• Unaccompanied and separated Syrian refugee children: case study of a new feature for social work practice in Jordan

      AlMakhamreh, Sahar Suleiman; Hutchinson, Aisha (2018-06-21)
      While Jordan has hosted many refugees within its borders over the past 70 years, the recent influx of Syrian refugees has significantly increased pressure on an already fragile economic and social landscape. The Jordan Response Plan to Syrian Refugees advocates for emergency response that meets the basic needs of refugees alongside long-term capacity building of Jordanian services and infrastructure; with the Protection Working Group (an inter-agency working group with sub groups on child protection, gender-based violence and mental health) specifically advocating for more social workers. While the role of social workers in working with refugees is relatively well established in destination countries (such as the United States, Canada, Australia, parts of Europe), it is less well established in neighbouring and transition countries – countries which are the ‘first’ responders and host the bulk of refugees. By describing a case study on the role of social workers in a foster care programme for unaccompanied and separated Syrian refugee children in Jordan, we establish the contribution that social workers can make to the multi-disciplinary team to improve the short and long-term well-being of refugees. The paper concludes with a number of policy recommendations.
    • Understanding and responding to child sexual exploitation

      Beckett, Helen; Pearce, Jenny J.; IASR (Routledge, 2017-12-15)
      This edited volume addresses questions of definition and understanding  of Child sexual exploitation. Drawing on  research in the field it critically appraises questions of victimhood  and agency of children and young people , at preventative and responsive interventions and about the child's voice in research and service delivery. 
    • Understanding early marriage and transactional sex in the context of armed conflict: protection at a price

      Hutchinson, Aisha; Waterhouse, Philippa; March-McDonald, Jane; Neal, Sarah; Ingham, Roger (Guttmacher Institute, 2016-03-01)
    • Understanding processes of risk and protection that shape the sexual and reproductive health of young women affected by conflict: the price of protection

      Hutchinson, Aisha; Waterhouse, Philippa; March-McDonald, Jane; Neal, Sarah; Ingham, Roger (BioMed Central, 2017-08-17)
      Background: It is assumed that knowing what puts young women at risk of poor sexual health outcomes and, in turn, what protects them against these outcomes, will enable greater targeted protection as well as help in designing more effective programmes. Accordingly, efforts have been directed towards mapping risk and protective factors onto general ecological frameworks, but these currently do not take into account the context of modern armed conflict. A literature overview approach was used to identify SRH related risk and protective factors specifically for young women affected by modern armed conflict. Processes of risk and protection: A range of keywords were used to identify academic articles which explored the sexual and reproductive health needs of young women affected by modern armed conflict. Selected articles were read to identify risk and protective factors in relation to sexual and reproductive health. While no articles explicitly identified ‘risk’ or ‘protective’ factors, we were able to extrapolate these through a thorough engagement with the text. However, we found that it was difficult to identify factors as either ‘risky’ or ‘protective’, with many having the capacity to be both risky and protective (i.e. refugee camps or family). Therefore, using an ecological model, six environments that impact upon young women’s lives in contexts of modern armed conflict are used to illustrate the dynamic and complex operation of risk and protection – highlighting processes of protection and the ‘trade-offs’ between risks. Conclusion: We conclude that there are no simple formulaic risk/protection patterns to be applied in every conflict and post-conflict context. Instead, there needs to be greater recognition of the ‘processes’ of protection, including the role of ‘trade-offs’ (what we term as ‘protection at a price’), in order to further effective policy and practical responses to improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes during or following armed conflict. Focus on specific ‘factors’ (such as ‘female headed household’) takes attention away from the processes through which factors manifest themselves and which often determine whether the factor will later be considered ‘risk inducing’ or protective.
    • University network: children challenging sexual violence: first briefing paper

