• Waltharius and Carolingian morality: satire and lay values

      Stone, Rachel; University of Bedfordshire (Wiley, 2013-01-07)
    • Watching over or working with? understanding social work innovation in response to extra-familial harm

      Wroe, Lauren; Lloyd, Jenny; University of Bedfordshire (Social Sciences, 2020-04-01)
      This paper critically reflects on the role of surveillance and trusted relationships in social work in England and Wales. It explores the characteristics of relationships of trust and relationships of surveillance and asks how these approaches apply to emerging policy and practices responses to extra-familial forms of harm (EFH). Five bodies of research that explore safeguarding responses across a range of public bodies are drawn on to present an analytical framework that explores elements of safeguarding responses, constituting relationships of trust or relationships of surveillance and control. This analytic framework is applied to two case studies, each of which detail a recent practice innovation in response to EFH studied by the authors, as part of a larger body of work under the Contextual Safeguarding programme. The application of this framework signals a number of critical issues related to the focus/rationale, methods and impact of interventions into EFH that should be considered in future work to address EFH, to ensure young people’s rights to privacy and participation are upheld.
    • ‘We are not objects, we are not things’: ethnic minority women’s views of the UK home office immigration campaigns

      Dhaliwal, Sukhwant (Springer, 2016-05-01)
      The lead-up to the 2015 general election in the United Kingdom included considerable discussion about how to encourage women to vote (Grice, 2015). A poll conducted by TNS BMRB for BBC Radio Four ‘Woman’s Hour’ found that immigration was one of the top five concerns for the women who they polled (What do women think about the general election?, 2015). The same survey drew additional insights from a focus group session with six women from Bexleyheath in Southeast London. It seems that these six women viewed immigration as a problem, but, other than a passing reference to border controls and the impact of global elites on London’s house prices, there is little detail about what their specific concerns centred upon or stemmed from. This can be contrasted with interviewees on the Mapping Immigration Controversy (MIC) project1 who suggested that references to immigration can act as a proxy for other grievances, particularly concerns about the economy, access to housing, health care and education. Furthermore, the MIC surveys found that it is difficult to capture, statistically, the multiple factors that are encompassed when individuals say they are concerned about immigration (Jones et al., 2014; Bhattacharyya, 2013). In this short note, I will reflect on some of the key findings from two focus group sessions with ethnic minority women, and on the possibility that anti-immigration campaigns have the effect of making them think that their vote is far less important than the white majority vote. Renewed debates about intersectionality within the United Kingdom, and beyond, should remind us that women do not speak with one voice; Home Office messages on immigration could be received differently by women depending on the way that they experience multiple axes of power. The women who feel the impact of the Home Office’s immigration campaigns most acutely may be from ethnic minorities and particularly (but not only) those subject to immigration controls. It is not clear how many of the Bexleyheath focus group participants were from minority communities. In contrast, the MIC project held two focus groups to specifically gauge the views of ethnic minority women.
    • ‘We have personal experience to share, it makes it real’: young people's views on their role in sexual violence prevention efforts

      Cody, Claire (Elsevier Ltd, 2017-06-07)
      Young people, particularly those affected by sexual violence, are rarely asked about their views on sexual violence prevention initiatives. Forty seven children and young people (aged between 11 and 25) from Albania, Bulgaria and England took part in a series of consultation workshops exploring sexual violence. This article outlines their views and recommendations in relation to the role of young people in prevention work. Young people are clear that they have a role to play when it comes to reaching and informing their peers. They are also aware of the risks of engagement and cognisant of the need for support and training. The consultation findings contribute to the limited evidence base surrounding young people's views on sexual violence prevention. The article illustrates the valuable insights and contributions that children and young people, particularly those affected by the issues, can make to the field. This calls for a shift in how we view and engage children and young people in shaping future sexual violence prevention strategies and projects.
    • 'Wet' care homes for older people with refractory alcohol problems: a qualitative study

