Performing child protection: Social worker's experiences of home visiting and relating to children and parents in the home

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Sch of Sociology & Social Policy

Abstract

The aim of this study is to deepen understandings of social work and child protection through focusing on practitioner's experiences of doing the work and how they go about protecting children in their homes.

The most important reason to focus on the home (visit) is that it is by far the most common place where children and families are seen and actual child protection work goes on. Surprisingly little is known about how social workers generally behave on home visits, whether they move around the house to inspect it, whether or how they interact with children, interview, touch or examine them; or how they conduct interviews with parents in their homes. What is known however, from reviews into cases where children have died or not been protected from serious harm, including high profile cases like that of 'Baby Peter', Victoria Climbie, Jasmine Beckford, Maria Colwell, is that social workers did not directly engage with children while in the same room as them on home visits and this was crucial to why their abuse was not discovered. The reasons for this non-engagement with children are poorly understood. Men who were resident in the home and abusing the children have also gone undiscovered, in part because mothers managed to conceal the men and social workers did not look around the home to establish who resided with the children. Even leaving aside these tragic cases, little is known about how social workers and service users actually communicate with one another in day to day practice.

Research into child protection practice has been predominantly focused on what goes on in the office and how professionals talk about their cases, and on the impact of bureaucracy and performance management. Some recent innovative studies have researched social workers' responses to case vignettes and also how real social workers communicate in simulated interviews with service users played by actors. No research studies have given systematic attention to studying actual practice when social workers are face-to-face with children and parents on home visits. Government guidance issued in 2010 requires social workers to see known at risk children on their own. Yet little or no empirical evidence exists on what are the norms of practice in seeing children and there is little in the literature about where is the safest most reliable place for such contact with children to happen.

The aim of this research is to produce original data on how social workers go about home visiting and engaging with parents and children in the domestic sphere. Participant observation of social workers doing home visits, audio-recordings of the social worker-service user interviews in the home (where informed consent has been given) and interviews with the social worker after the visits about those experiences will provide the basis for a critical analysis of current methods of practice. The study will produce vital knowledge for theory and practice. Theoretically, the experience of home visiting will be conceptualised in terms of workers' lived experiences and what influences whether or not they move towards children and engage directly with them in the home. This will enable the theoretical work on performing child protection and the experience of home visiting that I have developed in a number of recent publications to be tested out and refined to produce original theoretical insights and understandings of practice. A major contribution to education and practice will be made through the production of a model for best practice in home visiting and safeguarding children. This will provide guidance to social workers and other professionals on effective strategies for negotiating one's way into a home, how and where to conduct assessments, ensure the child is regualrly seen and directly engaged with, how to work with parental resistance, and intervene to effect positive change for children and their carers.

Planned Impact

Accurate knowledge of how to go about protecting children is essential if practitioners are to be able to perform such tasks as negotiating access to the home to see and talk to children and their parents and to know such things as where is the best room in the home or other places to conduct such interviews. Research into such matters is lacking and this study could barely be more timely and its potential impact on policy, practice and lay understandings of child abuse and child protection practice higher. The 'Baby P' case which came to light in late-2008 has taken levels of public dismay and anger towards professionals when children die, especially social workers, to new levels, and intensified professionals' concerns about knowledge gaps in how to protect children. The results of this research will therefore be of great value to child protection agencies and national and local policy makers by providing theories and practical knowledge which can help resolve core practice dilemmas about how to relate to abused children in their homes and ensure they are safe. It will impact significantly on practitioners from social care and health who are involved in safeguarding children, especially those who do home visits, and also their managers.

The potential benefits to social care agencies is that the findings can promote knowledge and learning about what practitioners and managers actually do and analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of current practices, systems and processes, which will provide the basis for developing (best) practice. This can have a direct impact on agencies in how they implement new Government guidance requiring them to see children alone in terms of how this is best achieved within the home, or in some circumstances beyond the home.

It is hoped that the impact of the research on practice is such that the main and certainly the most important beneficiares will be abused children themselves. Because the research is intended to illuminate the 'intimate' world of practice and whether and how social workers relate to children at home in assessing their safety and well-being, children will benefit from the improvements in practice that the new theoretical insights and model of best practice the research will bring about. Parents too stand to gain from the help received from practitioners whose knowledge and skills have developed as a result of insights and training arising out of the research.