      Peace, Delphine; Pearce, Jenny J.; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2019-05-31)
      This university network supports the promotion of activities undertaken by universities around the world to challenge sexual violence against children, including curriculum development and delivery and research activities. It aims to connect those working in universities on such activities to share learning, to enhance collaboration and to raise the profile of the work. This is important as it is often through universities that knowledge is generated and validated and where the teaching of the next generation of practitioners occurs. While we are keen for the network to focus on supporting and encouraging those working within universities to challenge sexual violence against children, we appreciate that this can often be seen as a narrow field and that such work can take place only through ‘one off’ temporary grants or initiatives rather than a committed long term strategy. Much of the work developed is undertaken in partnership with international and national non-governmental organisations (INGOs/NGOs) and so we are keen to include this work where possible within the university network. We also appreciate that sexual violence is often addressed within generic approaches to violence against children. For these reasons we aims to include those working in universities challenging sexual violence against children or other forms of abuse. As the work develops and is further disseminated, we are keen to further prioritise activities focusing solely on sexual violence against children. In the longer term, we want to focus on university led strategic initiatives engaging participatory approaches with children and young people to prevent and respond to sexual violence against children. In particular the network is aiming to encourage university engagement with participatory approaches that enable and support children to be co-determiners of research agendas, activities, and teaching and curriculum materials. The university network is an initiative developed as part of the Our Voices programme of work coordinated by the ‘International Centre: Researching child sexual exploitation, violence and trafficking’ at the University of Bedfordshire in the UK (hereafter referred to as ‘the International Centre’) with current support from the Oak Foundation and Tides Foundation. The Our Voices programme promotes the involvement of children and young people affected by sexual violence in research, policy and practice. See more on https://www.our-voices.org.uk This briefing paper covers activities arising from the very early stages of the development of this network (from March to May 2019). It hopes to encourage others to contact us, engage with the work and be part of thinking about all further activities.
    • University network: children challenging sexual violence: second briefing paper

      Maternowska, Catherine; Peace, Delphine; Pearce, Jenny J.; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2019-09-30)
      The ‘International University Network: Children Challenging Sexual Violence’ is a new initiative to capture and promote participatory activities undertaken by universities around the world to challenge sexual violence against children (SVAC). The network, led by ‘The International Centre: Researching child sexual exploitation, violence and trafficking’ at the University of Bedfordshire (hereafter referred to as ‘the International Centre’), and supported by Oak Foundation and Tides Foundation, is part of the Our Voices programme of work. As part of the Our Voices programme of work, we are particularly interested in participatory approaches involving people collaboratively in university activities: this can include engaging them in developing curriculum or teaching activities or in designing and conducting research. Following the launch of the network in May 2019, we published a briefing paper sharing initial findings from a survey we designed to map out academics and institutions working in this field (from March to May 2019). This first briefing is available here. In July 2019 we held our first webinar in which we outlined our vision for the network and shared further survey and interview findings from our initial scoping with experts working in this field. The webinar was held in collaboration with ‘The End Violence Against Children Global Partnership’ and potential overlapping activities and objectives between these two international networks were identified. The second half of the webinar consisted of a Q&A and discussion session where participants shared ideas for future developments. This second briefing provides a recap of our first webinar.
    • Unjust pains: the impact of COVID-19 on children in prison

      Bateman, Tim; ; University of Bedfordshire (Emerald, 2020-10-13)
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to consider the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for the treatment of children in penal custody. Design/methodology/approach This paper is a viewpoint piece that analyses the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for children in custody, drawing on published information where available. Findings This paper argues that imprisoned children are an extremely vulnerable group, whose experience of incarceration exacerbates that vulnerability at the best of times. Responses to COVID-19 are particularly painful for children in those settings, and the consequences are manifestly unjust. Originality/value This paper provides an early attempt to consider the impact of COVID-19 on children in prison.
    • Using counter-stories to challenge stock stories about Traveller families

      D'Arcy, Kate; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor & Francis, 2016-06-20)
      Critical Race Theory (CRT) is formed from a series of different methodological tools to expose and address racism and discrimination. Counter-stories are one of these tools. This article considers the potential of counter-stories as a methodological, theoretical and practical tool to analyse existing educational inequalities for Traveller communities. Although discrimination towards Traveller communities is well documented, there has been limited use of CRT to examine this position and challenge the social injustice they experience. In this article ‘stock stories’, or commonly held assumptions and stereotypes about Traveller communities are highlighted and refuted with Travellers’ own accounts. It is hoped this article will dispel stock stories, raise awareness of the real inequalities Travellers face and inform methodological debate.
    • Using interviews to research body size: methodological and ethical considerations

