• ‘I know how it sounds on paper’ : risk talk, the use of documents and epistemic justice in child protection assessment home visits

      Bostock, Lisa; Koprowska, Juliet; ; University of Bedfordshire; University of York (SAGE, 2022-09-06)
      Social workers carry much of the frontline authority to define risk to children and discuss it with families. Assessment reports and other institutional documents record professional views about family information, and also have the potential to convey the ‘voice’ of the family to institutions. Social workers have responsibility for sharing these documents with families, yet little is known about how they do this. This paper focuses on episodes when social workers introduce institutional documents in home visits, and on the family responses elicited. These are high-stakes encounters which, when they go seriously wrong, emerge in the press as tragedies and scandals. For families, these documents carry an emotional depth-charge as intimate, potentially shaming, and sometimes inaccurate details of their lives are inscribed in them by and for others. Latour’s (1996) concept of interobjectivity sheds light on the use of documents, while concepts of epistemic authority (Heritage and Raymond, 2005) and epistemic injustice (Fricker, 2007) are employed to examine how social workers respond to parental testimony about themselves and their children. Learning how to present institutional documentation in ways that reduce the risk of emotional reactivity and treating family perspectives with epistemic justice may enhance social work practice. At a policy level, the design of documents warrants review, so that they facilitate rather than obstruct social workers’ efforts to build what are already fragile relationships with families.
    • ‘I never promised you a rose garden’: gender, leisure and home-making

      Bhatti, Mark; Church, Andrew (Routledge, 2000-07-01)
      This paper explores the importance of contemporary gardens as leisure sites and argues that leisure in general, and the garden in particular, play an important role in the process of homemaking. We also consider how the contemporary garden reflects wider social relations by examining how gender relations imbue gardens and gardening. The gendered meanings of gardens and the garden as a place where gender power relations are played out, are highly significant in the social construction of ‘home’. Using primary research data, the paper looks at what it is about the domestic garden that is important to both men and women, and how it contributes to homemaking. The findings show that there are conflicting uses and meanings of gardens which help to reveal the changing nature of gender relations in late modernity.
    • ICPR2017 – The Fourth International Conference on Practice Research: overview

      Chin, Ci-Siou; Ciro, Diane; Fisher, Mike; Ji, Clara; Begum, Razwana; Rahim, Abdul; Lien. Ying; Kay-yu Wu, Florence; University of Bedfordshire (IASSW, 2017-10-09)
      This paper reports issues arising from the Fourth International Conference on Practice Research, held in Hong Kong in May 2017. The issues were identified by specially convened group of conference participants, and include the need to develop a better language to describe practice research in terms that make sense to practitioners, improved support for practitioners to conduct research, recognising the different drivers for practice research in different countries, and enhancing practitioners' coordinating and leadership roles.
    • 'If you can't beat them, be them!' - everyday experiences and 'performative agency' among undocumented migrant youth in South Africa

      Opfermann, Lena S.; Durham University (Taylor and Francis, 2019-07-22)
      This article explores the challenges and coping strategies of undocumented migrant youth in Cape Town, South Africa. Drawing on a theatre-based case study conducted with a core group of 10 participants the article shows firstly that participants’ lives are affected by emotional, legal and practical challenges such as loneliness, discrimination and fear. Secondly, the article develops the concept of ‘performative agency’ to illustrate how participants cope with and contest their challenges. Specifically, the article shows that the young people's theatrical performances draw on stereotypical notions of vulnerability and victimhood as a means to denounce the discrimination and oppression they experience. In public interactions with others, by contrast, the young migrants use performative agency to emphasise their strengths and positive attributes, thereby enhancing their integration in a hostile environment. The insights provided by this study can help strengthen policy responses to better support undocumented migrant youth in South Africa and elsewhere.
    • 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 impact of cyberstalking: the lived experience - a thematic analysis

      Short, Emma; Linford, Sarah; Wheatcroft, Jacqueline M.; Maple, Carsten; (Virtual reality med institute, 2014-12-31)
      Cyberstalking (CS) can have major psychosocial impacts on individuals. Victims report a number of serious consequences of victimization such as increased suicidal ideation, fear, anger, depression, and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomology. Research is largely limited to quantitative outcome research. This study examines the diversity of experiences reported by people who define themselves as having been cyberstalked. Thematic analysis was used to explore 100 CS victim narratives, gathered by means of an online survey questionnaire designed to capture structured text responses. Five emergent themes were evident in the data: control and intimidation; determined offender; development of harassment; negative consequences; and lack of support. Findings identify similarities and differences to traditional stalking, along with the necessity of support for victims and illustration of the negative impacts this form of harassment produces.
    • The impact of more flexible assessment practices in response to the Munro Review of Child Protection: a rapid response follow-up

