• Growing sideways: re-articulating ontologies of childhood within/through relationships and sexuality education (RSE)

      Atkinson, Catherine; Coll, Leanne; McBride, Ruari-Santiago; Whittington, Elsie; Zanatta, Francesca; University of Manchester; Dublin City University; University of Limerick; University of Bedfordshire; University of East London (Wiley, 2022-02-01)
      This article presents a collaborative reflective-thinking-writing project that draws from the authors’ experiences of co-productive and critical inquiry with children in the field of gender, sexualities and education. Integrating our collective concerns regarding how childhood can be negatively framed and policed within/through RSE, we explore how these ontological boundaries might be queered through a collective engagement with the possibilities for/of RSE that is affirmative, playful and co-produced with, rather than for, children.
    • Learning from safeguarding adult reviews about Transitional Safeguarding: building an evidence base

      Preston-Shoot, Michael; Cocker, Christine; Cooper, Adi; University of Bedfordshire; University of East Anglia; Adult Social Care and Safeguarding (Emerald Group Holdings Ltd., 2022-04-12)
      Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to set out the evidence base to date for Transitional Safeguarding to support authors of Safeguarding Adult Reviews (SARs) where Transitional Safeguarding is a key theme in the review. Design/methodology/approach: This paper draws on key evidence from several published sources about Transitional Safeguarding in England. This evidence is presented in this paper as a framework for analysis to support SAR authors. It follows the same four domains framework used in other adult safeguarding reviews: direct work with individuals; team around the person; organisational support for team members; and governance. This framework was then applied to two SARs written by two of the article’s authors. Findings: The framework for analysis for Transitional Safeguarding SARs was applied as part of the methodology of two separate SARs regarding three young people. Key reflections from applying the framework to both SARs are identified and discussed. These included: providing an effective framework for analysis which all participants could use and a contribution for developing knowledge. Whilst many issues arising for safeguarding young people are similar to those for other adults, there are some unique features. The ways in which the gaps between children and adults systems play out through inter-agency and multi-professional working, as well as how “lifestyle choices” of young people are understood and interpreted are key issues. Practical implications: This paper presents an evidence base regarding Transitional Safeguarding for SAR authors who are tasked with completing a SAR where Transitional Safeguarding is a key theme. Originality/value: This paper draws together key literature and evidence about Transitional Safeguarding practice with young people. This paper argues that this framework for analysis provides SAR authors with a useful tool to support their analysis in this complex area of practice.
    • Nothing about me without me

      Hill, N.; Warrington, Camille (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2022-04-19)
      This chapter aims to provide an overview of how participation and empowerment-focused approaches can promote improved relational practice and outcomes for young people in safeguarding . It builds on learning from emerging practice in interrelated disciplines such as youth and community work, social work, youth justice and adult safeguarding.
    • An inter-disciplinary perspective on evaluation of innovation to support care leavers’ transition

      Lynch, Amy; Alderson, Hayley; Kerridge, Gary; Johnson, Rebecca; McGovern, Ruth; Newlands, Fiona; Smart, Deborah; Harrop, Carrie; Currie, Graeme; University of Bedfordshire; et al. (Emerald Group Holdings Ltd., 2021-07-31)
      Purpose: Young people who are looked after by the state face challenges as they make the transition from care to adulthood, with variation in support available. In the past decade, funding has been directed towards organisations to pilot innovations to support transition, with accompanying evaluations often conducted with a single disciplinary focus, in a context of short timescales and small budgets. Recognising the value and weight of the challenge involved in evaluation of innovations that aim to support the transitions of young people leaving care, this paper aims to provide a review of evaluation approaches and suggestions regarding how these might be developed. Design/methodology/approach: As part of a wider research programme to improve understanding of the innovation process for young people leaving care, the authors conducted a scoping review of grey literature (publications which are not peer reviewed) focusing on evaluation of innovations in the UK over the past 10 years. The authors critiqued the evaluation approaches in each of the 22 reports they identified with an inter-disciplinary perspective, representing social care, public health and organisation science. Findings: The authors identified challenges and opportunities for the development of evaluation approaches in three areas. Firstly, informed by social care, the authors suggest increased priority should be granted to participatory approaches to evaluation, within which involvement of young people leaving care should be central. Secondly, drawing on public health, there is potential for developing a common outcomes’ framework, including methods of data collection, analysis and reporting, which aid comparative analysis. Thirdly, application of theoretical frameworks from organisation science regarding the process of innovation can drive transferable lessons from local innovations to aid its spread. Originality/value: By adopting the unique perspective of their multiple positions, the authors’ goal is to contribute to the development of evaluation approaches. Further, the authors hope to help identify innovations that work, enhance their spread, leverage resources and influence policy to support care leavers in their transitions to adulthood.
    • ‘Keeping the informal safe’: strategies for developing peer support initiatives for young people who have experienced sexual violence