      McCann, Michelle; Wadd, Sarah; Crofts, Gill; University of Bedfordshire (Alcohol Research UK, 2017-08-04)
      Background This study describes a registered care home in England and a registered nursing home in Norway which provide permanent care for alcohol-dependent older people who are unable or unwilling to stop drinking and cannot maintain an adequate standard of self-care and/or live independently. Prior to admission, most residents have been living unsafely in their own home or were homeless. They have high levels of contact with health, social and criminal justice services and complex needs as a result of mental illness, poor physical health and physical disabilities. Most have lost contact with their families. The aim is to stabilise drinking, physical and mental health and improve quality of life. The homes are based on a harm reduction philosophy, that is, they focus on strategies to reduce harm from high-risk alcohol use, rather than insisting on abstinence. Residents can drink as much alcohol as they want on the premises but staff encourage them to drink less and in a less harmful way (e.g. spreading drinking throughout the day and having ‘dry’ days). Method We carried out interviews and focus groups with staff and residents, observed verbal exchanges, experiences and routines in communal areas, took field notes during staff rounds and analysed documents such as care plans for individual residents. Key findings • Most residents’ drinking, physical and mental health stabilises and their use of health, social and criminal justice services reduces following admission. • This is achieved by encouraging less harmful drinking, providing on-site health care, assistance with medication and self-care and provision of nutritious meals and social activities. • Wet care homes are viewed by some residents as a safe refuge which has improved their quality of life. • Other residents are frustrated by a lack of personal autonomy. • Suitable outcomes include improved hygiene and nutrition, increased self-esteem, better compliance with healthcare, healthier living which is not entirely alcohol focused and more hope for the future. • Homes should have processes in place to collect quantitative measures which provide clear evidence of impact.          
    • What and how: doing good research with young people, digital intimacies, and relationships and sex education

      Scott, Rachel H.; Smith, Clarissa; Formby, Eleanor; Hadley, Alison; Hallgarten, Lisa; Hoyle, Alice; Marston, Cicely; McKee, Alan; Tourountsis, Dimitrios (Taylor & Francis, 2020-03-17)
      As part of a project funded by the Wellcome Trust, we held a one-day symposium, bringing together researchers, practitioners, and policymakers, to discuss priorities for research on relationships and sex education (RSE) in a world where young people increasingly live, experience, and augment their relationships (whether sexual or not) within digital spaces. The introduction of statutory RSE in schools in England highlights the need to focus on improving understandings of young people and digital intimacies for its own sake, and to inform the development of learning resources. We call for more research that puts young people at its centre; foregrounds inclusivity; and allows a nuanced discussion of pleasures, harms, risks, and rewards, which can be used by those working with young people and those developing policy. Generating such research is likely to be facilitated by participation, collaboration, and communication with beneficiaries, between disciplines and across sectors. Taking such an approach, academic researchers, practitioners, and policymakers agree that we need a better understanding of RSE’s place in lifelong learning, which seeks to understand the needs of particular groups, is concerned with non-sexual relationships, and does not see digital intimacies as disconnected from offline everyday ‘reality’.
    • What do we know about child neglect and policing in England and Wales? : evidence briefing for the National Policing Lead for Child Protection and Abuse Investigation

      Allnock, Debra; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2015-11-01)
      The purpose of this briefing is to provide the National Policing Lead for Child Protection and Abuse Investigation with evidence for consideration in the development of a National Safeguarding Action Plan. The methodology used in the reviews can be found in an associated document. This briefing distils key messages from the research evidence on neglect, and considers them within the policing context in England and Wales. However, it is important to note that the research literature on child neglect and policing is almost non-existent. Therefore, the messages which underpin the actions in the National Safeguarding Action Plan are largely based on best available evidence rather than direct evidence. These messages are linked directly to the National Safeguarding Action Plan, which may be read alongside this briefing. The briefing is not intended to be exhaustive, but to raise awareness of the key issues associated with neglect that should be considered by the police.
    • What do we know about child sexual abuse and policing in England and Wales? : evidence briefing for the National Policing Lead for Child Protection and Abuse Investigation

      Allnock, Debra; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2015-11-01)
      The purpose of this briefing is to provide the National Policing Lead for Child Protection and Abuse Investigation with evidence for consideration in the development of a National Policing Safeguarding Action plan. The methodology can be found in an associated document. This briefing distils key messages from research evidence on policing and child protection in the United Kingdom (UK).
    • What do we know about transgender parenting?: findings from a systematic review

      Hafford-Letchfield, Trish; Cocker, Christine; Rutter, Deborah; Tinarwo, Moreblessing; McCormack, Keira; Manning, Rebecca; Middlesex University; University of East Anglia; University of Bedfordshire; Gender Essence & Essence Arts, Belfast; et al. (Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2019-04-14)
      Transgender issues are under-explored and marginalised within mainstream social work and social care professional practice. The experience of gender transition has a profound impact on the individuals who have diverse gender identities and their family members. We present findings from a systematic review of studies concerning the experiences of transgender parenting conducted during January–September 2017. We took a life course approach, examining the research studies that investigated the experience of people identifying as transgender, who were already parents at the time of their transition or who wished to be parents following transition. The review evaluated existing findings from empirical research on transgender parenting and grandparenting to establish how trans people negotiate their relationships with children following transition, and sought to consider the implications for professional practice with trans people in relation to how best to support them with their family caring roles. We used the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) method. Empirical studies published from 1 January 1990 to 31 April 2017 in the English language, and which had transgender parenting as a significant focus, were included in the review. Twenty-six studies met the criteria. Key themes reported are: how trans people negotiate their relationships with children following disclosure and transition; the impact of parental transitioning on children; relationships with wider families; trans people's desires to be parents; and the role of professional practice to support trans families. We discuss how the material from the review can inform social work education and practice, including to help identify future research, education and practice priorities in this area.
    • What does empathy sound like in social work communication? A mixed‐methods study of empathy in child protection social work practice