      Lloyd, Jenny; Hopkins, Peter (Wiley, 2015-05-11)
      Fat studies has recently emerged as an interdisciplinary field of scholarship; it aims at challenging dominant, negative and medicalised discourses about fat bodies. Despite the growth of scholarship in this field in human geography, there has been limited discussion of the methodological and ethical issues involved in undertaking such work. This article draws on two research projects on body size – the first about expatriates in Singapore and the second about young people in the UK – in order to discuss some of the methodological and ethical considerations involved in using interviews to research the sized body.
    • Using Q methodology to understand how child protection social workers use attachment theory

      Wilkins, David (Wiley, 2016-02-19)
      Child and family social workers in England are expected to integrate theory and research into their practice. This study investigated how a small sample of social workers from three Local Authorities in Southern England used key ideas from contemporary attachment theory when working with children who may have been abused or neglected. Twenty-four social workers completed a Q-sort of 49 items. Four factors emerged from the data, each representing a distinct collective perspective – the use of attachment theory (1) to enable a focus on and better understanding of the child; (2) to enable social workers to take clear decisions and interview purposefully; (3) to emphasize the primacy of relationships and ethical partnership working and (3) as a general framework for understanding and helping parents. These factors are described alongside a discussion of the implications for the use of theory and research in practice.
    • Using vignettes in focus groups with young women in Mozambique

      Hutchinson, Aisha (Sage, 2018-01-18)
      This case study explores the use of vignettes in focus groups with young women in Mozambique. The aim of the research was to better understand the life event of unintended pregnancy through listening to young women in Mozambique and to identify the ways in which they respond to the challenges associated with unintended pregnancy. Data collection required 6 months of qualitative fieldwork in Mozambique, which presented a number of methodological and practical considerations, namely, communication, access, and appropriate cultural engagement. Eight focus groups, with up to 12 young women (aged 16-21 years), were used to facilitate individual and group responses to a vignette of Hortencia, a young woman who had unintentionally become pregnant. This vignette was used to explore perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes, accessing a “social” (as opposed to individual) level of data, and appeared to be an enjoyable activity for most participants. Data generation and reconstruction was not always a smooth process, especially when combined with the challenge of getting everyone together in the same place at the same time and ensuring a high level of skill was used by the research assistants to get the “best” out of the groups and negotiate group dynamics. The experience, however, caused the lead researcher to further reflect on her “outsider” status and relationship with her research assistants. The data produced were not straightforward to analyze, it often highlighted contradictions between social level assumptions and “real life accounts,” but was pivotal in better understanding the wider discourses associated with unintended pregnancy.
    • Utilising the arts to tackle child sexual exploitation

      Cody, Claire; University of Bedfordshire (Emerald, 2015-01-12)
      Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to consider the potential use of creative, arts-based methods to address child sexual exploitation (CSE) through connecting with and supporting young people affected by CSE; and engaging the wider community through awareness-raising and education to help keep young people safe. The use of the arts in building understanding, promoting agency, educating and countering negative portrayals of those affected by CSE are also explored. Design/methodology/approach – A literature review identified that there is currently a limited evidence-base surrounding the use of arts in addressing the negative outcomes for young people affected by CSE and promoting the inclusion and safety of young people in the community. To explore the potential use of the arts in engaging young people and the communities they inhabit, this paper draws from research with other “hard to engage” and stigmatised groups, and learning from efforts to tackle other sensitive and challenging issues that impact on communities. Findings – The paper suggests that despite the relatively young evidence base concerning the role of creative, arts-based methods to tackle CSE, there is relevant transferable learning that suggests that there is potential in utilising the arts to help prevent CSE and promote community safety. Research limitations/implications – There is a clear need to consider the ethical implications of this work and to further examine how the arts may be utilised to tackle CSE and bring about positive outcomes for both individuals and for the wider community. Originality/value – The paper brings together bodies of literature from other fields to explore the potential use of creative arts-based methods to tackle a significant contemporary issue of community safety.
    • Validity of the Working Alliance Inventory within child protection services