      Cody, Claire; Bovarnick, Silvie; Peace, Delphine; Warrington, Camille; University of Bedfordshire; Durham University (John Wiley and Sons Inc, 2022-02-27)
      There is increasing recognition of the value of trauma-informed approaches when working with young people affected by sexual violence. Peer support is a key principle of a trauma-informed approach; however, there are limited examples of peer support programmes for this group. This paper draws on interviews with 25 respondents with knowledge and experience of peer support initiatives with young people impacted by sexual violence. The article outlines their perspectives on how peer support initiatives – that may be viewed as more ‘risky’ than traditional casework – can be kept ‘safe’. Six strategies are identified together with implications for practice.
    • Young people negotiating intra-and extra familial harm and safety: social and holistic approaches

      Wroe, Lauren; Pearce, Jenny J. (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2022-02-25)
      This chapter provides a holistic and structurally informed framework for understanding the intersections between intra-familial and extra-familial harm in adolescence. It proposes this contextual, social and structural understanding of child harm as a way to interpret and respond to young peoples’ experiences of multiple forms of harms in their families and beyond. Building upon poverty aware, contextual and 'social models' of social work, it considers the need for holistic service responses that acknowledge and alleviate the structural pressures on families and young people. It challenges individualised social work approaches that ask individuals to change as opposed to social work approaches that embrace the impact of social and structural inequalities. Rather than understanding this focus on ‘context’ as a new voice in the room, the chapter draws on Black feminist scholarship that outlines how context might be used in social work.
    • Being ‘good enough’: perfectionism and well-being in social workers

      Kinman, Gail; Grant, Louise Jane; Birkbeck, University of London; University of Bedfordshire (Oxford University Press, 2022-02-03)
      Perfectionism refers to a tendency to set unrealistically high standards for oneself and others. Although often seen positively, perfectionism can threaten health, relationships and performance. This study examined the effects of three types of maladaptive perfectionism on burnout in 294 UK social workers: self-oriented (having excessively high standards for oneself), other-oriented (having excessively high expectations of others) and socially prescribed (perceiving external pressure to excel). In line with previous research, we predicted that socially prescribed perfectionism would have particularly powerful effects on well-being, but significant relationships with self and other-oriented perfectionism were also expected. We also examined whether maladaptive perfectionism intensified the negative impact of work-related emotional demands on burnout. Significant positive relationships were found between socially prescribed and other-oriented perfectionism and burnout. A higher level of socially prescribed perfectionism was found than self and other-oriented and its relationship with burnout was particularly strong. We found no evidence, however, that perfectionism was an additional risk factor for burnout when emotional demands were high. Early career social workers were found to be at greater risk of dysfunctional perfectionism and burnout. The implications of the findings for the well-being of social workers are considered and potential interventions outlined to reduce maladaptive perfectionism.
    • Autism and autistic traits in those who died by suicide in England

      Cassidy, Sarah; Au-Yeung, Sheena K.; Robertson, Ashley E.; Cogger-Ward, Heather; Richards, Gareth; Allison, Carrie; Bradley, Louise; Kenny, Rebecca; O'Connor, Rory; Mosse, David; et al. (Cambridge University Press, 2022-02-15)
      Autism and autistic traits are risk factors for suicidal behaviour. To explore the prevalence of autism (diagnosed and undiagnosed) in those who died by suicide, and identify risk factors for suicide in this group. Stage 1: 372 coroners' inquest records, covering the period 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2017 from two regions of England, were analysed for evidence that the person who died had diagnosed autism or undiagnosed possible autism (elevated autistic traits), and identified risk markers. Stage 2: 29 follow-up interviews with the next of kin of those who died gathered further evidence of autism and autistic traits using validated autism screening and diagnostic tools. Stage 1: evidence of autism (10.8%) was significantly higher in those who died by suicide than the 1.1% prevalence expected in the UK general alive population (odds ratio (OR) = 11.08, 95% CI 3.92-31.31). Stage 2: 5 (17.2%) of the follow-up sample had evidence of autism identified from the coroners' records in stage 1. We identified evidence of undiagnosed possible autism in an additional 7 (24.1%) individuals, giving a total of 12 (41.4%); significantly higher than expected in the general alive population (1.1%) (OR = 19.76, 95% CI 2.36-165.84). Characteristics of those who died were largely similar regardless of evidence of autism, with groups experiencing a comparably high number of multiple risk markers before they died. Elevated autistic traits are significantly over-represented in those who die by suicide.
    • Spirituality and social networks of people with intellectual and developmental disability