Child protection is a highly controversial area of public policy, especially when it involves the deaths of children in cases known to social workers and other professionals. The commentary and debates played out in the media are invariably simplistic and this research can help to introduce greater understanding among the public of the complexity that lies at the heart of the enterprise of child protection, especially on home visits. I am a regular media contributor and can use these contacts and the opportunities completion and publication of the research findings will create to produce newspaper articles and do radio and television interviews which will ensure the potential impact of a better informed public can be achieved.

I am regularly invited to speak to large audiences of practitioners and policy makers about child protection practice and the findings from this research will be presented at all such future events. My presentation of the findings at national and international academic conferences (see academic beneficiaries section) will also impact on practice because some of these events are attended by practitioners and policy makers, especially the ISPCAN International Congress on Child Abuse and Neglect, which I intend to speak at on this research in September 2013. I anticipate many requests from employers to speak at training events for health and social care professionals when knowledge of the research is in the public domain.

Publications

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Ferguson H (2018) Making home visits: Creativity and the embodied practices of home visiting in social work and child protection. in Qualitative social work : QSW : research and practice

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Ferguson H (2016) Patterns of Engagement and Non-Engagement of Young Fathers in Early Intervention and Safeguarding Work. in Social policy and society : a journal of the Social Policy Association

 
Description Although the grant only finished recently we have already done feedback events to the local authorities where the research went on and they are taking the findings forward in various ways. One site is trying to change the blame culture that resulted in high numbers of staff leaving by training its managers in how to deliver effective, humane support like that which existed at the other research site. Both organisations are giving more attention to helping staff manage the complexity and emotional demands of child protection work. Many other impacts are predicted to occur as we further develop, publish and disseminate our outputs in the coming months.
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description As will be seen from my entries in the 'Engagement activities' section I have given over 50 presentations to practitioners, managers and policy makers in child protection.
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact My research provides knowledge about how social workers can effectively intervene into child abuse and my publications and many public lectures and trainings based upon this ESRC funding have influenced hundreds of policy makers, managers and practitioners in the field.
 
Description Research methods, teaching and training
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact My research methods and findings papers to academic conferences have impacted upon academics and PhD students' ethnographic approaches to researching social work practice and child protection practice 'close up'. This is enabling the production of new understandings of what occurs in these encounters between social workers and children and families, which can prevent breakdowns in practice which result in child deaths and so on from occurring.
 
Description ESRC Standard Grant Open Call
Amount £668,000 (GBP)
Funding ID ES/N012453/1 
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2016 
End 08/2018
 
Title Observing social work practice: Ethnographic and mobile methods in social work research 
Description It's a book chapter that outlines a method of research. 
Type Of Material Model of mechanisms or symptoms - in vitro 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Some PhD students are using it and academics. 
 
Title Researching social work practice close up 
Description This ESRC funded research project was methodologically innovative by being the first study to use ethnographic methods to get right up close to how social workers work with children and families in child protection. I have published the method used in the British Journal of Social Work (2014; 1-16 doi:10.1093/bjsw/bcu120). 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2014 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact I know of other researchers who are adopting it - academic researchers and PhD students. 
 
Description CPD training for 200 children's and families' social workers 
Organisation Nottinghamshire County Council
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The research findings contributed to a 4 day CPD training programme for social workers
Collaborator Contribution They have provided access to their social workers for research and some social workers come into the university to teach social work students.
Impact Improved social work and child protection practice
Start Year 2015
 
Description Research journeys into the inner world of social work practice, research seminar, Dept of Social Work, University of Western Sydney. 22nd August 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation keynote/invited speaker
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Excellent discussion with Australian researchers about the implications of my ethnographic methods for research with vulnerable groups.

They have invited me back to do more disemination and explore research collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Towards Intimate Child Protection Practice, Evidence from Research 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Keynote to North Lincolnshire World Social World Day Conference, Scunthorpe.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description 'The Mobilities of Social Work', Paper given as an invited participant in the symposium: (Im)Mobilities in Social Problems Work: Exploring Mobilities Studies for Social Pedagogy, DGfE-Kongress 2018, University of Essen, Germany, 21 March, 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact The symposium brought together scholars who are working on applying the new mobilities paradigm to social policy and social work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description 2 x 90 minute papers, Towards Effective Child Protection Practice - Evidence from research: 1, How Children Become Invisible; and 2, How to make and keep children visible. West Berks Children's Social Care, Reading. 12 June 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact My research presentation helped social workers to understand how professional judgement becomes blocked and ways to ensure that practitioners make effective decisions that help to protect children.

