Public Health, Midwifery and Social work at Christchurch University. The quantitative approach included an analysis of the Warwick and Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS) in addition to data on the number of primary care and secondary appointments including hospital admission data for those who participated in the scheme. The qualitative aspect of the evaluation involved in-depth interviews with participants. Although measuring the impact of the project on the wellbeing of participants is challenging the use of both qualitative and quantitative analysis was
    • Evaluation of the sleep project for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in Kent

      Carr, Helen; Hatzidimitriadou, Eleni; Sango, Precious Nonye; Canterbury Christ Church University (Canterbury Christ Church University, 2017-12-01)
      It has been a privilege to evaluate the Sleep Project intervention for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC). The opportunity to evaluate this project arose through discussions between the authors and Dr. Ana Draper, exploring the work of Ana, her team and colleagues across the various agencies in supporting newly-arrived migrant children in Kent. From 2015, there was a rapid increase in the number of UASC arriving into the region and services were quickly adapted to meet the specific and immediate needs of these vulnerable children and young people, the Sleep Project being just one of the innovative interventions put in place. Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and young people have usually experienced harrowing journeys to the United Kingdom (UK) in seeking safety and refuge. Once in the UK, adapting to life within reception centres, foster families or supported housing, brings further challenges and within this context, practitioners and the young people identified sleep as a key problematic issue for which they required extra support. Through conversations with practitioners and young people, sleep difficulties were a recurring issue. Lack of sleep and disturbed sleep was preventing the young people from engaging in planned activities such as language classes. Tiredness was having negative health and social/educational impacts. This evaluation studies the benefits and challenges of the creative support mechanisms that were developed to address the sleep issues. This report presents our findings from the evaluation study of the Sleep Project intervention. The study comprised of 18 interviews with practitioners either working directly or indirectly with UASC, in paid and voluntary capacities. From the interviews, the qualitative data was thematically analysed to develop themes under which the benefits and challenges of the intervention could be explored. Throughout the interviews with practitioners working either directly with UASC or indirectly in managerial roles, it became apparent that there was a high level of commitment from individuals to develop their understanding of UASCs’ needs and to develop appropriate social care practice and support. The interviews highlighted that practitioners were prepared to think and act creatively to improve and to tailor support for this group of children and young people. The findings of the evaluation suggest that the Sleep Project was very well-received by young people and practitioners alike. It provided practical resources and support for good sleep, and it encouraged conversations to develop between the practitioners and the young people, and between the young people themselves, normalising the sleep issues that they were experiencing, and, according to interviewees, the young people were found to be encouraging other young people to use the good sleep packs. The intervention helped the practitioners feel more confident and equipped with skills to talk to the young people about sleep and, possibly, this led to deeper discussions about individual journeys and experiences, allowing care to become more empathetic, specific and person-centred. Significantly, interviewees reported that the project allowed them to ‘look at the basics’, that is, practical help such as providing night lights and educating young people about factors that hamper a good night’s sleep, whilst practitioners gained a greater understanding and responsiveness as to why the young people could struggle with sleep. This greater understanding has been important for shifting the perceptions of practitioners, particularly those in educational roles, helping them to be more patient and supportive to young people struggling to get to lessons on time and to concentrate. Key messages from the findings of this evaluation study are encapsulated in the following quotes from interviewees: • ‘I think it’s thinking a bit more innovatively about the care we can provide’ • ‘A confidence to look at the basics’ • ‘Context switched concepts’. Proposed recommendations involve: sustaining the work so far, looking at how the project could/should have a legacy, and building on the developed knowledge and networks. At the time of the publication of this report, young people are being transferred to other receiving local authorities outside Kent – a national dispersal scheme that was agreed by the Home Office in June 2016 to ease the pressure on Kent - therefore good practice from this project should be widely disseminated to service providers and policy makers at regional and national levels.