Dr Maggie Grant

Research Fellow

Social Work Colin Bell Building, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA

Dr Maggie Grant

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About me

About me

I joined the Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection in 2017. I also work at and co-founded the Adoption and Fostering Alliance Scotland, a multi-disciplinary organisation that supports all those working in the field of adoption, fostering and the care of looked after children. My work focuses on two particular areas: children and young people in kinship, foster and adoptive families, and separated children who have migrated to the UK unaccompanied by parents or caregivers.

My current research includes an ESRC-funded project, Helping Separated Children to Thrive during Covid-19. The study is exploring how the pandemic has affected young people's social connections and the support they receive, with a focus on English language learning and storytelling. I am also a co-I on Permanently Progressing? Building secure futures for children in Scotland - the first longitudinal study in Scotland to investigate decision making, permanence, progress, outcomes and belonging for children who became ‘looked after’ at home or away from home in 2012-2013. The second phase will start in late 2020.

My other current / recent activities at University of Stirling and AFA Scotland include research on education support and befriending services for separated children (with the Scottish Refugee Council and Aberlour children’s charity) , CSO-funded rapid research on children and families’ experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly kinship carers (FACE 19), an evaluation of the TESSA adoption support service (with University of Strathclyde) and piloting a new training programme for carers of unaccompanied migrant children (with CoramBAAF and the International Organisation for Migration).

I’ve previously worked for King’s College London, University of Glasgow, and London School of Economics and Political Science. For my PhD in mental health, I used a phenomenological approach to explore adopted women's perceptions in midlife of how being internationally adopted in childhood has affected their subsequent lives, using data from the British Chinese Adoption Study. I also have an MSc in Social Policy from LSE.

Prior to starting in research, I worked for refugee support organisations in London and Syria (UNRWA), with a particular focus on supporting people to access education and find employment. I’m currently working with Syrian colleagues on a study as part of the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA) Syria Programme.

Research (6)

My research interests include adoption, fostering, kinship care and migration, and in particular understanding the legacy of childhood experiences and how this can change across the lifecourse. I've worked primarily on mixed methods studies, using a range of methodological approaches depending on the questions being explored.

Having worked in the third sector for 15 years, I'm always keen to make sure that research reaches, and can be used by, a wide range of audiences. I'm  interested in how writing and other ways of telling stories about our lives and communities can support this kind of work.

Projects

Permanently Progressing? Phase Two: Middle Childhood
PI: Dr Helen Whincup
Funded by: The Nuffield Foundation and Donors (UK)

Supporting separated migrant children to thrive during COVID-19
PI: Professor Fiona Copland
Funded by: Economic and Social Research Council

Safer Places Evaluation
PI: Dr Ruth Emond
Funded by: Aberlour Child Care Trust

'Vulnerable' families in a time of pandemic
PI: Professor Jane Callaghan
Funded by: Chief Scientist Office

Befriending Services for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in Scotland
PI: Dr Paul Rigby
Funded by: Scottish Government

Towards best practice in educating and supporting separated children in Scotland Research Tender Specification
PI: Dr Sian Lucas
Funded by: Scottish Refugee Council

Outputs (28)

Outputs

Website Content

Fotopoulou M, Grant M, Malloch M, Rigby P & Taylor K (2022) The Odyssey of the new policy: Reflections on the UK’s Nationality and Borders Bill (Part 1). University of Stirling Public Policy Blog [Policy blog post] 03.05.2022. https://policyblog.stir.ac.uk/2022/05/03/the-odyssey-of-the-new-policy-reflections-on-the-uks-nationality-and-borders-bill-part-1/

Policy Document

Cusworth L, Bieha N, Whincup H, Grant M & Hennessy A (2019) Children looked after away from home aged five and under in Scotland: experiences, pathways and outcomes. Insights for policymakers and practitioners. University of Stirling. Permanently Progressing? Building secure futures for children in Scotland. Stirling. https://www.stir.ac.uk/research/public-policy-hub/policy-briefings/

Research Report

Whincup H, Grant M, Burgess C & Biehal N (2019) Decision making for children. Commissioned by an anonymous donor. Permanently Progressing? Building secure futures for children in Scotland. Stirling: University of Stirling. https://afascotland.com/learning-zone/permanently-progressing

Project Report

Cusworth L, Biehal N, Whincup H, Grant M & Hennessy A (2019) Children looked after away from home aged five and under in Scotland: experiences, pathways and outcomes. Commissioned by an anonymous donor. Permanently Progressing? Building secure futures for children in Scotland. Stirling: University of Stirling. https://afascotland.com/learning-zone/permanently-progressing

Research Report

Grant M, Whincup H & Burgess C (2019) Perspectives on kinship care, foster care and adoption: the voices of children, carers and adoptive parents. University of Stirling. Permanently Progressing? Building secure futures for children in Scotland. Stirling. https://www.stir.ac.uk/media/stirling/services/faculties/social-sciences/research/documents/permanently-progressing/Children-Carers-and-Adoptive-Parents--Final-Report.pdf

Other

Whincup H & Grant M (2017) Permanently Progressing? Summary 2017 [Permanently Progressing? Building secure futures for children in Scotland]. [Project update]. Scotland.

Policy Document

Grant M & Thomas C (2013) Adoption Of Disabled Children. Department for Education, UK Government. BAAF Briefing. https://www.celcis.org/knowledge-bank/search-bank/adoption-disabled-children-review-research/

Research centres/groups