Many fed back that their understanding of complex issues were advanced through the session.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description 2 x 90 minute sessions on Towards Effective Child Protection Practice - Evidence from research: 1, How Children Become Invisible; and 2, How to make and keep children visible. Essex Children's Social Care Conference, Harlow. 24th April, 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact My research presentation helped social workers to understand how professional judgement becomes blocked and ways to ensure that practitioners make effective decisions that help to protect children.

THis was my third invited visit to Essex social care and I was told again that my input had contributed significantly to assisting practitioners and policy makers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description 32. 24th April, 2014, 2 x 90 minute sessions on Towards Effective Child Protection Practice - Evidence from research: 1, How Children Become Invisible; and 2, How to make and keep children visible. Essex Children's Social Care Conference, Harlow. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Lively discussion about the implications of my research findings for child protection practice with Essex Children's Social Care staff.

This was my third input to staff from this local authority and again the feedback was that my research input gretly enhanced their understandings of child protection issues and practice.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Celebrating Social Work: Focusing on Best Practice, Coventry Children services, 14 March 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop on what my research findings show about the nature of best practice in social work and child protection.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Child Protection as Lived Experience: Learning from research 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 18th October, Cornwall children's social care Conference, Redruth

The evaluation forms from the session were incredibly positive, with most participants saying how much they learned from the sessions I did (see end of award report for sample quotes).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Child Protection: Research evidence on how Children Become Invisible 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 8th November 2013, presentation to Lancashire Safeguarding Children Board Conference on Child Neglect, Chorley - generated huge discussion about effective child protection practice.

They invited me back to speak to all of their social workers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Child protection: Concepts, processes and emerging challenges, Keynote to Australian Child Welfare Association Conference, Sydney. 18th August 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Vital impact event where I presented my research findings to Australian academics, policy makers and practitioners about how effective child protection work can be done.



Significant feedback about how my research findings will impact on research approaches and practice issues.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Confident, Curious Child Protection Practice: Evidence from Research, North Lincolnshire Children's Social Care Conference, 20th November 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This was a presentation to a conference of social workers that drew on the findings from the research study. It was very well attended and gained positive feedback from participants about what they learned.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Developing Intimate Child Protection Practice Lancashire training, Burnley. 10th May, 2013. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact One of eight days training for Lancashire County Council social work and social care staff, between May and September 2013. Having spoken at an earlier multi-agency conference the county council asked me to train all their social care staff (over 600 in total) in 'intimate child protection practice', a model I developed from my research.

Having trained all their social care staff (over 600 in total) in 'intimate child protection practice' I was informed that the research had a deep impact on how this entire workforce conducted child protection.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Developing Intimate Child Protection Practice, full day training Lancashire Children's Social Care, Burnley. 9th May, 2013. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact One of eight days training for Lancashire County Council social work and social care staff, between May and September 2013. Having spoken at an earlier multi-agency conference the county council asked me to train all their social care staff (over 600 in total) in 'intimate child protection practice', a model I developed from my research.

Having trained all their social care staff (over 600 in total) in 'intimate child protection practice' I was informed that the research had a deep impact on how this entire workforce conducted child protection.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Developing Intimate Child Protection Practice, full day training Lancashire Children's Social Care, Carnforth. 19th June, 2013. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact One of eight days training for Lancashire County Council social work and social care staff, between May and September 2013. Having spoken at an earlier multi-agency conference the county council asked me to train all their social care staff (over 600 in total) in 'intimate child protection practice', a model I developed from my research.

Having trained all their social care staff (over 600 in total) in 'intimate child protection practice' I was informed that the research had a deep impact on how this entire workforce conducted child protection.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Developing Intimate Child Protection Practice, full day training Lancashire Children's Social Care, Chorely. 3rd June, 2013. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact One of eight days training for Lancashire County Council social work and social care staff, between May and September 2013. Having spoken at an earlier multi-agency conference the county council asked me to train all their social care staff (over 600 in total) in 'intimate child protection practice', a model I developed from my research.

