• 'People like me don”t get support’: autistic adults’ experiences of support and treatment for mental health difficulties, self-injury and suicidality

      Camm-Crosbie, Louise; Bradley, Louise; Shaw, Rebecca; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Cassidy, Sarah (Sage, 2018-11-29)
      Autistic people are at high risk of mental health problems, self-injury and suicidality. However, no studies have explored autistic peoples’ experiences of treatment and support for these difficulties. In partnership with a steering group of autistic adults, an online survey was developed to explore these individuals’ experiences of treatment and support for mental health problems, self-injury and suicidality for the first time. A total of 200 autistic adults (122 females, 77 males and 1 unreported) aged 18–67 (mean =  38.9 years, standard deviation =  11.5), without co-occurring intellectual disability, completed the online survey. Thematic analysis of open-ended questions resulted in an overarching theme that individually tailored treatment and support was both beneficial and desirable, which consisted of three underlying themes: (1) difficulties in accessing treatment and support; (2) lack of understanding and knowledge of autistic people with co-occurring mental health difficulties and (3) appropriate treatment and support, or lack of, impacted autistic people’s well-being and likelihood of seeing suicide as their future. Findings demonstrate an urgent need for autism treatment pathways in mental health services.
    • Positioning social workers without borders within green social work: ethical considerations for social work as social justice work

      Wroe, Lauren; Ng'andu, Bridget; Doyle, Matthew; King, Lynn (Taylor and Francis, 2018-04-10)
      ‘Green social work’ is a new theoretical concern for the social work profession and specifically for social work with people crossing borders. Social work, while addressing environmental factors, whether in the family, housing or poverty, that form the backdrop to service users’ lives, pays little attention to the natural environment (Dominelli, 2012). However, the theoretical bridge between environmental degradation, and mass movement of people is well-forged in the social and environmental sciences (Gemenne, 2011; Bettini et al., 2016; UNICEF, 2017; Gemenne and Blocher, 2017; Climate and Migration Coalition, 2017).
    • Postcolonial people: South Asians in Britain

      Ali, Nasreen; Kalra, V.S.; Sayyid, B. (Hurst & Company, 2006-01-01)
      The diversity and complexity of British Asian life is plain for all to see and has been celebrated in literature, poetry and film, not to mention performing arts and music. Till now, however, an accessibly written introductory volume on the South Asian presence has been absent from our bookshelves. A Postcolonial People is an innovative and intriguing blend of scholarship and reportage on the multi-faceted experience of British Asians covering everything from discrimination to bhangra, Bradford to chicken tikka, Asian Britsih cultural landscapes to arranged marriages. Eschewing both anthropological approaches and overtly theoretical analyses, the contributors map out the heterodox impact of British Asians on the United Kingdom, detailing their achievement and setbacks, points of intersection and divergence as a postcolonial people and everyday lives. 
    • Practice makes perfect: designing integrated learning experiences in social work education using Laurillard's 'Conversational Framework' for learning

      Domakin, Alison (Whiting and Birch, 2018-09-13)
      Providing an integrated curriculum in social work education is a complex task and the profession has long struggled with how best to link knowledge and practice in qualifying studies. This prompted the author to design a unit of study inspired by Laurillard's seminal 'Conversational Framework' for learning, which suggests that opportunities for questioning and dialogue with an expert provide a pivotal mechanism for integrating learning. In this model discussions need to be hard wired into experiential learning opportunities; both of which must occur simultaneously. Bespoke e-learning curriculum materials were, therefore, developed to be studied alongside an experience of social work and dialogue with practitioners. The unit was located on a Step up to Social Work (child and family) qualifying programme, delivered jointly with partner local authorities, which meant that greater access to practitioners was possible. Realist evaluation analysis of student feedback suggests that being able to synchronously draw on learning from experiencing practice and bespoke academic input, in dialogue with practitioners, can help students to develop more integrated understandings of the skills and knowledge required for social work practice.
    • Precarity, mobility and the city: introduction to the special issue

      Bakonyi, Jutta; Kappler, Stefanie; Nag, Eva-Maria; Opfermann, Lena S.; ; Durham University; University of Bedfordshire (Wiley, 2021-04-23)
      Drawing on empirically rich and theoretically grounded case studies, the articles in this issue explore ways in which global governmental processes affect mobility and, similarly, how seemingly local movements impact upon global processes.
    • Preventing child sexual exploitation: would an international age of consent to sexual activity help secure the welfare of children?

