Organisations, staff support and the dynamics and quality of social work practice: A qualitative longitudinal study of child protection work

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: College of Social Sci Res Support Office

Abstract

The frequent disclosures that abused children who were known by professionals to be at serious risk have died and young people have experienced protracted sexual exploitation despite the involvement of social workers and other agencies is one of the most controversial and pressing social issues of our time. In recent times the names of children such as 'Baby Peter' Connolly, Daniel Pelka, Hamza Khan and places such as Rochdale and Rotherham, have become synonymous with poor practice and scandal in child protection. By far the most popular explanation for why child protection failures occur is that social work is governed by a 'rule of optimism', where it is argued social workers put the best interpretation on events, avoid challenging parents and lose focus on the children (Coventry LCSB, 2013). These challenges and tragedies have invariably occurred in cases that were known to social workers for long periods of years and it is remarkable that little research has been carried out into why such failures to protect children occur in everyday practice, what the (optimistic?) outlook of practitioners is and the nature and quality of social work practice in long-term child protection work and what influences it. The aim of this study is to research what occurs in face to face practice encounters between social workers and children and families over the longer term (a period of 15 months) and examine the influence of different organizational structures and office designs and staff supervision on the nature and quality of the work. It will produce original data and theoretical insights on the relationship between organisational practices, staff supervision and how social workers relate to parents and help them to change, or not; and the dynamics of how some children become 'invisible' in every day work as it unfolds in real time, while others are worked with effectively and kept safe.

A range of methods will be used within an overall qualitative longitudinal research design. Participant observation will be undertaken of social workers' office routines, planning for home visits, journeys by foot and in the car to see families, their interactions with parents and children in their homes and elsewhere, and social workers' subsequent experiences of being supervised by managers. Observations and audio-recordings of the social worker-service user encounters (where informed consent has been given) and interviews with social workers and family members afterwards about their experiences will provide the basis for investigation of practitioners' thinking and lived experience, critical analysis of practice and organisational supports. Photographs and video tours of offices will be used (while maintaining the anonymity of participants and places) to achieve even greater depth in accessing the usually 'invisible' dimensions of people's lived experiences and the atmospheres and environments that influence the work. A practice framework for staff supervision and effective work with parents and children will be produced that incorporates: (1) how to engage and work with parents over time, including those who are resistant, and effect positive change; (2) how and where best to conduct assessments and long-term work with children; and (3) how to support staff to stay child-centred. The 'rule of optimism' will be critically explored through theories that take understandings of practice beyond a simplistic focus on attitudes and 'thinking' purely in terms of the cognitive, to focus on lived experiences, the senses and emotions and how practitioners' thinking is shaped by their bodies as well as minds (Ingold, 2011). Theoretical work previously developed by research team members on child protection as an embodied mobile practice (Ferguson 2011) and social workers' resilience, use of self and supervision (Davys and Beddoe, 2010) will be tested out and refined to produce further original theoretical insights and understandings of practice.

Planned Impact

This research will contribute vital knowledge for academics, students, policy makers, managers and practitioners in child protection and social work and can have a significant impact on practice and policy in one of the most controversial areas of public policy. Given the on-going concerns about professional failures to respond to child sexual exploitation and how professional 'thinking' and the 'rule of optimism' is claimed to be a key factor in causing children to become invisible in child protection this study could barely be more timely. Research into face to face child protection work and how it is influenced by organisational systems and cultures is seriously lacking and no qualitative longitudinal study of this kind has been done before. The research will provide learning about what practitioners and managers actually do and analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of current practices, systems and processes. Such knowledge of how to go about protecting children is essential if practitioners are to relate effectively to parents and to stay child-centred and promote positive change within families to make children safer. The findings will provide theories and practical knowledge which can help resolve core practice dilemmas, such as how to stay focused on and maintain relationships with children over long periods of time, while working with their parents to enable them to become safe. It will therefore be of great value to child protection agencies and national and local policy makers. The study will provide insights into the effects of office designs and the kinds of organisational conditions, staff support and supervision that have the most impact on the quality of social workers' practice.

