Archive

Dr Emma Larkin (3rd from left) with Dr Dominic McSherry, Mr Greg Kelly and Ms Montse Fargas
The Care Pathways and Outcomes Team
The Care Pathways and Outcomes Team, bid farewell to Dr Emma Larkin today (Thursday 31st of July), and wish her good luck in her new post as Senior Research Fellow at the 'Improving Children's Lives Initiative' here at Queen's University Belfast. Dr Larkin is a highly valued colleague and friend and her vibrant contribution to life and work at the Institute will be greatly missed. Good luck Emma for the future.

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Queen’s Research Offers Free Advice and Support to Parents
Dr Helga Sneddon from Queen's, pictured here with her son Tom, is asking parents with a baby under the age of one year to take part in the Lifestart Study
Dr Helga Sneddon from Queen's, pictured here with her son Tom, is asking parents with a baby under the age of one year to take part in the Lifestart Study

Queen’s University researchers, working on behalf of the Lifestart Foundation, are looking for parents with babies under one year of age to take part in one of the largest ever studies of families and parenting ever undertaken in Ireland. 

The aim of the Lifestart Study is to evaluate the Lifestart - Home Based Parenting Programme.  Those who participate in the research will be able to receive free feedback on their child’s development.

Dr Helga Sneddon from the Institute of Child Care Research at Queen’s School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social work said: “The Lifestart Study aims to evaluate how well the Lifestart – Home Based Parenting Programme works for parents and children.  Rather than making assumptions about what we think parents need, we are giving them the opportunity to share directly with us their experiences and the type of support they find useful in their role as parents.”

“The Lifestart programme aims to support families, with children aged from birth to five through the ups and downs of parenting by helping them, on a month by month basis, learn and understand more about their child’s development. Of the 500 families we are seeking to take part in this research, 250 of them will be entered into the Lifestart programme. This will allow us to find out more about their experiences of parenting compared to those who are not involved in the Lifestart programme.

“Those families who volunteer to take part in The Lifestart Study will be visited by us in their homes during their child’s first year, again when the child is two and a half, and finally when the child is five years old. Throughout this time, we will talk with mums and dads about their parenting experiences and be able to provide some useful free feedback to them on their child’s development.

“Taking part in the study will help us improve early years parenting support and identify gaps in the services available to parents throughout Ireland.  Parents should look out for our Lifestart leaflets coming through their doors over the next few months that give more details about taking part in the study.  Parents can also call our free-phone numbers:  in N. Ireland call 0800 0855031, in the Republic of Ireland call 1800 818 688, or they can email us on lifestartstudy@qub.ac.uk

The researchers are seeking parents from 17 areas across Ireland to participate in the study: Lifford/Letterkenny (Donegal), Newtowncunningham (Donegal), Ballymun (Dublin), Carlow/Kilkenny, Cherry Orchard (Dublin), Drogheda (Louth), Edenderry (Offaly/Kildare), Leitrim, Mulhuddart (Dublin), Sligo, Ballymagroarty/Hazelbank/Coshquin (Derry), Enniskillen, Limavady, Mid-Ards (Down), Strabane, Shantallow (Derry).
The Lifestart Study is funded by Lifestart with support from Atlantic Philanthropies.  Helga Sneddon is based at the Institute of Child Care Research and Sarah Allen is based at the School of Education at Queens.  

Ends

Notes to Editors
1.    Dr Helga Sneddon and Dr Sarah Allen, Principal Investigators in The Lifestart Study are available for interview.

2.    For more information on Lifestart please visit www.lifestartfoundation.org
3.    For more information on the Institute of Child Care Research at Queen’s please visit www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/InstituteofChildCareResearch/

4.    For more information on the School of Education at Queen’s please visit http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofEducation/

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Ageing Report Launched
Ms Rym Akhonzada and Dr Laura Dunne at the launch of the Ageing Report
Ms Rym Akhonzada and Dr Laura Dunne at the launch of the Ageing Report

New research provides insight into children's views on ageing. 

The Changing Ageing Partnership (CAP) has completed the largest ever review of research into children’s perceptions of ageing. For the first time, researchers from Queen’s University, on behalf of CAP, have brought together the findings of thousands of pieces of research projects conducted worldwide.

The researchers at Queen’s Institute of Child Care Research hope their review will influence a change in the policies and practices that contribute to the negative stereotypes of older people that exist amongst children.

Dr Laura Dunne from the Institute of Childcare Research is one of the co-authors of the research, entitled ‘Looking Forward: A Systematic Review of Children’s Perceptions of Ageing’.

Dr Dunne said: “Northern Ireland, like many other parts of the world, has an ageing population. 16 per cent of the population here are of pensionable age, and this is expected to rise to 24 per cent by 2013. As the proportion of older people in our society increases, it is important to understand how they are perceived by younger generations.

“Our review aims to answer a whole host of questions around what children think about old people and the prospect of ageing. It seems that children often have negative attitudes towards old age. They view it as something to be afraid of or worried about.

“With life expectancy increasing, it is important that these misconceptions are addressed so that today’s children can approach ageing and older people in a more positive way. They must be made aware of the realities of growing old so that they can plan for a longer lifespan in terms of their career, finances and health.