      Killian, Mike; Forrester, Donald; Westlake, David; Antonopoulou, Vivi (SAGE, 2015-07-27)
      The Working Alliance Inventory remains a widely studied measure of quality of therapeutic relationships between the practitioner and client. No prior study has examined the psychometrics and validity of the Working Alliance Inventory–Short (WAI-S) in a sample of families, social workers, and trained observers within child protection services. Surveys were completed by 130 families, social workers concerning 274 cases, and observers following 165 home visits during the first wave of data collected from a randomized controlled trial of child protection services. Confirmatory factor analyses were conducted on three versions of the WAI-S and demonstrated moderate to good model fit. Convergent construct validity was found with other standardized measures. Results support the use of the WAI-S during in child protection services practice and research. Future research into family engagement in child protection social work services should focus on the working relationship.
    • Valuing families' preferences for drug treatment: a discrete choice experiment

      Shanahan, Marian; Seddon, Jennifer L.; Ritter, Alison; De Abreu Lourenco, Richard; University of New South Wales; University of Bedfordshire (Wiley, 2019-09-10)
      The burden on family members of those who are dependent on illicit drugs is largely unidentified despite the presence of significant negative financial, health and social impacts. This makes it difficult to provide appropriate services and support. This study aimed to assess the preferences for treatment attributes for heroin dependence among family members affected by the drug use of a relative and to obtain a measure of the intangible economic benefit. Discrete choice experiment. Data were analysed using mixed logit which accounted for repeated responses. Australia PARTICIPANTS: Eligible participants were Australian residents of 18+ years of age with a relative with problematic drug use. Complete data on 237 respondents were analysed; 21 invalid responses were deleted. Participant preference for likelihood of staying in treatment, family conflict, own health status, contact with police and monetary contribution to a charitable organisation providing treatment. All attributes were significant, and the results suggest there was a preference for longer time in treatment, less family discord, better own health status, less likelihood of their relative encountering police, and while they were willing to contribute to a charity for treatment to be available, they prefer to pay less not more. In order of relative importance, participants were willing to pay an additional $4.46 (95% CI 3.33-5.60) for treatment which resulted in an additional 1% of heroin users staying in treatment for longer than 3 months, $42.00 (95% CI 28.30-55.69) to avoid 5 days per week of family discord, $87.94 (95% CI 64.41-111.48) for treatment options that led to an improvement in their own health status, and $129.66 (95% CI 53.50-205.87) for each 1% decline in the chance of police contact. Drug treatment in Australia appears to have intangible benefits for affected family members. Families are willing to pay for treatment which reduces family discord, improves their own health, increases time in treatment and reduces contact with police. BACKGROUND AND AIMS DESIGN SETTING MEASUREMENTS FINDINGS CONCLUSIONS
    • Ventriloquation and ghostwriting as responses to oppression in therapy

      Simon, Gail (Wiley, 2016-07-02)
      Background People coming to therapy as part of their recovery from torture may choose not to speak or write about their experiences, yet the process of seeking asylum requires that they must hand over their life stories for a true–false adjudication with potentially life and death consequences. When people have been silenced and speaking has become dangerous, there are major ethical challenges for the activist practitioner who, along with the person who has experienced torture, sees the importance of stories not only being understood and shared in ways which are factual but which contain truth. Methods I share my experiments with writing as a form of inquiry, specifically ghostwriting and ventriloquation. Findings These have the effects of (1) moving the therapeutic process into a collaborative inquiry between the client, an asylum seeker, and me as both counsellor and expert witness; (2) letting fictionalised tellings of ‘real life’ reveal the hidden and complex life stories of clients and counsellors and (3) sharing stories which would otherwise remain hidden and risk perpetuating oppressive practices. Implications for practice Ghostwriting and ventriloquation offer the practitioner-researcher ways of speaking from a first-person position, from ‘within’ experience rather than a distanced ‘about-ness’ position. In this dialogical writing, I use actual and imagined inner and outer voices to enable the sound of talk and thought to be reflexively and empathically heard and felt by readers. Relational ethics are considered in how to imagine the other and manage ownership of stories without reproducing oppressive practices.
    • Victim Support's Adult survivors of child sexual abuse project: an evaluation of a co-created service delivery model