Having trained all their social care staff (over 600 in total) in 'intimate child protection practice' I was informed that the research had a deep impact on how this entire workforce conducted child protection.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Developing Intimate Child Protection Practice, full day training Lancashire Children's Social Care, Chorely. 4th June, 2013. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact One of eight days training for Lancashire County Council social work and social care staff, between May and September 2013. Having spoken at an earlier multi-agency conference the county council asked me to train all their social care staff (over 600 in total) in 'intimate child protection practice', a model I developed from my research.

Having trained all their social care staff (over 600 in total) in 'intimate child protection practice' I was informed that the research had a deep impact on how this entire workforce conducted child protection.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Developing Intimate Child Protection Practice, full day training Lancashire Children's Social Care, Burnley. 18th June, 2013. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact One of eight days training for Lancashire County Council social work and social care staff, between May and September 2013. Having spoken at an earlier multi-agency conference the county council asked me to train all their social care staff (over 600 in total) in 'intimate child protection practice', a model I developed from my research.

Having trained all their social care staff (over 600 in total) in 'intimate child protection practice' I was informed that the research had a deep impact on how this entire workforce conducted child protection.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Developing Intimate Child Protection Practice, full day training Lancashire Children's Social Care, Chorely. 5th June, 2013. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact One of eight days training for Lancashire County Council social work and social care staff, between May and September 2013. Having spoken at an earlier multi-agency conference the county council asked me to train all their social care staff (over 600 in total) in 'intimate child protection practice', a model I developed from my research.


Having trained all their social care staff (over 600 in total) in 'intimate child protection practice' I was informed that the research had a deep impact on how this entire workforce conducted child protection.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Developing Intimate Child Protection Practice. Full day training Lancashire Children's Social Care, Chorely. 12th September, 2013. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact One of eight days training for Lancashire County Council social work and social care staff, between May and September 2013. Having spoken at an earlier multi-agency conference the county council asked me to train all their social care staff (over 600 in total) in 'intimate child protection practice', a model I developed from my research.

Having trained all their social care staff (over 600 in total) in 'intimate child protection practice' I was informed that the research had a deep impact on how this entire workforce conducted child protection.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Developing effective child protection practice: Learning from research. Half-day workshop with social care practitioners, North Yorkshire Children's Social Care, Ripon. 22nd May, 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact My research presentation helped social workers to understand how professional judgement becomes blocked and ways to ensure that practitioners make effective decisions that help to protect children.

THis was my second time presenting on the research for this local authority. Once again, many fed back that their understanding of complex issues were advanced through the session.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Effective child protection practice: Evidence from research 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 25th June, 2013, Invited keynote paper to Wiltshire children's social care Conference, Devizes, Wiltshire. Very lively discussion and debate about what constitutes effective child protection practice.

Extremely positive evaluations and feedback about the session.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Effective child protection practice: Learning from research. Full day training to Stockport Children's Social Care in conjunction with Research in Practice. 9th May, 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact My research presentation helped social workers to understand how professional judgement becomes blocked and ways to ensure that practitioners make effective decisions that help to protect children.

Many reporting that their understanding of complex issues were advanced through the session.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Entering the child's world: Developing meaningful relationships in child protection practice 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 6th March, 2013 - Invited keynote paper to Wiltshire Children Safeguarding Board Conference on multi-agency working in child protection, Devizes, Wiltshire. Lively discussion by the range of disciplines involved in protecting children.

I was invited back to do another conference presentation to a large group of social workers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Good practice & management in child protection and home visits, Birmingham Children's Social Care Management Group, 13th September, 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Training for social care managers
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Half day training, 2 x inputs: Child Protection as Lived Experience - Learning from research: 1, How Children Become Invisible; and 2, How to make and keep children visible. Warwickshire Children's Social Care, Coventry. 18th March 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact My research presentation helped social workers to understand how professional judgement becomes blocked and ways to ensure that practitioners make effective decisions that help to protect children.

Many reporting that their understanding of complex issues were advanced through the session. They are going to invite me back.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description How Children Become Invisible in Child Protection Work, presentation at the Houses of Parliament 25th October, 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact This was part of a symposium on Children's Rights and Child Welfare held at the Houses of Parliament and given to politicians and policy makers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description How children become invisible in child protection and how to move beyond it to intimate practice: Learning from Research, Key note paper Devon Children's Social Care Conference, Exeter. 2nd May 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact My research presentation helped social workers to understand how professional judgement becomes blocked and ways to ensure that practitioners make effective decisions that help to protect children.