      Lynch, Amy; Newlands, Fiona; Forrester, Donald; University of Bedfordshire; University of Cardiff (Wiley, 2018-07-12)
      It is widely accepted that empathy is important for social work practice, yet there are multiple dimensions of empathy and comparatively few studies of empathy as a component of social work skill. To date, published studies have been quantitative, and as a result, we know little about how social workers demonstrate empathy in practice or what skilled empathic practice in child and family social work might sound like. This study contributes to the development of understanding of empathy as a social work skill through a mixed‐methods analysis of 110 audio recordings of meetings in a child protection service between workers and parents, applying a coding framework for analysis. Findings indicate that workers who demonstrate higher levels of empathy skill use more open questions and reflections in their communication with parents. Further, they demonstrate curiosity about and make efforts to understand parents' often difficult experiences, including a focus on emotions. That the majority of workers were found not to demonstrate a high level of empathy skill presents concerns to be considered by the social work profession. A deeper understanding of empathy presents an opportunity for an increased focus in organizations to enable workers to demonstrate empathy towards families they work with. 
    • What does supervision help with? a survey of 315 social workers in the UK

      Wilkins, David; Antonopoulou, Vivi (Taylor & Francis (Routledge): STM, Behavioural Science and Public Health Titles, 2018-03-01)
      What does social work supervision help with? There are many different models of supervision and an increasing amount of research. Much of this is concerned with the content of supervision and how supervisors (and supervisees) should behave — and these are important concerns. But even more important is the question of who or what supervision helps with. Supervision is widely considered to have many different functions but in the context of UK local authority social work, must ultimately prove itself as a method for helping people who use services. This article reports on a survey of 315 social workers from UK local authorities. Most reported that supervision helps primarily with management oversight and accountability. However, the small number of practitioners who received regular group supervision and those who received supervision more frequently said it helped with a much broader range of things.
    • What evidence exists about the scale of child sexual abuse in England and Wales? : evidence briefing for the National Policing Lead for Child Protection and Abuse Investigation

      Allnock, Debra; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2015-11-01)
      This scoping review was undertaken on child sexual abuse to inform the development of an overarching National Policing Action Plan on child protection. The context, aims, methodology, policy context and background can be found in an associated document. The purpose of this briefing, and other similar briefings, is to provide the National Policing Lead for Child Protection and Abuse Investigation with evidence for consideration in the development of a national strategy. This particular briefing focusses on what is known about the scale of child sexual abuse (CSA) in England and Wales based on the range of information available. Literature pertaining to the context of child sexual exploitation (CSE) (which is recognised as a particular form of CSA) will be written up separately in order to address the characteristic patterns and dynamics that make it a unique form of CSA.
    • What happens in child and family social work supervision?

      Wilkins, David; Forrester, Donald; Grant, Louise Jane (Wiley, 2016-08-04)
      Supervision is fundamental to the social work profession. However, increasing concern has been expressed over the managerial capture of local authority social work and the use of supervision as a way of enabling management oversight (or surveillance) of practice. Despite the importance of supervision, we have little evidence about what happens when managers and child and family social workers meet to discuss casework and less about how supervision influences practice. In this study, 34 supervision case discussions were recorded. Detailed descriptions are given of what happens in supervision. Overall, case discussions operated primarily as a mechanism for management oversight and provided limited opportunity for reflection, emotional support or critical thinking. With reference to organizational context, it is suggested that these deficits result from a system that focuses too much on ‘what and when’ things happen and not enough on ‘how and why’.
    • What is peer-on-peer abuse?

      Firmin, Carlene Emma; Curtis, George; Contextual Safeguarding Network; University of Bedfordshire (Contextual Safeguarding Network, 2016-07-21)
      In recent years practitioners and policymakers have become increasingly concerned about the levels of violence and abuse between young people evidenced in UK research (Home Office 2011a, Home Office 2011b, Beckett et al 2014). The UK’s first study into teenage relationship abuse and exploitation found that one in three girls surveyed had experienced sexual violence from a partner before they turned 18 and 25% had been in physically abusive relationships (Barter et al 2009). Young people have reported physical, sexual and emotional abusing, and being abused, by their peers as a means of survival in gang affected neighbourhoods (Beckett et al 2013, Firmin 2011, Pitts 2008). A growing interest in child sexual exploitation has evidenced that a quarter of cases in many areas are peer-on-peer as opposed to adult on child (Berelowitz et al 2012, Barnardo’s 2011), with some areas suggesting that it is their most frequently identified model of exploitation (Beckett et al 2014). Most recently a European study found that more than four in ten teenage schoolgirls aged between 13 and 17 in England have experienced sexual coercion (Barter et al 2015). Amidst this expanding evidence base, local practitioners and national policymakers are seeking solutions. This briefing outlines what current research tells us about the nature of peer-on-peer abuse, and considers what this might mean for building a response.
    • What is really wrong with serious case reviews?

