Joanne Alexander: Rooting Futures in Pasts: A critical analysis of women’s accounts of intergenerational transmission of family violence.
Social, practice and academic discourses involving family violence frequently portray intergenerational transmission (IGT) as an inevitable consequence of experiencing violence. Those exposed to violence are represented as magnets for intimate partner violence as well as transmitters of perpetrator or victim behaviours intra- and inter-generationally. This research aims to explore the accounts of women who have experienced violence in multiple generations of their families, with a particular focus on the ways their discourses reflect and contest social, practice and academic discourses involving IGT. Negative representations of intergenerational transmission involving ‘cycles’ of violence and family ‘legacies’, frame individuals and families as terminally and perpetually damaged and damaging. Furthermore, I explore how by their very nature, discourses of IGT trouble and, in some cases, nullify the more positive and constructive narratives of recovery and healing by closing down the potential for violence-free futures and rooting people’s futures firmly in their pasts. This thesis qualitatively explores the theoretical model of intergenerational transmission of family violence and intimate partner violence from a critical discursive perspective, looking at intergenerational familial relationships, extra-familial relationships and support systems.
Tanya Beetham: Young women's narrations of experiencing domestic violence in childhood: an intersectional narrative analysis of accounts of coping in 'different' childhoods
This project explores the stories of young women who experienced domestic violence and abuse in childhood, whose families did not access specialist support. Using interviews with 10 young women, the project explores how they made sense of, coped with and recovered from their experiences of abuse, and aims to develop a model to articulate their understanding of ‘resilience’ in this context.
Christine Gray: Safe and Together
In UK statutory services, the domestic abuse and landscape is increasingly dominated by a risk management based approach, focused on perception of risk to the adult victim and their children (McLaughlin et al., 2016). Risk assessments like the CAADA-Dash categorise adult victims as high or low risk, and the protective mechanisms and services that are placed around families are premised on this categorisation. This can have several unintended effects. By focusing on victims without paying sufficient attention to the systemic dynamics of the family more broadly, there is a risk that serious indicators associated with coercive control might be overlooked (Stark, 2007; Cooper and Vetere, 2008). The approach also pays insufficient attention to children’s voice (Callaghan et al., 2016; Katz, 2016).
Because of the very narrow risk focus, it also has the potential l to produce a narrative that blames the victim-parent for placing their children at risk by remaining in a relationship with the perpetrating parent (Callaghan, 2015; Katz, 2015a). Finally, whilst a risk led approach may help services to prioritise service delivery and protection for families, it does not identify clear pathways for care and support for those recovering from domestic violence and abuse. The Safe and Together model emerged to redress these difficulties, by focusing on strategies professionals can use to keep children living safely with their non-perpetrating parent. The model analyses the perpetrator’s patterns of coercive control as well as behaviours that place the child at risk, and assesses the adverse impact of these behaviours.
It also assesses the non-perpetrating parent’s full range of behaviours to keep the children safe and well. Finally, it assesses other adverse circumstances like parental substance abuse and mental health difficulties, and socio-economic and cultural factors that might maintain or contribute to the domestic abuse. The model promotes a partnership approach that focuses on building a positive working relationship with the non-perpetrating parent, to protect the children. In this sense, the model offers a more sensitive approach to assessment, that takes account of some of the broader systemic dynamics that families experience. The research will explore the perspectives of children and their families on the support that they receive when domestic violence is experienced.
Jynna Yarrum: The role of the Children’s Wellbeing Practitioner in England
The proposed project explores the implementation of the role of the Children and Young People’s Wellbeing Practitioner in the delivery of low intensity interventions for children, young people and their families. The role of the Wellbeing Practitioner is to provide low intensity psychological therapies for children and young people with emergent mild to moderate mental health difficulties, who do not meet the threshold for referral into specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
Although low intensity workers (Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners, or PWPs) have been used for some time in adult services as part of the Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies programme (IAPT), this role was only introduced in children’s services in 2017. The effectiveness of bespoke low intensity workers in supporting children and young people with mild to moderate mental health and behavioural difficulties has been untested in the UK, and an evaluation of the impact of the introduction of wellbeing is therefore timely. Using a qualitative, longitudinal approach, this study explores trainee experiences of the development and implementation of the role over the first two years of this new intervention.