      Munro, Emily; Stone, Judith; Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre (Department for Education, 2014-08-01)
      Between April and July 2012 the Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre was commissioned to undertake a rapid response study to independently evaluate the impact that the flexibilities had had on practice and service responses to safeguard children from harm (Munro and Lushey, 2012). Findings formed part of a package of evidence used to inform revisions to Working Together to Safeguard Children: a guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children (HM Government, 2013). The revised statutory guidance came into force on 5 April 2013 and removed the requirement to conduct separate initial and core assessments.  
    • The impacts of child sexual abuse: a rapid evidence assessment

      Fisher, Cate; Goldsmith, Alexandra; Hurcombe, Rachel; Soares, Claire; IICSA Research Team (Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse, 2017-07-31)
      The aim of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA or ‘the Inquiry’) is to investigate whether public bodies and other non-state institutions have taken seriously their responsibility to protect children from sexual abuse in England and Wales, and to make meaningful recommendations for change, to help ensure that children now and in the future are better protected from sexual abuse. Child sexual abuse (CSA) involves forcing or enticing a child or young person under the age of 18 to take part in sexual activities. It includes contact and non-contact abuse, child sexual exploitation (CSE) and grooming a child in preparation for abuse. As part of its work, the Inquiry is seeking to examine the impacts of child sexual abuse on the lives of victims and survivors and their families, as well as the impacts on wider society. These questions are of cross-cutting relevance to the work of the Inquiry. They have particular salience for its ‘Accountability and Reparations’ investigation, which is exploring the extent to which existing support services and legal processes effectively deliver accountability and reparation to victims and survivors.
    • Implementing the United Kingdom's ten-year teenage pregnancy strategy for England (1999-2010): how was this done and what did it achieve?

      Hadley, Alison; Ingham, Roger; Chandra-Mouli, Venkatraman; University of Bedfordshire; University of Southampton; World Health Organisation (2016-11-22)
      In 1999, the UK Labour Government launched a 10-year Teenage Pregnancy Strategy for England to address the country's historically high rates and reduce social exclusion. The goal was to halve the under-18 conception rate. This study explores how the strategy was designed and implemented, and the features that contributed to its success. This study was informed by examination of the detailed documentation of the strategy, published throughout its 10-year implementation. The strategy involved a comprehensive programme of action across four themes: joined up action at national and local level; better prevention through improved sex and relationships education and access to effective contraception; a communications campaign to reach young people and parents; and coordinated support for young parents (The support programme for young parents was an important contribution to the strategy. In the short term by helping young parents prevent further unplanned pregnancies and, in the long term, by breaking intergenerational cycles of disadvantage and lowering the risk of teenage pregnancy.). It was implemented through national, regional and local structures with dedicated funding for the 10-year duration. The under-18 conception rate reduced steadily over the strategy's lifespan. The 2014 under-18 conception rate was 51% lower than the 1998 baseline and there have been significant reductions in areas of high deprivation. One leading social commentator described the strategy as 'The success story of our time' (Toynbee, The drop in teenage pregnancies is the success story of our time, 2013). As rates of teenage pregnancy are influenced by a web of inter-connected factors, the strategy was necessarily multi-faceted in its approach. As such, it is not possible to identify causative pathways or estimate the relative contributions of each constituent part. However, we conclude that six key features contributed to the success: creating an opportunity for action; developing an evidence based strategy; effective implementation; regularly reviewing progress; embedding the strategy in wider government programmes; and providing leadership throughout the programme. The learning remains relevant for the UK as England's teenage birth rate remains higher than in other Western European countries. It also provides important lessons for governments and policy makers in other countries seeking to reduce teenage pregnancy rates. BACKGROUND METHODS RESULTS CONCLUSIONS
    • Improving responses to the sexual abuse of Black, Asian and minority ethnic children

      Ali, Nasreen; Butt, Jabeer; Phillips, Melanie; Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse; University of Bedfordshire; Race Equality Foundation (Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse, 2021-03-31)
      This research study was commissioned by the Centre of expertise on child sexual abuse (CSA Centre) to address knowledge gaps around professional practice in supporting children from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds who are at risk of, or experiencing, child sexual abuse (CSA).
    • In search of the Carolingian 'dear lord'