      Pearce, Jenny J. (Routledge, 2017-02-20)
      This chapter explores variation in international definitions and interpretations of children's consent to sexual activity. Addressing questions of child sexual exploitation and child sexual abuse, it argues that the protection of children from abuse would be advanced if there was international agreement of the age of consent to sexual activity and the meaning associated with 'consent' overall. 
    • Preventing organised crime

      Pitts, John; Hope, Tim; Hurley, Michael; McGibbon, Ian; Specialist Crime Solutions; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2017-11-30)
      This monograph describes research undertaken between 2015 and 2016 into factors precipitating involvement in organised crime in a conurbation in northern England. The research methodology consisted of six quantitative and qualitative elements. The researchers found that, while a small number of upper eschelon Organised Crime Group (OCG) nominals lived in comparative opulence, most were located in low income, high crime neighbourhoods, in which there was a tradition of organised criminality and violence. Their families were characterised by high levels of domestic violence. The research revealed that a multiplicity of agencies had intervened with these families, often to little effect, and the monogram concludes with recommendations concerning how policing and non-policing agencies might work together more effectively to reduce both familial and criminal violence.
    • Profiling CSE: building a contextual picture of a local problem

      Firmin, Carlene Emma; Hancock, David (Routledge, 2017-12-19)
    • Profiling peer-on-peer abuse

      Firmin, Carlene Emma; Hancock, David; Broca, Sandeep; Umaria, Manish; Sloane, Gareth; Golding, Sepia; Levesque, Solenne; Dadabhoy, Farah; Abbott, Matthew; Contextual Safeguarding Network; et al. (Contextual Safeguarding Network, 2016-07-16)
      Since 2013 the MsUnderstood Partnership (MSU), led by the University of Bedfordshire, has been working with local areas across England to develop responses to peer-on-peer abuse which are: a) Contextual: Engage with the families, peer groups, schools and public, neighbourhood spaces associated to peer-on-peer abuse b) Holistic: Recognise the intersecting dynamics of peer-on-peer sexual exploitation, serious youth violence, harmful sexual behaviour and teenage relationship abuse which are often subject to siloed definitions and responses Informed by a contextual audit, MSU delivered support plans with 11 participating local safeguarding children’s boards, comprising six sites. Each site received a different package of support designed to build on the strengths identified during their audit process. One site was a cluster of six London boroughs – Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey, Hackney, and Islington – referred to as the North London (NL) Cluster. In the NL Cluster one area of activity focused upon building profiling capacity through the delivery of a support package to analysts. This briefing has been co-produced by the University of Bedfordshire with analysts who participated in the support programme. It aims to share lessons learnt from the process with other
    • Promoting learning on reintegration of children into family-based care: implications for monitoring approaches and tools. Experiences from the RISE learning network

      Cardoso, Isabel De Bruin; Bhattacharjee, Lopa; Cody, Claire; Wakia, Joanna; Menson, Jade Tachie; Tabbia, Maricruz; RISE Learning Network; University of Bedfordshire; Retrak (Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2019-10-02)
      Between 2015 and 2018, the RISE Learning Network facilitated learning on approaches, practices, methods, and tools that promote recovery and reintegration of children affected by sexual exploitation. Spanning three regions (Sub-Saharan Africa, South Central Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean), the RISE Learning Network implemented two learning projects. The first project focused on monitoring (M&E Learning Project) and aimed to generate understanding of approaches and tools that could effectively monitor children and families? reintegration outcomes. The specific purpose of RISE is to promote learning on reintegration of children affected by sexual exploitation; however, the remit of this Learning Project was to generate evidence on the reintegration of children who have been separated from their families for a range of reasons. This is to ensure that learning from different, but often related, areas of work can be included and compared to strengthen understanding of what successful reintegration of children could look like. The mid- and end-term reviews of the M&E Learning Project have captured lessons learned on how practitioners can approach monitoring of reintegration to mainstream it into their programme cycle. Key lessons learned include the importance of focusing on monitoring outcomes through participatory tools and the benefit of flexible, peer-to-peer learning approaches between practitioners using a variety of monitoring tools. This learning contributes to the nascent evidence base on what effective and efficient capturing of reintegration outcomes on children can look like, in addition to strengthening understanding of what successful reintegration for children and families means. The learnings can inform programming; monitoring, evaluation and learning frameworks; and other interventions around reintegration to ensure the holistic wellbeing of children and families.
    • Promoting shifts in personal narratives and providing structures of support: transitions of incarcerated children in England and Wales

      Bateman, Tim; Hazel, Neal (Springer, 2018-08-31)
      Recidivism rates for children leaving custody in England and Wales have remained stubbornly high, despite intense policy interest and some promising short-term initiatives. In this chapter, it is argued that the major challenge to improved outcomes has been the widespread failure of service providers to adopt lessons from research. This failure, we maintain, has been due to the lack of a conceptual understanding of how resettlement intervention effects positive change in children, leading to confusion as to service aims and what good practice looks like. Based on the existing knowledge base, from a six-year study titled, Beyond Youth Custody, it was concluded that effective resettlement should be reconceptualized as personal and practical support, that facilitates a shift in the child’s personal narrative from pro-criminal to pro-social. Five characteristics for practice necessary to promote this shift are identified, which are compared to the Taxonomy for Transition Programming 2.0.
    • Protection: migrant children and institutional protection