They said they plan to invite me back again.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description How do you know? Good practice & management in child protection social work, Essex Children's Social Care, 11th November, 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop to 250 managers from Essex Children's Social Care about best practice in child protection work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description How social workers do child protection work 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 22nd March, 2013, Joint Warwickshire and Staffordshire local authorities seminar to managers and trainers, Birmingham. Event was aimed at people in strategic positions in child protection. who said they found my reseach input valuable.

I've been invited to at least 2 more conferences to speak as a result of this event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description How social workers perform social work with children and families: Evidence from ethnographic research 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop to 30 social workers, Northampton Social Work Academy
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description How to get close to and help the neglected child: Learning from research 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 20th June 2013, Lancashire Safeguarding Children Board Conference on Child Neglect, Accrington. Sparked very heated and much needed debate about the nature of effective child protection practice.

Conference evaluations suggested a lot of learning for participants.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description How to get close to and help the neglected child: Learning from research, 2x 90 minute keynotes, Lancashire Safeguarding Children Board Multi-Agency Conference on Child Neglect, University of Lancaster. 27th January, 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact My research presentation helped social workers to understand how professional judgement becomes blocked and ways to ensure that practitioners make effective decisions that help to protect children.

I got invited back to do more training based on my research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Intimate Practice with Children: Closeness and touch in child care and child protection practice 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Keynote to 300 OFSTED Inspectors at the OFSTED Social Care Conference
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Knocking on the Door: Home visiting and children and families social work 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 2 Lectures together with theatre performance to 200 social workers, Leeds, 25th February 2016
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Knocking on the Door: Home visits and social work with children and families, joint lecture and theatre production with Geese Theatre Company, Stafford, 17 March, 2016. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact In collaboration with performances from Geese Theatre my research findings were presented to an audience of 150 professionals in a day long event. I gave two keynote talks and the theatre enacted the dilemmas and issues arising from the findings in defining and achieving good practice.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Knocking on the Door: Home visits and social work with children and families, joint lecture and theatre production with Geese Theatre Company, University of Salford Step-Up to Social Work Leeds, 13 September, 2016. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact In collaboration with performances from Geese Theatre my research findings were presented to an audience of 100 professionals in a day long event. I gave two keynote talks and the theatre enacted the dilemmas and issues arising from the findings in defining and achieving good practice.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Knocking on the Door: Home visits and social work with children and families, joint lecture and theatre production with Geese Theatre Company, University of Salford Step-Up to Social Work, Salford, 12 September, 2016. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact In collaboration with performances from Geese Theatre my research findings were presented to an audience of 100 professionals in a day long event. I gave two keynote talks and the theatre enacted the dilemmas and issues arising from the findings in defining and achieving good practice.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Knocking on the Door: Home visits and social work with children and families, joint lecture and theatre production with Geese Theatre, Coventry, 27.6.17 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Training for the Children's Social Care workforce
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Learning from research about what social workers do and how they do it (well), Public lecture Dept of Social Work, University of Western Sydney. 22nd August 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Lively discussion amongst students, academics, policy makers and practitioners about how effective child protection work can be done.

Good feedback from Australian colleagues about how my research can inform their work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Managing Risk in Practice: How children become invisible in child protection and how to move beyond it to intimate practice, NSPCC conference Bristol, lecture and workshop to 75 practitioners. 13th May, 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact My research presentation helped social workers to understand how professional judgement becomes blocked and ways to ensure that practitioners make effective decisions that help to protect children.

Many fedback that their understanding of complex issues were advanced through the session.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Principles and engagement with children when undertaking home visits in child protection 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 9th July, 2013, Day Workshop with 200 Essex Children's Social Care staff, Brentwood, Essex. Having presented the research findings to the 130 managers from this local authority in January 2013, they invited me back to present it to 200 of their social workers.

Excellent response to my theory and framework of 'intimate child protection practice', with many reporting that it impacted on their thinking and would their practice.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Professional judgement in everyday child protection practice: How it does and doesn't work. Keynote to Reconstruct national Scottish conference on Professional Judgement in Child Protection, Celtic Park, Glasgow. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact My research presentation helped social workers to understand how professional judgement becomes blocked and ways to ensure that practitioners make effective decisions that help to protect children.

