• Abuse between young people: a contextual account

      Firmin, Carlene Emma (Routledge, 2017-12-14)
      Awareness of peer-on-peer abuse is on the rise and is a matter of increasing international concern. Abuse Between Young People: A Contextual Account is the first book to offer a contextualised narrative of peer-on-peer abuse that moves beyond recognising an association between environments and individual choice, and illustrates the ways in which such interplay occurs. Using both sociological and feminist perspectives, Firmin reshapes the way that peer-on-peer abuse is perceived and investigates the effect of gendered social context on the nature of abuse between young people. This text also uses an in-depth case study to explore associations between abusive incidents and young people’s homes, peer groups, schools and neighbourhoods, in addition to broader societal influences such as pornography and politics. National and international policies are woven into each chapter, along with insights from parenting programmes, the troubled families’ agenda, and bullying and community safety policies. Abuse Between Young People presents a clear insight into the various contexts that affect the nature of peer-on-peer abuse, providing a thorough analysis into the debates on this issue. In so doing, Firmin creates a vital contextual approach to safeguarding young people affected by this issue. It is invaluable reading for students and researchers in social work, education, criminology, sociology and psychology, as well as practitioners and policymakers concerned with the protection of young people.
    • Abuse through sexual image sharing in schools: response and responsibility

      Lloyd, Jenny (Taylor & Francis, 2018-09-20)
      The question of how to tackle abuse through adolescent sexual image sharing is an increasing concern for schools, yet little is known about how they should respond. In this article, I review school responses to this phenomenon. The findings presented are taken from a mixed-methods study into harmful sexual behaviour carried out in seven educational settings across four local authorities in England. Using data from focus groups, observations, case reviews and reviews of policies and procedures I present findings on abuse through image sharing including suggestions for safer school environments. I argue that responses to adolescent sexting must move beyond risk aversion and challenge the very socio-cultural systems that enable abuse through sexual image sharing. Achieving this requires responses that recognise developing adolescent sexuality within a digital age and understanding what works in practice for schools and young people. Concurrently, schools have responsibility to challenge socio-cultural norms underlying harmful sexual practices between young people. 
    • Abused women's perceptions of professionals' responses: valued support, or collusion with perpetrator?

      Neale, Jo (Policy Press, 2018-10-19)
      Domestic violence and abuse (DVA) is recognised as a serious public health issue that detrimentally affects the lives of victims during, and after exiting, the relationship. For staff in overstretched criminal justice, health and social care agencies, high prevalence rates of DVA place a significant strain on the financial and emotional resources available to them. Drawing on Angie Ash’s (2013) concept of ‘cognitive masks’, and using data collected as part of a larger study, I examine the responses from agencies that frustrated women’s attempts to leave an abusive male partner. Fourteen women, recruited via three specialist support agencies in two English counties and my own personal networks, participated in semi-structured narrative style interviews. Findings suggest that practitioners sometimes ignore significant aspects of the case, thus rendering the situation more manageable – for themselves. For women, however, this can frustrate their attempts to exit the relationship and remain abuse-free.
    • Accessibility and suitability of residential alcohol treatment for older adults

      Wadd, Sarah; Dutton, Maureen; Alcohol Research UK; University of Bedfordshire (Alcohol Research UK, 2017-11-20)
      This study sought to find out:- 1.       To what extent do residential alcohol rehabs have upper age thresholds? 2.       Are the needs of older adults different from those of younger adults in alcohol rehab? 3.       What are older adults’ experiences of alcohol rehab?
    • Accessibility and suitability of residential alcohol treatment for older adults: a mixed method study

      Wadd, Sarah; Dutton, Maureen; University of Bedfordshire (BMC, 2018-12-13)
      Background Whilst alcohol misuse is decreasing amongst younger adults in many countries, it is increasing in older adults. Residential rehabilitation (rehab) is a vital component of the alcohol treatment system, particularly for those with relatively complex needs and entrenched alcohol problems. In this study, we sought to find out to what extent rehabs in England have upper age limits that exclude older adults, whether rehabs are responsive to older adults’ age-related needs and how older adults experience these services. Method This is a mixed method study. A search was carried out of Public Health England’s online directory of rehabs to identify upper age thresholds. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were carried out with 16 individuals who had attended one of five residential rehabs in England and Wales since their 50th birthday. A researcher with experience of a later life alcohol problem conducted the interviews. Results Of the 118 services listed on Public Health England’s online directory of rehabs, 75% stated that they had an upper age limit that would exclude older adults. Perceived differences in values, attitudes and behaviour between younger and older residents had an impact on older residents’ experience of rehab. Activities organised by the rehabs were often based on physical activity that some older adults found it difficult to take part in and this could create a sense of isolation. Some older adults felt unsafe in rehab and were bullied, intimidated and subjected to ageist language and attitudes. Conclusion This study identified direct and indirect age discrimination in rehabs contrary to the law. Further research is required to find out if age discrimination exists in rehabs in other countries. Rehabs should remove arbitrary age limits and ensure that they are responsive to the needs of older adults.
    • Adding evidence to the ethics debate: investigating parents' experiences of their participation in research