The research will also make an impact on learning through theoretical development and methodological innovation, by being the first longitudinal qualitative study of its kind in social work that has used a combination of ethnographic, mobile and visual methods. These methods will make visible not simply what social workers and service users do and how they interact, but the emotional dynamics and affective atmospheres that constitute practice, and the impact of particular office and domestic environments on how people think and behave. New theory will be developed out of the findings that will greatly enhance understandings of social work as an embodied 'intimate' practice (Ferguson, 2011) and the skilled improvisation, craft (Ingold, 2011) and reflexive use of self that it is anticipated the research will show characterise good practice. Being able to show how staff supervision can support such creative, resilient work will have a powerful impact on policy, training and practice.

It is intended that ultimately the impact of the research on practice will be such that the main beneficiaries will be children and parents. As the aim is to provide knowledge of how social work can promote children's safety and the capacity of parents to care for their children, the findings and outputs will contribute to improvements in practice and outcomes for children and families. Children will benefit from the improvements in practice arising from the new theoretical insights and practice framework and parents too stand to gain from the help received from practitioners whose knowledge and skills will have developed as a result of insights and training arising out of the research.

Commentary and debates played out in the media about child protection 'failures' are invariably simplistic and this research can help to improve public understanding of just how complex child protection practice is. The development of media rich digital resources based on the findings and their accessibility on smart phones and table computers while mobile as well as stationary, and innovative use on platforms such as You Tube and Twitter will greatly enhance the reach of study's impact to lay people and professionals.

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
ES/N012453/1 01/09/2016 31/07/2017 £536,196
ES/N012453/2 Transfer ES/N012453/1 01/08/2017 16/11/2018 £375,520
 
Title 360 degree Immersive Learning about Child Protection Social Work 
Description We have recreated scenes from our research experiences and the aims of creating the 360-degree child protection social work apps are as follows: Provide viewers with the 'best seat in the house' as you accompany the researcher following the social worker(s) on home visits to see children and families. To give you a sense of a social work visit in real time. Allow you to experience the emotions, atmospheres, physical spaces that can either create barriers or enable effective relationship-based practice. Give you opportunities to develop your observation skills through planned vicarious learning opportunities. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact Dr Tarsem Singh Cooner who developed these products has given several training sessions to social workers (see Engagement Activities) and along with Professor Harry Ferguson presented at conferences about the research and how the films were developed from the findings. All of the feedback suggests that the 360 degree films provide a new an impactful way of bringing the realities of social work practice and experience alive and promotes learning that changes and improves practice in keeping children safe. 
URL https://swcpp.weebly.com/360-degree-immersive-apps.html
 
Description We will focus on key findings concerning three of the core research questions.
1. Can research into long-term social work and child protection that uses participant observation (ethnography) to get close to practice and organisations be done ethically and relationships with the field sites and families successfully sustained?
A key finding is that it can. We achieved our goal of completing 15 months of fieldwork in two social work departments 200 miles apart, shadowing 30 cases for up to a year and interviewing families up to three times. During our 402 days in the field we observed 271 practice encounters between professionals and families in various settings, including 146 home visits. This is a new methodology for social work and a paper has been submitted (British Journal of Social Work ). Another methodological innovation was using GPS technology to track social workers' time use and movement between the office and other spaces (Disney et al, forthcoming - Children and Youth Services Review).

2. How do social workers establish and sustain long term relationships with children and parents in high risk child protection cases?
Our 30 case studies produced highly original insights. We can demonstrate the components of helpful relationships that keep children safe, including: workers' reliability and consistency towards parents - especially in moments of sadness and anger - kindness, physical and emotional closeness with children, being authoritative, compassionate and recognising the effects of inequalities on families' lives. In cases where practitioners and systems struggled to maintain focus on children, often parents were opposed to child protection involvement and sometimes hostile. Staff supervision did not support workers enough with the emotional demands of the work. Another original finding was that covert surveillance of families using Facebook went on, about which we have submitted a paper (Qualitative Social Work ).

3. What is the influence of organisational cultures, office designs and forms of staff support and supervision on social workers and their relationships with children and families?
We designed the study so that in one organisation social workers were 'hot-desking' in a large open plan office separate from their managers, while at the other site social workers were in small team rooms with their manager and had their own desk. In the hot-desking site staff felt undervalued, unsupported and turnover was high, affecting social worker's reliability and relationships with families. At the small team office, retention was very good, practitioners felt supported and supervision was more reflective. At both sites high caseloads and recording limited time available for casework. However, meaningful relationships were built with some children and families, influenced in part by the skills, values and knowledge of individual workers. Another highly original output is the 360 degree immersive films we have created on digital apps, that promote learning about problematic and best practice by placing students and practitioners at the heart of the action.