      Preston-Shoot, Michael (John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2017-07-20)
      Concern about the effectiveness of Serious Case Reviews for generating improvements in child protection in England led to proposals in the Wood review to replace the current system with rapid local learning inquiries and a national system of learning from significant incidents. This article challenges both the analysis in the Wood review and the proposals themselves. Whilst not uncritical of Serious Case Reviews, this article addresses five criticisms of the current review system. It explores how systemic the focus of reviews has been, and argues that findings and recommendations have become repetitive and lessons not fully appreciated because of an overly simplistic approach to change management. It suggests that there are methodologies that can effectively engage practitioners and managers in case reviews and that criticism of the review process itself can be addressed with refinements rather than wholesale change. The article concludes by questioning the assumptions upon which proposals for changing the current Serious Case Review are based. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. ‘Challenges both the analysis in the Wood review and the proposals themselves’. Key Practitioner Messages A systemic approach to Serious Case Reviews must engage legislative, social policy and societal systems as well as local policy and practice. A linear approach to learning and service development, often reflected in recommendations for training and policy refinements, is a less effective change management approach than engaging with single and multiagency contexts. Safeguarding children involves practice which is inherently social and relational, full of complexity and complicated truths; so too is the practice of reviewing cases. ‘Safeguarding children involves practice which is inherently social and relational, full of complexity and complicated truths’.
    • What is the impact of supervision on direct practice with families?

      Bostock, Lisa; Patrizo, Louis; Godfrey, Tessa; Forrester, Donald; University of Bedfordshire; Frontline; University of Cardiff (Elsevier, 2019-07-24)
      Supervision has been described as the “pivot” upon which the integrity and excellence of social work practice can be maintained.However, there is little research that examines its impact on how social workers work directly with children and their families. Where effectiveness studies exist, they tend to explore the impact of supervision on organisational and staff-related outcomes such as retention rates or worker well-being. The current study focuses on one specific sub-category of the wider supervision and practice literature: systemic group supervision or “systemic supervision” and is based on a wider evaluation of systemic social work practice in the UK. The paper pairs observations of systemic supervision (n=14) and observations of direct practice (n=18) in peoples’ homes. It presents correlational data on the relationship between supervision quality and direct practice quality to assess whether there is an association between the two practice forums. The paper demonstrates that there is a statistically significant relationship between supervision quality and overall quality of direct practice. Supervision was also associated with relationship-building skills and use of “good authority” skills; that is, practice that was more purposeful, child-focused and risks to children better articulated. Interestingly, where a clinician qualified in systemic family therapy was present in supervision, this was associated with bothimproved supervisory and direct practice quality. This suggests that there may be an important association between the discussions held in systemic supervision, particularly where a clinician is present and the quality of conversations that practitioners have with children and families. These findings contribute to a growing body of knowledge about the relationship between effective supervision and direct practice within children and families social work.
    • What is the relationship between worker skills and outcomes for families in child and family social work?

      Forrester, Donald; Westlake, David; Killian, Mike; Antonopoulou, Vivi; McCann, Michelle; Thurnham, Angela; Thomas, Roma; Waits, Charlotte; Whittaker, Charlotte E.; Hutchison, Douglas (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2019-01-28)
      Communication skills are fundamental to social work, yet few studies have directly evaluated their impact. In this study, we explore the relationship between skills and outcomes in 127 families. An observation of practice was undertaken on the second or third meeting with a family. Practice quality was evaluated in relation to seven skills, which were grouped into three dimensions: relationship building, good authority and evocation of intrinsic motivation. Outcomes at approximately six months were parent-reported engagement (Working Alliance Inventory), Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS), an eleven-point family life satisfaction rating, the Family Environment Scale and General Health Questionnaire and service outcomes from agency records including children entering care. Relationship-building skills predicted parent-reported engagement, although good authority and evocation had stronger relationships with outcome measures. Where workers visited families more often, relationships between skills and outcomes were stronger, in part because workers had more involvement and in part because these families were more likely to have significant problems. The relationship between skills and outcomes was complicated, although the findings provide encouraging evidence that key social work skills have an influence on outcomes for families.
    • What makes a resilient e-worker?

      Grant, Christine; Kinman, Gail (2017-01-06)