Judy Warburton: The Scottish Children’s Hearing System
The Children’s Hearings system is Scotland’s unique care and justice system for children and young people. It aims to ensure the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable children and young people through a decision making lay tribunal or panel. By positioning the system in the wider context of the global debate around children’s rights and child welfare and justice my research will explore how Children’s Hearings make decisions. One of the fundamental principles of the system is that Hearings must seek, listen to and take account of the views of children in reaching decisions about them. This should be achieved by way of an informal conversation involving the family and professionals involved in the child's life. There are two aspects of the research which are relevant in the context of this submission. One is the inherent tension between the need to listen to, and take account of, the views of the child and the need to make a decision in their best interest. The second focuses on the difficulties the Hearing faces in obtaining those views from vulnerable children, many of whom have suffered trauma or neglect on the way into the system and may struggle both with the Hearing setting and their ability to communicate with unknown adults.
Whilst the decision of the Hearing is ultimately made by lay panel members, a number of different groups of professionals contribute to the discussion with the child and family during the hearing and the research, which is at an early stage, will seek the experiences and views of members of these professionals, as well as of panel members, through individual interviews and focus groups.
Kate Kyriakou: Tackling child neglect: developing public health solutions in Scotland
The current project focuses on exploring in depth how a model based on a public health approach could be developed in order to contribute to tackling child neglect in Scotland. It explores with practitioners, managers, policy makers and academics working in the field of child protection and/or public health, their perspectives and understanding of public health approaches and the prevention of child neglect. In addition to this, it aims to explore with parents and care experienced young people their experiences and perspectives on what can work to overcome the challenges facing children and families today. Overall, it is expected that the development of a feasible population-wide model to tackle neglect, that follows the principles of a public health approach, will contribute significantly to prevention approaches to neglect in Scotland and beyond.
Katherine Allen: Seamless Services: learning how teachers practice and understand well-being in Scottish schools
This project aims to examine how classroom teachers understand and practice their role(s) as part of the multidisciplinary support network for children, in regard to child well-being within the Scottish education context. The objective is to examine the role of classroom teachers with regard to child well-being concerns, including the perceptions and communication practices of teachers around significant events and interprofessional work within the multidisciplinary support network for children. The project aims to produce a practical understanding of how teachers are currently navigating the multidisciplinary support network and the ways in which their communication practices effect both interprofessional aspirations (joined-up working, integration) and, subsequently, well-being outcomes for children. This research project will use qualitative methods and a case study design to explore how teachers perceive, communicate about, and document well-being concerns and significant events in the classroom.
Nikoletta Komvoki: The Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) policy approach: Finding the balance among its tensions
In keeping with the aspiration to make Scotland the best place to grow up, the Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) policy approach has been developed in Scotland since 2004 to promote young children’s wellbeing. The two key principles within the GIRFEC are the promotion of early intervention practices as well as the seamless collaboration among stakeholders, such as families, educators, the police, social care and health services. Because the GIRFEC principles have been enshrined in law in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act (2014) (Scottish Government, 2014), Health Visitors along with all the professionals working with families are required to adapt their practices to the new legislative changes at the ground level. From policy to practice, however, there are tensions brought up within GIRFEC. Due to the relatively new legislation, very little has been known about how professionals’ new practices are perceived by Health Visitors, parents and young children, which creates a research gap in the literature. This qualitative study aims to critically explore how professionals (mostly Health Visitors), parents and children understand and negotiate the tensions in GIRFEC between: 1. Promoting wellbeing and protecting from risk 2. Early intervention and reactive intervention 3. Integrated and independent services. The study will be a case study of one Scottish NHS Health Board using individual interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders including parents. To collect young children’s views on the matter, creative methods i.e. drawing techniques, discussion on hypothetical scenarios (vignettes), unfinished sentences and postal boxes used with approximately 2-3 pre-schoolers (aged from 3-5) will take place.
Lauren McAllister: Well that’s just the ambulance job’ A Phenomenological Exploration of How Fire fighters Experience Emotion and Feeling
This project uses Phenomenological Analysis to explore how (20) members of the Fire Service make sense of emotional experiences whilst doing the job.
Luke Ward: Exploring the b/ordering process(es) for youth with non-binary gender identities
This project explores how non-binary youth constitute their identities, as they negotiate the already transitional positioning of adolescence in western / global northern culture. This will be done by using border theory alongside critical, feminist and queer epistemological frameworks to challenge dominant cisgenderism, categorical thinking and essentialised, stable identity politics. Recommendations from current border theorists suggest focusing on bordering process(es), rather than just the demarcation of lines of separation, to capture more complexity and understandings of what is occurring within borderland spaces. An intersectional perspective will be used throughout the theorisation to acknowledge that the bordering process(es) are likely to be experienced differently based on the identities that a person may have. The research will be guided by the question: “how is the b/ordering process is regulated, resisted, and reimagined in the non-binary gender borderlands?