Unfortunately, it has not been possible to prepare and offer any data for sharing and archiving. Problems in doing so were signaled in the original application and the ESRC accepted that a lot of the data would be too sensitive to share and while we committed ourselves to trying to gain consent to share some other parts of it, consent to do so was not given by the professionals involved. We have requested an exemption from the UK Data Service.
Exploitation Route Although the project has only recently finished we have already done 13 presentations on the research, at international academic conferences, professional practitioners conferences and workshops. Our findings are being taken forward and put to use in relation to theory and methodology and in policy and practice. Methodologically, while a large research literature exists on social work very little of it has got close to practice and explored what social workers and service users actually do in short and long-term cases and relationships and the impact of organisational culture and support on practice. This absence that is all the more remarkable in the area of child protection given that in cases where children have not been protected, families were worked with over long periods and usually years. As the first study of long-term social work and child protection to use ethnographic methods of participant observation to find out what practitioners and service users do, how they interact and what their experiences and outcomes are, the qualitative longitudinal methodology we developed can be used by other researchers to illuminate every sector of social work and other helping professions, such as community nursing, health visiting, medicine, and social care and support work. This kind of research has never been done into social casework with vulnerable adults, mental health or people with disabilities and there is huge scope for it to promote learning about problematic and best practice.

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. For instance, the 'hot-desking' 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 small team office site. Both sites are giving more attention to helping staff manage the complexity and emotional demands of child protection work.

The publications that have begun to emerge from the study and the 360 degree immersive films we have created on digital apps that outline what we found and promote learning about best practice will ensure that the findings are taken forward at a national and international scale. Our study provides vital new knowledge about how to keep children safe from abuse and the kinds of short and long-term relationships that need to be developed in order to help children and parents and these new practical insights and theories can be put to use by policy makers, practitioners, managers, academics and students in ways that advance the effectiveness of child protection.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice

URL https://youtu.be/t0Kuhp1i6xc
 
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 'From the intrusive observer to fitting in: The impact of time and familiarity on access to participants in ethnography on organisational life and practices in child protection, Joint Social Work Education and Research Conference - Canterbury Christ Church 3.9.2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This was a paper we presented on one aspect of the findings from the research study. It was very well attended and gained positive feedback from participants about what they learned and similarly on Twitter.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Beddoe, L, (2019) The use of Facebook in social work practice with children and families. Australia & New Zealand Social Work Education and Research association. Symposium. Perth, Australia 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation at the key national research conferences for social workers in Australia and New Zealand. There is huge interest in dilemmas about what is ethical use of social media sites like FaceBook. Our research findings show how some social workers use FB and other sites and the troubling ethical implications.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Beddoe, L, (2019). Webinar. The use of Facebook in social work practice with children and families. Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers. New Zealand. Webinar. 27 November. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Webinar for social work students, academics, practitioners and managers about the dilemmas about what is ethical use of social media sites like FaceBook. Our research findings show how some social workers use FB and other sites and the troubling ethical implications. The request for this session again shows the huge international interest there is in the research findings and the benefits of having this close to practice data on what social workers do in their work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Beddoe, L. (2019). Viewing Facebook In Social Work: An (Un)Ethical Practice? Blogpost on Reimagining Social Work. New Zealand. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This blog generated further debate among social workers about the dilemma of what is ethical use of social media sites like FaceBook. Our research findings show how some social workers use FB and other sites and the troubling ethical implications. Yet again, managers and practitioners told us they learned alot about the issue from this output.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.reimaginingsocialwork.nz/2019/11/viewing-facebook-in-social-work-an-unethical-practice/
 