      Westlake, David; Forrester, Donald (Oxford University Press, 2015-11-19)
      All research requires ethical scrutiny of the harm it may cause participants, yet we know relatively little about the actual experiences of service users who participate. This paper explores the views of parents and carers (n = 97) involved in an English study into outcomes for children known to Children's Services. Nearly all participants (96 per cent) who took part in two research interviews reported being glad they took part, and none expressed regret. Some participants (31 per cent) felt the interviews were difficult or upsetting to some degree, but most of these (90 per cent) also felt that talking to the researcher helped them with their problems. Indeed, parents who reported finding interviews upsetting were more likely to also find them helpful. We suggest that research needs to be considered as a form of intervention, rather than imagined as observing without influencing, and that as such it is necessary to balance both potential advantages and possible risks. Consequently, ethics committees need to focus on study design and the quality of interaction. This requires a focus on supporting researchers to not only ‘do no harm’, but to help people where possible. It also requires evaluation of the impact of research to be built into ethical study design.
    • Addressing the needs of older adults receiving alcohol treatment during the Covid-19 pandemic: a qualitative study

      Seddon, Jennifer L.; Trevena, Paulina; Wadd, Sarah; Elliott, Lawrie; Dutton, Maureen; McCann, Michelle; Willmott, Sarah; Breslin, Julie; Glasgow Caledonian University; University of Bedfordshire (Drink Wise Age Well, 2020-12-09)
      This study aims to better understand the impact of the pandemic on older alcohol service users aged 55+ and alcohol service providers. The key aims of the study are to: 1 Explore the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown on older service users, including on their alcohol consumption. 2 Identify how alcohol services have adapted and supported older service users, and how staff experienced these changes. 3 Identify the short and long-term implications for service provision, and how service responses could be improved.
    • Adoption reform: messages from local authorities on changes in processes and timescales : final report

      Crafter, S.; Quy, Katie; Munro, Emily; Meetoo, Veena; Hollingworth, Katie; Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre (Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre, 2015-01-01)
    • Alcohol use in older adults: analysis of UK survey and alcohol treatment data

      Wadd, Sarah; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2020-12-10)
      This report provides an analysis of data from 15,753 people aged 50 and over who took part in an alcohol survey or attended alcohol services to get help with their drinking during 2015-2020.
    • Applying an intersectional lens to sexual violence research and practice

      Ackerley, Elizabeth; Latchford, Lia (Routledge, 2017-12-19)
    • Appraising quality of evidence

      Carr, S; Bostock, Lisa (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014-11-01)
      This chapter explores critical perspectives on knowledge, evidence and research in social work and goes on to look at some of the practical frameworks to appraise knowledge and provides a detailed case study of critical appraisal practice.
    • Approaches to realising the rights of young people leaving out of home care

      Munro, Emily (Oxford University Press, 2019-04-25)
      The United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) recognizes that children in out of home care are entitled to special protection to promote their physical and psychological recovery.  The Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children, which are intended to enhance implementation of the UNCRC, also acknowledge the importance of transitional and aftercare support.  The Chapter explore progress towards realizing the rights of young people in and leaving out of home care in Australia, Sweden and the UK.  The emerging picture is that in all these jurisdictions have some way to go to meet the standards enshrined in the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children, and that young people with the most complex needs are not currently sufficiently empowered or enabled to exercise their rights. Findings also re-iterate the importance of proactively engaging with young people to help them build and maintain a network or relationships which will assist them to access both formal and informal support, as and when they need it.
    • 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, 2020-12-03)
      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.
    • Autonomy and protection in self-neglect work: the ethical complexity of decision-making