      Stone, Rachel; Fouracre, P.; Ganz, D. (Manchester University Press, 2008-06-01)
    • ‘In what way can those who have left the world be distinguished?’: Masculinity and the Difference between Carolingian Men

      Stone, Rachel; Beattie, Cordelia; Fenton, Kirsten A.; University of Bedfordshire; University of Edinburgh; University of St Andrews (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011-01-01)
    • Incorporating contexts into assessments: extract #1

      Firmin, Carlene Emma; Curtis, George; Fritz, Danielle; Olaitan, Paul; Latchford, Lia; Lloyd, Jenny; Larasi, Ikamara; Contextual Safeguarding Network; University of Bedfordshire (Contextual Safeguarding Network, 2016-06-21)
      This briefing comes directly from the chapter ‘Local Site Work: Approaches, Findings and Resources’ in the MSU report ‘Towards a Contextual Response to Peer-on-Peer Abuse: Research and Resources from MsUnderstood local site work 2013-2106’. To read the briefing in context, please refer to the report, which is available on both the MSU and Contextual Safeguarding Network websites.
    • The individual and contextual characteristics of young people who sexually harm in groups: a briefing on the findings from a study in four London boroughs

      Firmin, Carlene Emma; Lloyd, Jenny; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2017-11-30)
      This briefing presents the findings of a study into the contextual profiles of young people suspected of displaying harmful sexual behaviours (HSB) in groups and/or on their own. It builds upon an international literature review into group-based HSB to: • explore the profiles of 49 young people who displayed HSB either in groups, on their own or in both contexts; • identify any differences between these cohorts of young people, and; • consider the implications for service design, delivery and commissioning. In a period when peer-on-peer abuse, sexual violence in schools and responses to young people affected by sexual abuse are high on the public and policy agenda, this briefing provides a timely contribution towards deepening how HSB is understood and in addition, ensuring that the provision of services is sufficient for safeguarding young people. In this sense the primary purpose of this briefing is to inform the commissioning, design and delivery of responses to HSB. Additional research publications will be produced to further explore the findings of the study upon which this briefing has been built.
    • Innovation in practice learning: messages from the review of a student-centred unit

      Cornish, Sally; White, Jacqueline (Taylor & Francis, 2014-05-19)
      Social work education in England is currently undergoing a process of review and change reflecting broader reforms in the profession as a whole. It is therefore timely to identify the achievements of the Centre for the Development of Social Care Practice at the University of Bedfordshire which since 2006 has offered a range of practice learning opportunities to social work students in partnership with the local authority and with the participation of service users and carers. This article places this initiative in the context of other broadly similar non-traditional practice learning provision and reviews recent feedback to identify its particular characteristics. Strengths in the provision of student-centred and empowering practice learning are explored and the need for further evaluation acknowledged.
    • Innovations in joint working: where is the evidence?

      Cameron, A.; Lart, Rachel; Bostock, Lisa (Universitetsforlaget., 2014-01-01)
      Cameron, A., Lart, R. and L. Bostock (2014) Innovations in joint working: where is the evidence? In Willumsen, E. Sirnes, T. and ødegård, A. (eds.) Interprofessional collaboration in theory and practice: the next generation. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.
    • Intellectual and developmental disabilities, spirituality and religion: a systematic review 1990–2015

      Sango, Precious Nonye; Forrester-Jones, Rachel; Canterbury Christ Church University; University of Kent (Taylor & Francis, 2017-06-23)
      Over the past two decades, research on religion and spirituality has begun to gain momentum. Nevertheless, to the authors’ knowledge, a systematic review of empirical research in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), social care services, and spirituality has not been carried out in the last 20 years. Six psychology-, IDD-, religion-, and health-related journals were searched in addition to two databases. Empirical articles published between 1990 and 2015 on religion, religiosity, spirituality, spiritual or religious care and people with IDD and related terms were identified and examined. Of the 57 publications identified, only 8.9% met the inclusion criteria and were reviewed. The five empirical articles included in this review were thematically analyzed, yielding four main themes in relation to spiritual or religious care: understanding of spiritual or religious concepts, support to participate in spiritual or religious activities, spiritual or religious practices in relation to self-identity, and barriers to spiritual or religious care provision. The authors conclude that more empirical and original research in relation to the spiritual care of people with IDD residing in IDD care services is needed.