I gained at least one invitation to speak at another event where I was able to disseminate my research findings to even more social workers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Professional judgement in everyday child protection practice:How it does and doesn't work 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 26th September, 2013, Invited keynote to Reconstruct national English conference on Professional Judgement in Child Protection, London Resource Centre, Holloway Road.

A great deal of interest from the practitioners, academics and P/g students present.
I was asked to present again at a similar event in December in Scotland.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Relational depth and its impact in social work with children and families 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Keynote to the Staffordshire C.C Making Research Count conference, University of Keele.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Relational depth and its impact in social work with children and families: Evidence from Research 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Lecture to 150 child protection social workers from Gloucestershire C.C.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Social Work to be Proud of: Evidence from research 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Keynote to Wigan C.C. social work conference, Wigan.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Social work with children and families where there are child protection concerns:Learning from research 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact 25th October, half-day workshop with senior social work managers, North Yorkshire Children's Social Care, Ripon on child protection practice.

They invited me back to do a similar research informed training with their social workers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description The Art of Social Work and Intimate Child Protection Practice 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 17th April, 2013, Invited keynote paper to 150 social work staff, Wandsworth children's social care conference. Very lively and productive discussion about the role of social workers in protecting children.

Very positive feedback from participants about the impact of the conference presentation on them.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description The complexities of relationship-based practice in social work with children and families: Evidence from research 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop to 40 social workers, Buckinghamshire New University.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description The home visit: Exploring the site of social workers' most skilled work 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Conference Keynote
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description The nature and impact of relationship-based practice in social work with children and families: Evidence from research 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I gave a half-day workshop to 150 social workers about effective child protection practice, based on my research findings.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Towards Intimate Child Protection: Embracing Children and Keeping Them Safe, 2 ½ hour Master class, Australian Child Welfare Association Conference, Sydney. 20th August 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact My research presentation helped Australian social workers to understand how professional judgement becomes blocked and ways to ensure that practitioners make effective decisions that help to protect children.

Significant feedback about how my inputs enabled improved understanding of policy and practice.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Towards intimate child protection practice: Evidence from research into face-to-face social work practice 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact 25th January, 2013, half-day workshop to 130 children and families social work managers from Essex Children's Social Care, Brentwood, Essex. Really lively, powerful debate.

Very positive feedback about how the session changed managers thinking and I was invited back to do two more conference sessions to large groups of social workers from the same local authority.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Towards intimate child protection practice: Evidence from research into face-to-face social work practice - Half-day workshop to 130 children and families social work managers, Essex Children's Social Care, Brentwood, Essex 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact My workshops sparked enormous interest from Managers of children's services who stated their intention to change their own and their social workers' practice as a result.

This session was for managers and I received another invitation back to Essex to do a day workshop with their social workers in JUly 2013.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Towards intimate child protection practice: Learning from research into practice 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 25th February, 2013, half-day workshop with 50 social workers from Worcestershire children's social care. Very lively debate about child protection.

Partipants reported that the input had considerably changed their thinking about how to practice child protection effectively.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Towards intimate child protection practice: Learning from research into practice. Keynote and 2 x seminars to Doncaster Children's Social Care Managers and Practitioners Conference. 12th March 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact My research presentation helped social workers to understand why social workers do not effectively protect children and ways to ensure that practitioners make effective decisions that help to protect children.

Lively discussion about how effective child protection work can be done.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Towards intimate child protection practice: Learning from research into practice. Keynote paper to Greenwich Children's Safeguarding Board Conference. 4th March 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact My research presentation helped social workers to understand how professional judgement becomes blocked and ways to ensure that practitioners make effective decisions that help to protect children.

Many reporting that their understanding of complex issues were advanced through the session.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Where we can have difficult conversations - spaces & places:Relating to children in child protection and family work 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 21st November 2013, Invited paper to Tower Hamlets Children's Social Care Conference (300 social workers) on Having Difficult Conversations when Working with Children and Families.

Senior managers told me that my input was highly valued in enabling the workforce to consider and develop their practice. IN addition, one participant asked me to send him my methodology as he intended to use it in his PhD.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Why Relationships matter: Evidence from research into social work with children and families, East Sussex Social Work Conference, 21 January 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop given to managers and practitioners on ejective child protection.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Why Relationships matter: Evidence from research into social work with children and families, Keynote paper, Sussex Social Work Conference, Brighton, 18 May 2016. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Keynote lecture given to Sussex Children Social Care conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016