      Braye, Suzy; Orr, David; Preston-Shoot, Michael (Taylor & Francis, 2017-02-20)
      Self-neglect, in which an individual does not attend to their hygiene, health or home surroundings, is one of the most challenging aspects of adult social care practice. In England, its inclusion within the remit of adult safeguarding, as a result of changes in adult social care law introduced under the Care Act 2014, has thrown into relief the ethical dilemmas arising from tensions between respect for autonomy on the one hand and the exercise of a protective duty of care on the other hand. This paper draws on serious case reviews and safeguarding adult reviews in self-neglect cases, along with findings from adult safeguarding research, to propose that an appropriate balance between these two moral imperatives is not always achieved in self-neglect practice. It considers why autonomy appears to be privileged over other considerations, illustrating the complex interplay between law and ethics that gives autonomy pre-eminence. It then considers how a more nuanced, situated and relational approach to autonomy can enable practitioners to move away from dichotomous interpretations of the moral imperatives present in self-neglect work, and can support more nuanced understandings of the ethics of professional decision-making. Finally, it considers the personal and organisational implications of this enhanced ethical literacy.
    • 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.
    • Balancing risk and protective factors: how do social workers and managers analyse referrals that may indicate children are at risk of significant harm?

      Wilkins, David (Oxford University Press, 2013-09-07)
      This paper is based upon the findings of a qualitative study of how child protection social workers and social work managers analyse referrals. The study involved interviews with eighteen participants based on four vignettes of children potentially at risk of emotional, physical or sexual abuse or neglect. Three themes in particular are discussed—the balancing of risk, protective and resilience factors; the use of family history and the child's wider circumstances; and ‘known’ and ‘unknown’ unknowns (‘missing information’). These findings are considered in relation to the potential use of actuarial risk assessment tools or Structured Decisions Making tools in child protection social work. The first of two conclusions is that when given adequate space and time the participants tended to be to be reflective and analytical, but that difficulties remained in their ability to analyse the referrals, in particular with the identification of protective or resilience factors and in the balancing of risk and protective or resilience factors in relation to individual children. The second conclusion is that social workers and managers may benefit from assistance in identifying protective and resilience factors (and distinguishing between protective factors and resilience factors) in particular and this may offer a focus for the introduction of structured tools as a way to support current practice rather than to replace it.
    • Barnardo’s ReachOut: final evaluation report March 2019

      McNeish, Di; Scott, Sara; Lloyd, Sarah; Pearce, Jenny J.; University of Bedfordshire; DMSS Research (University of Bedfordshire, 2019-03-01)
      ReachOut is a preventative child sexual exploitation (CSE) project established in 2016 under a partnership funding agreement between Barnardo’s, the KPMG Foundation, Department for Education, Communities and Local Government and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (RMBC). An independent evaluation was commissioned from the University of Bedfordshire with DMSS Research both to evaluate the impact of the project and to provide ongoing learning and feedback. A diverse staff team was recruited from a range of professional backgrounds including criminal justice, social work and youth work. There have been three main strands of work undertaken by ReachOut in order to achieve its aims: •Outreach work to raise awareness and provide support to children and young people in their communities  •Healthy relationship education in schools and other settings •Direct support for children and young people identified as at risk of CSE. These have operated at three levels of prevention: universal, including outreach at community events across Rotherham, helping to convey the message  that CSE is relevant to everyone; primary prevention, including education work in schools reaching over 2000 children and young people; targeted prevention with groups and communities identified as potentially more vulnerable to CSE as well as direct work with around 300 individual children and young people. Over the course of the three years, evaluators have carried out interviews with ReachOut staff and managers and representatives from external agencies; observed sessions of delivery; interviewed samples of young people and parents; analysed feedback questionnaires from school students and staff; reviewed project monitoring and samples of case records.
    • Barriers children face complaining about social work practice: a study in one English local authority

      Diaz, Clive; Pert, Hayley; Hill, Lauren; Aylward, Tricia; Neill, Donna (Wiley, 2019-09-04)
      Despite the introduction of guidelines and procedures aimed at encouraging and supporting children and young people to complain about the services they receive, children in care still face barriers to doing so in practice. This paper explores what happens when children in care are dissatisfied with the services they receive. Specifically, this study examines the complaints procedure for children in care. The findings are based on semistructured interviews with children in care, social workers, senior managers, and independent reviewing officers from one English local authority. Thematic analysis of these data identified five emergent themes: (a) complaints by children in care are managed at the lowest possible level, (b) senior managers have an overly optimistic view about children in care being informed of complaint procedures and being encouraged to do so, (c) children in care are worried about complaining, which is recognized by professionals, (d) children's voices are often not heard, and (e) when issues are clearly defined, independent reviewing officers have some degree of success in resolving complaints from children in care.