      Sango, Precious Nonye; Forrester-Jones, Rachel; ; Canterbury Christ Church University; University of Kent (Taylor and Francis, 2017-05-24)
      Background: Researchers contend that religious and spiritual communities may provide a conduit to friendship for people with IDD. This research explored the interface between social networks and spirituality for individuals with IDD living in either a faith or non-faith based service. Method: A mixed-methods approach was used including semi-structured interviews, the Social Network Guide and the Spiritual Belief Inventory-15R with individuals with IDD (or staff members who provided their opinions of what individuals who lacked capacity to consent would say if they had capacity). These findings were corroborated with extensive field notes generated from participant observation. Results: The faith-based group had a higher network size (m = 78) compared to the non-faith based group (m = 44). Those with larger social networks also reported higher SBI-15R scores. Conclusion: Findings highlight the possible role of social, religious and spiritual activities for expanding individuals’ social networks.
    • Visible but invisible: people living with disability in Nigeria

      Sango, Precious Nonye (2013-11-14)
      Nigeria is estimated to have a population of 169 million; although it is argued that the country had not had any credible census since 1816. Based on the World Report on Disability approximately 25 million Nigerians have a disability, with 3.5 million of these having very significant difficulties in social and physical functioning. These disabilities include physical and intellectual developmental conditions. Regardless of the large number of people with disabilities in Nigeria, little support, if any is given to individuals living with disabilities. These individuals are often excluded from social, economic and political affairs in the society. The most common avenue of social aid for people with disabilities is usually through families. non-governmental organisations and religious organisations.
    • Spirituality and learning disability: a review of UK government guidance

      Sango, Precious Nonye; Forrester-Jones, Rachel; ; University of Kent (Emerald, 2014-09-30)
      Purpose Despite spirituality being a key aspect of quality of life, it appears to remain a low-priority area for social and health care government policy. The purpose of this paper is to identify and describe what, if at all, UK policy says about spirituality in relation to the care of people with learning disabilities (LD). Design/methodology/approach A systematic policy review using three government databases: legislation.gov.uk; Department of Health and Directgov (now known as gov.uk) was carried out. Findings The review identified policy gaps and a general lack of government directives in relation to the spiritual care of people with LD. Whilst research in this area is gathering momentum, practical implementation which makes a real difference to the spiritual experiences of people with LD appears to be sparse. Originality/value To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first systematic policy review on this subject area, highlighting the need for spirituality to become a more supported aspect of social care within LD services.
    • Social prescribing in Bexley: pilot evaluation report

      Palmer, D.; Wheeler, J.; Hendrix, E.; Sango, Precious Nonye; Hatzidimitriadou, Eleni; Mind in Bexley; Canterbury Christ Church University (Mind in Bexley, 2017-01-27)
      Social prescribing is becoming recognised as an important means of harnessing the resources of the voluntary and community sector to improve the health and wellbeing of the public. It provides GPs with a non-medical referral option that can operate alongside existing treatments to improve health and well-being. While there is no widely agreed definition of social prescribing, or ‘community referrals’, reports on social prescribing include an extensive range of prescribed interventions and activities. The paper ‘A Call to Action’ by NHS England highlights social prescribing as a crucial means of empowering the public, enabling greater self-management of health and providing for people’s non-clinical needs in a timely way. The aim being to promote integrated health and social care, partnered with the voluntary and community sector. There is however little in the way of supporting evidence of effect to inform the commissioning of a social prescribing programme. Evidence on the cost effectiveness of social prescribing schemes is also lacking. The aim of this research was to evaluate the benefits and limitations of a social prescribing pilot which took place in the Clocktower locality (London Borough of Bexley) over a 24-month period and this work forms the main body of the study. The evaluation primarily covers individuals who accessed and fully engaged in the first eight months. The pilot which started in April 2015 was hosted by Mind in Bexley and focuses on nine GP practices covering a population of approximately 80,000. The evaluation was thorough and comprehensive incorporating both quantitative and qualitative analysis. Quantative data analysis and draft findings were undertaken by the School of Public Health, Midwifery and Social work at Christchurch University. The quantitative approach included an analysis of the Warwick and Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS) in addition to data on the number of primary care and secondary appointments including hospital admission data for those who participated in the scheme. The qualitative aspect of the evaluation involved in-depth interviews with participants. Although measuring the impact of the project on the wellbeing of participants is challenging the use of both qualitative and quantitative analysis was
    • Evaluation of the sleep project for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in Kent