      Kohli, Ravi K.S. (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2018-08-31)
      This chapter considers the ways that social workers respond to the needs, talents and stories of unaccompanied asylum seeking children. When such children need institutional protection and care, the chapter outlines how such care can be provided. It does so through looking at social work practice as a form of practical humanitarian assistance, as emotionally attuned responses to deep complexities, and over time, as an expression of a strong and dependable solidarity with children.
    • The punitive transition in youth justice: reconstructing the child as offender

      Case, S; Bateman, Tim (Wiley, 2020-03-30)
      The transition from ‘child’ to ‘offender’ status can be fasttracked when offending is formally recognised through formal disposal, with children treated increasing punitively as they progress through the Youth Justice System. The status and ‘offenderising’ transitions of children who offend is socio-historically contingent, not only on their behaviour, but on political, socio-economic, societal, systemic and demography. We support this perspective through a periodised re-examination of four socio-historical trajectories in the construction of the ‘youth offender’: conflict, ambivalence and bifurcation (1908-1979); depenalising diversion and back to justice (1980-1992), fast-tracking the child to offender transition (1993-2007) and tentative depenalisation (2008 to present).
    • Put yourself in our shoes: considering children’s best interests in the asylum system

      Cronin, Kathryn; Sandhu, Baljeet; Kohli, Ravi K.S. (Law Centres Network, 2015-01-01)
      Data collection: Throughout 2014, 11 participating Law Centres uploaded anonymised data on 60 cases which met these selection criteria: 1. The child’s claimed age was under 18 years old at the point they claimed asylum 2. The Home Office treated the child as under 18 years old, even if local authority disputed this 3. The child was unaccompanied or separated  4. The child was seeking asylum alone, i.e. they were not a dependent on any adult’s asylum claim 5. The child’s substantive asylum interview took place between 1 December 2013 and 31 December 2014. For each case over 600 questions were asked. In addition to this, the Project ran two focus groups to obtain the views of young people who had recent experience of the asylum process in the UK.  Data analysis: This focused on ascertaining a clear picture of the related experiences of children and their legal representatives as they work together through the complex process of claiming international protection. This was set against existing national and international law and custom, highlighted throughout the report, which provides a frame of reference for lawyers seeking to promote their child clients’ best interests. Along with identifying areas of good practice by lawyers, immigration officials, statutory and voluntary care givers and other advocates, the analysis also suggested areas for improvement for those seeking to offer these children fair processes which will ensure their safety and long term security. Recommendations: The authors are aware of discussions of the limitations of the current system in the UK for deciding the future of children who arrive here on their own, and have deliberately restricted their recommendations to issues arising from information collected by lawyers working within the current systems and that are evidenced by the data collected.
    • Putting practice at the heart of social work education: can practice skills be reliably graded by different markers in child and family social work contexts?

      Domakin, Alison; Forrester, Donald (Routledge, 2017-10-08)
      The Frontline programme is a social work qualification route, in England, which began in 2014. Students are based in statutory child and family contexts supported by an academic staff member and practice educator. The assessment strategy on the programme includes seven graded observations of students engaging in social work, marked by both staff. This paper investigates reliability of grading of direct practice between different markers on the programme. It reports findings for 30 recordings of direct observations of practice that were graded during the first cohort. These included observations graded by an academic and by a practice educator. Each was independently then graded by an academic, blind to the original score or who marked it. An acceptable level of reliability was found between the independent grader and the first mark (r =.621). In general the level of agreement was higher between the independent grader (a social work academic) and academics. In comparison, practice educators tended to give higher grades to students. Nonetheless, overall the reliability of marking suggests it is possible to agree on marks for students, which points to the potential for grading of practice to be more widely used in social work education.
    • Putting risk into perspective: lessons for children and youth services from a participatory advocacy project with survivors of sexual violence in Albania, Moldova and Serbia

      Bovarnick, Silvie; Cody, Claire; ; University of Bedfordshire (Elsevier, 2021-03-26)
      While engaging survivors of sexual violence in participatory advocacy may not be new to adult services, it is less common among children and youth services that commonly prioritise “protection” over “participation”. This paper draws on monitoring and evaluation data collected from a youth advocacy project with fifteen survivors of sexual violence in Albania, Moldova and Serbia. Secondary analysis, adopting a trauma-informed lens, was undertaken on data generated through shared learning events with project partners, focus groups with project staff and workshops with the young women involved. We argue that the identified gains for participants resonate with key elements of trauma-informed responses to sexual violence, namely establishing safety and trust, empowerment, and critical reflection. Although based on work with young women, our findings are relevant to children and youth services interested in engaging survivors in advocacy. Despite the significant ethical and practical challenges, we argue that it is important to put risk into perspective and not lose sight of the potential protective benefits of participatory work for participants.