      Allnock, Debra; Wager, Nadia; Victim Support; University of Bedfordshire (Victim Support, 2016-06-13)
      Victim Support (VS), in partnership with the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC), was successful in obtaining funding from the Child Abuse Inquiry Fund to develop a strengthened service response to adult survivors of child sexual abuse (CSA). The original aim of this work, as cited by Victim Support, was to: Create a robust and evidenced model for wrap-around support, based on existing proven frameworks, academic review and input from other expert services and survivors of CSA. The model that was developed, and which constitutes the subject of this report, is known  as the Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse  (or See website for details of funding pots: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/child-sexual-abuse-inquiry-2m-funding-boost-for-victims ASCSA, for short) project. The project was informed by an evidence review carried out by the University of Bedfordshire prior to the start of the project. It was then fully developed through a process of ‘co-creation’, involving Victim Support staff and adult survivors of CSA (hereafter referred to as ‘consultants’. The University of Bedfordshire has evaluated the experiences of co-creation and this report presents these findings and recommendations for future service development using a co-creation model.
    • Victims’ voices: understanding the emotional impact of cyberstalking and individuals’ coping responses

      Worsley, Joanne D.; Wheatcroft, Jacqueline M.; Short, Emma; Corcoran, Rhiannon (SAGE, 2017-05-23)
      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.
    • Violence and alternative care: a rapid review of the evidence

      Brodie, Isabelle; Pearce, Jenny J.; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor Francis, 2017-02-06)
      This paper focuses on the mechanisms through which international policy and practice relating to the safeguarding of children and young people living in alternative care is being implemented in national policy and practice. It is based on a rapid review of the evidence regarding the violence experienced by children and young people living in different forms of alternative care internationally. The evidence base indicates that children living in alternative care are especially vulnerable to violence and abuse, prior to and during their care experience and also in the longer term. The introduction of the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children has encouraged greater attention to this issue. The paper concludes that progress is variable according to a range of political, economic and social factors, and that greater attention to practice at national and community levels is required if more effective safeguarding practice is required. A more sophisticated evidence base is required to support this.
    • Violence and alternative care: a rapid review of the evidence

      Brodie, Isabelle; Pearce, Jenny J.; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis, 2017-02-06)
      This article gives an overview of the international literature pertaining to the nature and impact of violence against children who are accommodated within alternative care provision 
    • Virtuous circles : theorising the impact of Parents Against Child Sexual Exploitation (Pace) : discussion paper

      Shuker, Lucie; Parents Against Child Sexual Exploitation; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2017-09-01)
      ‘Parents against child sexual exploitation’ (Pace) is a charity that supports the parents and carers of children who are, or are at risk of being, sexually exploited by perpetrators external to the family. Between 2014-17 Pace delivered the grant-funded project ‘Parents as partners in safeguarding children and young people in Lancashire’, which centred around the work of a Parent Liaison Officer (PLO) placed in the multiagency ‘Engage’ child sexual exploitation (CSE) team in East Lancashire.1 The project was evaluated by the ‘International Centre: Researching child sexual exploitation, violence and trafficking’ (IC) at the University of Bedfordshire.2 Our evaluation (Shuker and Ackerley, 2017) confirmed the findings of other evaluations of the work of Pace in demonstrating that the PLO contributed to positive outcomes for both parents and professional partners. The evaluation also highlighted the scope for the ‘relational safeguarding model’ used in the project to be developed further through a clearer articulation of the links between the PLO’s activities and the outcomes they achieved. This discussion paper aims to support that process by reviewing three of the key outcomes achieved by the PLO (increased parental understanding, empowerment and resilience) and suggesting that together they create a virtuous circle. In the model of a virtuous circle, the PLO’s support for parents improves outcomes, which in turn can have a positive impact on professionals’ interactions with the family and relationships within the home – both of which continue to reinforce positive outcomes for parents and their children. At its simplest, this theory of change asserts that when the family unit is strengthened, parents and other family members are empowered to work alongside statutory agencies to safeguard the child.