Description Beddoe, L. (2018). Social media surveillance of families: Disrupting a fresh example of Donzelot's patriarchy of the state? NZ Sociology Conference. Wellington, NZ. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Paper to one of New Zealand's leading sociological conferences.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Cooner, TS, (2019) Digital Dilemmas: Relationships and Technology. BASW England Student and NQSW Conference. October 17 2019, Leeds, UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact National conference for social work students and early career social workers. There is huge interest in dilemmas about what is ethical use of social media sites like FaceBook. Our research findings show how some social workers use FB and other sites and the troubling ethical implications.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Cooner, TS, (2019) How to use free immersive 360-degree video apps to promote relationship-based child protection practices. West Midlands Step Up to Social Work Regional Partnership Training Session. January 15 2019, University of Birmingham, UK 
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 Conference presentation to social work students based on the 360 degree films we produced from the research findings to promote learning about relationship-based practice. Particulants loved the ways the films took them into the lived experience of being with service users and the learning that came from discussing the scenarios.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Cooner, TS, (2019) Using 360-degree research-based child protection apps to develop social work skills and knowledge. AYSE Training. April 11 2019, Stoke Civic Centre, UK 
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 early career social workers based on the 360 degree films we produced from the research findings to promote learning about relationship-based practice. Participants loved the ways the films took them into the lived experience of being with service users and the learning that came from discussing the scenarios.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Cooner, TS, (2019) Using 360-degree research-based child protection apps to develop social work skills and knowledge. AYSE Training. April 24 2019, CoRE, Normacot Road, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, UK 
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 Workshop session with early career social workers based on the 360 degree films we produced from the research findings to promote learning about relationship-based practice. Participants loved the ways the films took them into the lived experience of being with service users and the learning that came from discussing the scenarios.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Cooner, TS, (2019) Using 360-degree research-based child protection apps to develop social work skills and knowledge. AYSE Training. May 16 2019, Addenbrooke House, Ironmasters Way, Telford, UK 
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 with early career social workers based on the 360 degree films we produced from the research findings to promote learning about relationship-based practice. Participants loved the ways the films took them into the lived experience of being with service users and the learning that came from discussing the scenarios.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Cooner, TS, (2019) Using 360-degree research-based child protection apps to develop social work skills and knowledge. Sandwell Children's Trust Improvement Board Training Day. May 8 2019, Wellman Building, Sandwell, UK 
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 session with social workers based on the 360 degree films we produced from the research findings to promote learning about relationship-based practice. Participants loved the ways the films took them into the lived experience of being with service users and the learning that came from discussing the scenarios.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Disseminating ethnographic research about child protection social work through immersive 360-degree videos: A potentially beautiful partnership? European Social Work Research Conference, Edinburgh, 19th April 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This paper was presented on one aspect of the findings from the research study. It was very well attended and gained positive feedback from participants about what they learned and similarly on Twitter.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://youtu.be/t0Kuhp1i6xc
 
Description Facebook surveillance becoming 'normalised' in some social work teams, research concludes. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Article in the UK social work profession's key 'trade' magazine, Community Care about our research findings on how social workers use FaceBook in casework with children and families.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.communitycare.co.uk/2019/10/24/facebook-surveillance-normalised-among-social-workers-stu...
 