      Carr, Helen; Hatzidimitriadou, Eleni; Sango, Precious Nonye; Canterbury Christ Church University (Canterbury Christ Church University, 2017-12-01)
      It has been a privilege to evaluate the Sleep Project intervention for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC). The opportunity to evaluate this project arose through discussions between the authors and Dr. Ana Draper, exploring the work of Ana, her team and colleagues across the various agencies in supporting newly-arrived migrant children in Kent. From 2015, there was a rapid increase in the number of UASC arriving into the region and services were quickly adapted to meet the specific and immediate needs of these vulnerable children and young people, the Sleep Project being just one of the innovative interventions put in place. Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and young people have usually experienced harrowing journeys to the United Kingdom (UK) in seeking safety and refuge. Once in the UK, adapting to life within reception centres, foster families or supported housing, brings further challenges and within this context, practitioners and the young people identified sleep as a key problematic issue for which they required extra support. Through conversations with practitioners and young people, sleep difficulties were a recurring issue. Lack of sleep and disturbed sleep was preventing the young people from engaging in planned activities such as language classes. Tiredness was having negative health and social/educational impacts. This evaluation studies the benefits and challenges of the creative support mechanisms that were developed to address the sleep issues. This report presents our findings from the evaluation study of the Sleep Project intervention. The study comprised of 18 interviews with practitioners either working directly or indirectly with UASC, in paid and voluntary capacities. From the interviews, the qualitative data was thematically analysed to develop themes under which the benefits and challenges of the intervention could be explored. Throughout the interviews with practitioners working either directly with UASC or indirectly in managerial roles, it became apparent that there was a high level of commitment from individuals to develop their understanding of UASCs’ needs and to develop appropriate social care practice and support. The interviews highlighted that practitioners were prepared to think and act creatively to improve and to tailor support for this group of children and young people. The findings of the evaluation suggest that the Sleep Project was very well-received by young people and practitioners alike. It provided practical resources and support for good sleep, and it encouraged conversations to develop between the practitioners and the young people, and between the young people themselves, normalising the sleep issues that they were experiencing, and, according to interviewees, the young people were found to be encouraging other young people to use the good sleep packs. The intervention helped the practitioners feel more confident and equipped with skills to talk to the young people about sleep and, possibly, this led to deeper discussions about individual journeys and experiences, allowing care to become more empathetic, specific and person-centred. Significantly, interviewees reported that the project allowed them to ‘look at the basics’, that is, practical help such as providing night lights and educating young people about factors that hamper a good night’s sleep, whilst practitioners gained a greater understanding and responsiveness as to why the young people could struggle with sleep. This greater understanding has been important for shifting the perceptions of practitioners, particularly those in educational roles, helping them to be more patient and supportive to young people struggling to get to lessons on time and to concentrate. Key messages from the findings of this evaluation study are encapsulated in the following quotes from interviewees: • ‘I think it’s thinking a bit more innovatively about the care we can provide’ • ‘A confidence to look at the basics’ • ‘Context switched concepts’. Proposed recommendations involve: sustaining the work so far, looking at how the project could/should have a legacy, and building on the developed knowledge and networks. At the time of the publication of this report, young people are being transferred to other receiving local authorities outside Kent – a national dispersal scheme that was agreed by the Home Office in June 2016 to ease the pressure on Kent - therefore good practice from this project should be widely disseminated to service providers and policy makers at regional and national levels.
    • Country profile: intellectual and developmental disability in Nigeria

      Sango, Precious Nonye; Canterbury Christ Church University (Emerald, 2017-04-03)
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to provide a contextual and general overview of intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) in Nigeria. Design/methodology/approach The paper uses a chronological approach, providing an assessment of the understanding and treatment of people with IDD from the pre-colonial era to the present. Findings Nigeria has experienced a different historical path in terms of treatment and service provision for people with IDD compared to industrialised and developing countries such as the UK and Brazil. Originality/value Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with an emerging economy and thus important to review the treatment and social inclusion of people with IDD in the country’s development.
    • Spirituality and social networks of people with intellectual and developmental disability

      Sango, Precious Nonye; Forrester-Jones, Rachel; Canterbury Christ Church University; University of Kent (Routledge, 2019-08-20)
      Background: Researchers contend that religious and spiritual communities may provide a conduit to friendship for people with IDD. This research explored the interface between social networks and spirituality for individuals with IDD living in either a faith or non-faith based service. Method: A mixed-methods approach was used including semi-structured interviews, the Social Network Guide and the Spiritual Belief Inventory-15R with individuals with IDD (or staff members who provided their opinions of what individuals who lacked capacity to consent would say if they had capacity). These findings were corroborated with extensive field notes generated from participant observation. Results: The faith-based group had a higher network size (m = 78) compared to the non-faith based group (m = 44). Those with larger social networks also reported higher SBI-15R scores. Conclusion: Findings highlight the possible role of social, religious and spiritual activities for expanding individuals’ social networks.
    • Spiritual care for people with intellectual and developmental disability: an exploratory study

