• A randomized controlled trial of training in Motivational Interviewing for child protection.

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

      Munro, Emily; Zonouzi, Maryam; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2018-01-01)
      Researchers from the Tilda Goldberg Centre for Social Work and Social Care at the University of Bedfordshire engaged with disabled parents involved with Ginger Giraffe (a cooperative that brings together disabled people and those experiencing multiple disadvantage together with health and social care students on placement) to define the priorities for the research (‘what do we want to explore?’).  The central aims of the research were to: explore these six disabled parents’ experiences of statutory assessments in children’s social care services and subsequent service provision, including examination of: the assessment pathway (how they accessed support) ; the assessment itself (thresholds and eligibility criteria) ; the principles guiding the assessment, and how these were experienced by disabled parents ; draw on disabled parents’, child and family social workers’ and researchers’ knowledge and expertise to re-imagine how children’s and adult social care might deliver holistic services which value the needs, assets and rights of the whole family.
    • Realist criminology

      Pitts, John; University of Bedfordshire (2015-05-01)
      Review of:  Roger Matthews Realist Criminology Palgrave/Macmillan 2014 ISBN: 978-1-137-44569-8
    • Reflections on upholding the rights of youth leaving out of home care

      Munro, Emily (Oxford University Press, 2019-04-11)
    • Relationship-based practice and contextual safeguarding: key messages for practice

      Owens, Rachael; Ruch, Gillian; Firmin, Carlene Emma; Millar, Hannah; Remes, Ella; Contextual Safeguarding Network; University of Bedfordshire; University of Sussex; Barnardo's (Contextual Safeguarding Network, 2020-11-30)
      This briefing explores the relationship between Contextual Safeguarding and Relationship-based Practice within social care and related youth and community work. It considers the potential for bringing these two ideas together to create child protection practices that use relationships to build safety in extra-familial contexts.
    • Relocation, relocation, relocation: home and school-moves for children affected extra-familial risks during adolescence

      Firmin, Carlene Emma; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis, 2019-03-29)
      From sexual exploitation and serious youth violence, to recruitment into drugs trafficking lines, young people encounter a range of risks in their neighbourhoods. Safeguarding partnerships in England face a practical challenge in addressing these ‘public’ types of significant harm, when using a child protection framework designed to respond to risks within the ‘private’ space of families. In the absence of a safeguarding system equipped to reshape unsafe extra-familial contexts young people are moved away from them. Drawing upon cumulative evidence from 20 case reviews and audits of safeguarding practices in 14 local authorities this paper explores the extent to which such relocations have achieved physical, psychological and relational safety. In doing so it articulates how relocation following public-space risks can disrupt private-space safety and recommends the practice be reviewed to identify the conditions in which it is an appropriate safeguarding mechanism.
    • Research end-user perspectives about using social work research in policy and practice

      Tilbury, Clare; Hughes, Mark; Bigby, Christine; Fisher, Mike; Griffith University; Southern Cross University; La Trobe University; University of Bedfordshire (Oxford Journals, 2021-02-14)
      Research funding and assessment initiatives that foster engagement between researchers and research end-users have been adopted by governments in many countries. They aim to orient research towards achieving measurable impacts that improve economic and social well-being beyond academia. This has long been regarded as important in social work research, as it has in many fields of applied research. This study examined research engagement and impact from the perspective of research end-users working in human services. In-person or telephone interviews were conducted with 43 research end-users about how they used research and interacted with researchers. Content analysis was undertaken to identify engagement strategies and thematic coding was employed to examine underpinning ideas about research translation into practice. Participants were involved in many types of formal and informal research engagements. They viewed research translation as a mutual responsibility but indicated that researchers should do more to improve the utility of their research for industry. The findings highlight the iterative nature of engagement and impact and raise questions about the infrastructure for scaling up impact beyond relationships between individual researchers and their industry partners.
    • Research evidence to inform strengths-based policy and practice: mapping the coping strategies of young women in Mozambique

      Hutchinson, Aisha (Oxford University Press, 2018-03-23)
      Unintended pregnancy amongst young women in Mozambique is associated with many ‘problems’ and ‘poor outcomes’; yet little is known about how young women, their family and communities actually respond to these problems. Qualitative research on the coping strategies used by young mothers under 20 years of age in response to conflictual relationships, poor material provision, poor health and poor educational access in Mozambique is presented. Data was constructed through 21 semi-structured narrative interviews with young mothers (16-19 years old) from two regions (urban/south and rural/north) on their experience of coping with unintended pregnancy. Thematic data analysis to identify coping strategies was completed using Nvivo 7. The majority of strategies identified were ‘relational’ in nature highlighting the importance of developing interventions which strengthen naturally occurring strategies used by women, their families and communities. The findings are used to illustrate the role of strength-based research in developing policy and practice, particularly in relation to community development and groups considered unable to ‘cope’ or ‘get on’. It is also important to ensure strengths-based approaches are used to tackle structural inequalities and strengthen organisational resources, despite this being a strong critique levied at strength-based interventions.
    • The research–practice relationship and the work of Edward Mullen

      Fisher, Mike; Marsh, Peter; University of Bedfordshire; University of Sheffield (Bozen-Bolzano University Press, 2015-12-01)
    • Resettlement of girls and young women: research report

      Bateman, Tim; Hazel, Neal; Beyond Youth Custody (Beyond Youth Custody, 2014-08-04)
      This report addresses a worrying gap in the knowledge about the effective resettlement of girls and young women. Reviewing research literature in a number of relevant areas, it cross-references evidence of what works in the resettlement of young people with what we know about the wider need of girls and young women. This iterative synthesis approach thus provides a gender-sensitive approach to inform policy and practice development in resettlement for this specific group.
    • Residential parenting assessments: uses, costs and contributions to effective and timely decision-making in public law cases