Description Harry Ferguson & Tarsem Singh Cooner (2019). Research into Practice, Paper to the West Midlands Social Work Teaching Parnership Conference, Coventry, 21.3.19 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Conference presentation to social workers about our research findings and the 360 degree films we produced from them to promote learning about effective chilod protection practice. Particulants loved the ways the films took them into the lived experience of being with service users and the learning that came from discussing the data and scenarios.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Harry Ferguson (2019). How to make and sustain curious, helpful relationships with children and families: Learning from research, day input to Wakefield Social Work Academy, 18.9.19 
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 Presented the research and its implications to child protection professionals and engaged in training exercises to advance their skills and knowledge.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Harry Ferguson (2019). How to make and sustain helpful, intimate practice with children and families: Learning from research, Worchestershire childrens social care conference, 15.3.19 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Input increased these key professionals learning about how to practice child protection work effectively.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Harry Ferguson (2019). Professional Curiosity and Child Protection Practice, workshop to Kent Children's Social Care, 6.12.19 
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 Presented the research and its implications to child protection professionals and engaged in training exercises to advance their skills and knowledge.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Harry Ferguson (2019). Rethinking reflective practice in social work: Research findings on the limits to reflection, paper to National Social Work Conference, JSWEC, Manchester, 10th September 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact Paper to the National Social Work Conference, JSWEC, made up of academics, graduate students and (a much smaller number of) social work practitioners and managers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Harry Ferguson (2019). The home visit: Exploring the site of social workers' most skilled work, paper to Bradford Children's Social Care conference, 2.7.19 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Conference paper on core practices in child protection work and relationships which advanced social workers learning and skills.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description How social workers develop and sustain helpful relationships with children and families: Learning from research, North Somerset Children's Social Care Conference, 26th September 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
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 and similarly on Twitter.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description How social workers develop and sustain helpful relationships with children and families: Learning from research, Warwickshire Children's Social Care Conference, 8th November 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
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 and similarly on Twitter.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description How to make and sustain helpful, intimate practice with children and families: Learning from research, Dorset Children's Social Care Conference, 2nd November 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
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 and similarly on Twitter.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description How to use immersive 360-degree video apps to promote relationship-based child protection practices', Workshop to the West Midlands Step Up To Social Work Regional Partnership, University of Birmingham, 16th January 2019. 
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 workshop presented social work practitioners and managers with some of the 360 degree immersive video materials we have developed from the research findings. It was very well received and participants reported finding the videos extremely useful in developing their learning.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Narrative of social workers stifled by admin needs revision, finds study. Community Care article about the research findings, 21.2.20 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Community Care is the leading 'trade' magazine for social work in the UK. They ran this article because they found the research findings to be so original and challenging of conventional wisdom. It coincides with the publication of the paper: The nature and culture of social work with children and families in long-term casework: Findings from a qualitative longitudinal study, in the journal Child and Family Support. There has been huge interest in this paper (for instance, on Twitter) and it has already achieved an altmetric of 146.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.communitycare.co.uk/2020/02/21/narrative-social-workers-stifled-admin-needs-revision-fin...
 
Description Negotiating access and fieldwork relationships in child protection research: The benefits and challenges of using ethnography to get close to everyday organisational life and practices, Paper at the European Social Work Research Conference, Edinburgh, 19th April, 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This paper was presented on one aspect of the findings from the research study. It was very well attended and gained positive feedback from participants about what they learned and similarly on Twitter.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Researching long-term social work and child protection by getting as close as possible to practice and organisational life, Symposium, European Social Work Research Conference, Edinburgh, 19th April, 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This was a symposium made of four papers the research team organised and delivered that was focused specifically on the research methodology of our study. It was very well attended and those presence stated they gained a lot from hearing about the methods we used. Social media activity on Twitter resulted in a larger audience hearing about our papers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description The use of Facebook in social work practice with children and families: An unethical practice or an effective tool in child protection? Joint Social Work Education and Research Conference - Canterbury Christ Church (3.9.2018). 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This paper was given at the national UK social work conference on one aspect of the findings of our research. There was a good discussion and participants reported learning that changed how they think about the issue, namely the ethics of using Facebook in social work practice.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description The use of Facebook in social work practice with children and families: An unethical practice or an effective tool in child protection? Paper at the World Social Work Research Conference, Dublin 5th July 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This was a paper we presented on one aspect of the findings from the research study. It was very well attended and gained positive feedback from participants about what they learned and similarly on Twitter.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://youtu.be/gfNPJawHZK4
 
Description Tom Disney (2019). "Isn't it funny the children that are further away we don't think about as much?": Using GPS to explore the Mobilities and Geographies of Social Work and Child Protection Practice. Research paper to the Dept of Social Work, Education & Community Wellbeing, Northumbria University, 17.7.19 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Paper based on our research findings about how movement and the nearness and distance of children from social work offices is central to how social workers practice in child protection.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Using GPS-enabled interviews to map the spatialities and mobilities of child protection practice, European Social Work Research Conference, Edinburgh, 19th April 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This paper was presented on one aspect of the findings from the research study. It was very well attended and gained positive feedback from participants about what they learned and similarly on Twitter.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Using ethnographic and mobile methods to get close to understand encounters between social workers, children and families, Symposium, European Social Work Research Conference, Edinburgh, 19th April, 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This was a symposium made of four papers the research team organised and delivered that was focused specifically on the research methodology of our study. It was very well attended and those presence stated they gained a lot from hearing about the methods we used. Social media activity on Twitter resulted in a larger audience hearing about our papers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018