      Sango, Precious Nonye; Forrester-Jones, Rachel; Canterbury Christ Church University; University of Kent (Taylor & Francis, 2017-07-27)
      Background: A faith-based (pseudonym, Adam’s House – AH) and a non-faith-based care service (pseudonym, Greenleaves – GL) were explored to find out if and how spiritual support was provided for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs). Method: Six months were spent volunteering within each service and a mixed-methods approach was utilised including applied and ethnographic methods to explore and describe if and how spirituality was embedded within the two services. Results: Themes found included community of value; homely functional care; and barriers to spiritual care. GL staff tended to provide what we termed “religious spiritual care” while AH staff administered both “religious” and “non-religious” spiritual-based support. This difference may be related to the type of training found only at AH which included spiritual dimensions. Conclusion: Services could benefit from acknowledging the importance and significance of spiritual care training and education for effective and varied spiritual care for people with IDD who desire such support.
    • 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.
    • Relationships in Alternative Provision: a review of the literature

      Malcolm, Andrew David; Relationships Foundation; University of Bedfordshire (Relationships Foundation/Universigy of Bedfordshire, 2021-04-01)
      This report presents the findings of a literature review which focused on relationships in alternative provision (AP) settings and the way in which these are related to outcomes for young people. It was commissioned by Relationships Foundation to support their involvement in IntegratEd - a collaborative research project which seeks to reduce preventable school exclusions and improve the quality of education for children excluded from school. For the purposes of this review AP is considered to be an educational setting away from the mainstream site which is attended by young people who have experienced marginalisation and exclusion from school. For a study to be included in this review it needed to have been undertaken in, or with a focus on, at least one AP setting in England. A total of 114 studies were identified for inclusion in this review. The evidence base is somewhat limited by a tendency for research to be exploratory and undertaken on a small scale, involving the collection of qualitative data and the thematic analysis of the experiences and perceptions of those connected to AP settings. That said, there is a high level of consistency across the evidence base and future studies are well placed to build on findings to date with larger scale research. https://www.integrated.org.uk/
    • Sustaining Post-16 destinations from Alternative Provision: a review of the data and the perspectives of heads from low, mid and high performing schools

      Malcolm, Andrew David; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor & Francis, 2022-01-11)
      This study set out to explore which practices in alternative provision (AP) settings in England made a difference to post-16 transition success into further education, training or employment. APs provide education for pupils who have been permanently excluded from mainstream schools and those directed there to improve their behaviour. In 2016 56% of young people transitioning from alternative provision maintained a stable placement in the following year. This study took an approach which combined the analysis of official statistics, freedom of information requests and targeted semi-structured interviews. Findings suggest that practices which increased sustained transitions included; effective and ongoing tracking of ex-students; a high quality, core academic offer; and opportunities for students to increase their independence by taking well measured steps outside of their main placement. Additionally, the views of staff and their involvement in, or awareness of, the broader context within which they worked were found to be important. This study evidences the value of comparing outcomes across similar types of setting to improve our understanding of effective practice.
    • Using grey literature in the human services: perspectives of Australian research end users

      Hughes, Mark; Tilbury, Clare; Bigby, Christine; Fisher, Mike; Southern Cross University; Griffith University; La Trobe University; University of Bedfordshire (Australian and New Zealand Social Work and Welfare Education and Research, 2021-03-24)
      Human services workers need up-to-date, quality research to inform their work in practice, management, education, policy, and advocacy. While some research end users read peer-reviewed journal articles, many also rely on research-based grey literature in the form of print and online materials, which may not be subject to scholarly peer review. This may include commissioned research reports, conference papers, policy documents, and research summaries. The aim of this study was to understand how research end users accessed research knowledge and the benefits and challenges related to different knowledge sources, including grey literature. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 43 research end users in child protection, disability, and aged care services. Participants indicated that they used an array of grey literature for reasons such as difficulties accessing academic journals, wanting to read more digestible research, and to source lived experience or culturally appropriate knowledge. Grey literature provides a valuable source of research knowledge, but uncertainty about its quality means research end users should be mindful of its limitations. Producers of grey literature should ensure that it distils messages for policy, practice, and the delivery of human services based on sound research.