      Munro, Emily; Hollingworth, Katie; Meetoo, Veena; Quy, Katie; McDermid, Samantha; Trivedi, Helen; Holmes, Lisa; Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre (Department for Education, 2014-07-01)
      The Family Justice Review (FJR) highlighted the need for timely decision-making and high quality assessments in care proceedings and recommended wide-ranging reforms intended to put children’s interests back at the heart of the process (Ministry of Justice, the Department for Education and the Welsh Government, 2011). During the course of the FJR concerns were raised ‘about the value of residential assessments of parenting capacity , particularly set against their cost and lack of clear evidence of their benefits’ (p.18). The Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre (CWRC) was commissioned by the Department for Education (DFE) to undertake a small-scale research study to explore the role, costs and contribution that residential parenting assessments make to timely and effective decision-making in public law.
    • Responding sensitively to survivors of child sexual abuse: an evidence review

      Sneddon, Helga; Wager, Nadia; Allnock, Debra (Victim Support/University of Bedfordshire, 2016-04-01)
      This report summarises what the evidence tells us about the characteristics of adults who were sexually abused as children and how to most effectively support them. 
    • Responding to safeguarding concerns in local businesses and neighbourhoods

      Peace, Delphine; Contextual Safeguarding Network; University of Bedfordshire (Contextual Safeguarding Network, 2018-09-30)
      The purpose of this Learning Project is to understand how areas are seeking to address risks within neighbourhood and community settings and engaging businesses in this process.
    • Responding to youth gangs in England: a public health model?

      Pitts, John (Emerald, 2019-06-06)
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to consider youth gangs and county lines with reference to the current drive for a public health response to these issues. Design/methodology/approach This viewpoint paper traces the development of gang and serious youth violence responses in England, exploring the shift from a punitive to safeguarding response to young people affected by these issues. Findings Drawing on the learning from both Scotland and the USA, this paper considers the relevance of a public health model to responding to youth gangs and county lines, highlighting the key facets of such an approach. Originality/value This paper provides a historical context to the issues surrounding previous responses to youth gangs and goes on to consider the practicalities and relevance of a public health model response.
    • Responding to youth offending: historical and current developments in practice

      Bateman, Tim (Routledge, 2019-09-17)
      This chapter proceeds from an understanding that youth justice stands at the intersection of two social constructions: crime on the one hand and childhood on the other. As a consequence, the meaning of youth justice is fluid and interpretations of what constitutes an appropriate response to youth offending vary over time and place. Focusing on England and Wales, responses to youth crime since the Second World War are explored over four distinct chronological periods. The analysis demonstrates that policy and practice are subject to periodic sharp reversals that both reflect, and give rise to, changing constructions of youthful lawbreaking. Such shifts, moreover, frequently betray a pragmatic reaction to political imperatives rather than any engagement with evidence, confirming that responding to youth offending is not, and has not been, a neutral endeavour.
    • Response and interventions into harmful sexual behaviour in schools

      Lloyd, Jenny (Elsevier, 2019-06-12)
      Internationally young people report experiencing sexual abuse and violence within schools. Developments within the field of adolescent sexual harm are increasingly recognising the need for ecological approaches to harm. Yet, to date, interventions with young people displaying harmful sexual behaviours have prioritised individual behaviours and characteristics over place-based interventions. This article presents empirical evidence from a mixed-methods study aimed at understanding the enablers and barriers to preventing and responding to harmful sexual behaviour in schools. Research was carried out in seven schools and four multi-agency partnerships in England, UK. Using evidence from focus groups, observations, case reviews and policy analysis the article outlines nine components that enable, or are barriers to, effective responses and interventions into harmful sexual behaviour in schools. The paper concludes that responses and interventions into harmful sexual behaviour must move beyond responding to individual behaviours to intervening within factors within schools themselves.
    • Responses to young people who abuse their peers: extract #3

      Firmin, Carlene Emma; Curtis, George; Fritz, Danielle; Olaitan, Paul; Latchford, Lia; Lloyd, Jenny; Larasi, Ikamara; Contextual Safeguarding Network (Contextual Safeguarding Network, 2016-06-19)
      In this extract from the report 'Towards a Contextual Response to Peer-on-Peer Abuse: Research and Resources from MsUnderstood local site work 2013-2016', researchers explain their work in two sites to enhance local responses to harmful sexual behaviour.
    • Resurrecting the interval of need concept to improve dialogue between researchers, policymakers, and social care practitioners

      Willis, Rosalind; Channon, Andrew Amos; Viana, Joe; LaValle Masters, Maria Herica; Hutchinson, Aisha; University of Southampton; Akershus University Hospital; University of Bedfordshire (Wiley, 2019-05-29)
      Academics, social care practitioners, and policymakers speak different languages. If academic research is to have an impact on society, it must be understandable and convincing to the end users. We argue that the conceptualisation of social care “need” is different among these stakeholders, leading to poor  communication between them. Academics should use concepts that have more meaning to practitioners. We propose resurrecting a little‐used concept from the 1970s, “interval of need”, to help to bridge this gap. The interval of need concept identifies how often people require help, supplementing the usual data about types of tasks where assistance is needed. The history of the concept is described, followed by a test of its usefulness for today's researchers by applying it to data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. An updated version of interval of need is proposed. Validation checks were conducted against mortality data, and through conceptual validation from a social work practitioner. The nature of the dataset limited comparability with previous studies. However, we conclude that the interval of need concept has promising scope to enhance communication of research findings, potentially leading to improved outcomes for service users. This paper strives to mark a turning point in the language and analysis of social care, ensuring that academic investigation in this field is convincing and clear to practitioners and policymakers.