“Our review will provide an extensive resource for other researchers to help them find out more about the factors that contribute to children’s attitudes towards ageing. It will also be invaluable to those in education and policy-making, who must address the negative stereotypes that are formed in early childhood and facilitate more positive contact between young children and older people.”

Professor Ellen Douglas Cowie, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Queen’s, said: “I welcome this research, which is the largest ever review of literature in this area. This is the latest in a series of CAP research projects which aim to identify and challenge attitudes to ageing.

“I hope this project will mark Queen’s University as a leading centre for intergenerational research, which looks at the relationships and gaps between people of different generations. We have already secured funding for a PhD student to take this research forward over the next three years and build upon the excellent work that has already been done.”

Dr Laura Dunne  presented key findings from the research at a seminar at the Institute of Governance on Thursday 17 April.

For media enquiries please contact: Anne-Marie Watson, Press & PR Unit, +44 (0)28 9097 5320, +44 (0)7814 415451 a.watson@qub.ac.uk .

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Child Care in Practice Conference 2007
Going from Strength to Strength – Promoting Children’s Mental Health & Resilience

A one-day conference
Tuesday, 25th September 2007
9am – 4.30pm
Wellington Park Hote
21 Malone Road,   Belfast,   BT9 6RU


           
Child Care in Practice

Would like to extend a warm invitation to you all to come and join us in celebrating the innovative work that is being undertaken with and on behalf of children and young people both here in Northern Ireland and overseas.

The theme of the conference is Children’s Mental Health and Resilience and speakers will focus on the protective factors that make children and young people resilient to the effects of mental ill health. We intend to co-ordinate the conference with the release of a special edition of the journal based on the same theme.


Please add this date to your diary – further information will follow in due course.


For more information contact:
 
Áine McGinnity, Development Officer,
Child Care in Practice Group, Institute of Child Care Research,
6 College Park, Belfast, BT7 1LP
Tel: 0044 (0) 28 90975912
E-mail:
childcareinpractice@qub.ac.uk


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3 ESRC PhD CASE Studentships

The School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work at Queen’s University Belfast offers three exciting opportunities for ESRC collaborative studentships for PhD research (1+3 or +3).  

Project 1:
Exploring the use of digital therapeutic gaming with children in public care.

Project 2.
Examining Northern Irish adoptive parents’ perceptions and feeling regarding post-adoption contact.

Project 3.
Empowerment, partnership and participation in services for disabled children and their families.

Scroll down or click on the title for further details


 

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Project 1:
Exploring the use of digital therapeutic gaming with children in public care.

Dr Emma Larkin , Institute of Child Care Research in the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work at Queen’s University Belfast, in collaboration with the Looked After Children (LAC) Psychology service at Craigavon and Banbridge (C&B) Trust (Northern Ireland).

This is an opportunity for a high achieving social science graduate to be fully funded to carry out research on effective therapeutic approaches with looked after children. A four year funding package (1+3) is available for you to take the School’s ESRC recognized Masters in Social Research Methods followed by three years of doctoral research. If you already hold an ESRC recognized advanced course in research training then you will be funded for three years (+3). The studentship covers full fees (£3,240 for 07/08) and tax free maintenance (£14,600 p.a. or £12,600 for the Masters’ year) for eligible students. Some allowance will be made for research costs.  Candidates must satisfy ESRC's academic and residential eligibility requirements and be UK or EU citizens who have been resident in the UK for three years. Further information on eligibility can be downloaded here .

The doctoral project will develop a number of digital therapeutic games, establish the preferred ways of using these games and evaluate their effectiveness with young people in care.  The research will address the following questions:

1.    What strengths-focused therapeutic content and process can be represented in digital therapeutic game formats?
2.    How can engagement, motivation and therapeutic alliance with LAC be facilitated by digital therapeutic gaming?
3.    Can digital therapeutic gaming support positive therapeutic outcomes?
4.    Can the therapeutic effectiveness of social-care staff be improved through the use of therapeutic gaming with clients?

Contact information

For further information please contact Dr Emma Larkin

How to apply - the deadline for applications has now passed


 


Project 2.
Examining Northern Irish adoptive parents’ perceptions and feeling regarding post-adoption contact.


Dr Dominic McSherry and Greg Kelly , School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work at Queen’s University Belfast, in collaboration with the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) Northern Ireland.

This is an opportunity for a high achieving social science graduate to be fully funded to carry out research on adoptive parents. A four year funding package (1+3) is available for you to take the School’s ESRC recognized Masters in Social Research Methods followed by three years of doctoral research. If you already hold an ESRC recognized advanced course in research training then you will be funded for three years (+3). The studentship covers full fees (£3,240 for 07/08) and tax free maintenance (£14,600 p.a. or £12,600 for the Masters’ year) for eligible students. Some allowance will be made for research costs. Candidates must satisfy ESRC's academic and residential eligibility requirements and be UK or EU citizens who have been resident in the UK for three years. Further information on eligibility can be downloaded here

The project is concerned with the following. While some adoptive parents do feel that some aspects of contact with the child’s birth family are helpful to the progress of an adoptive placement, others feel that it is a hindrance, and the general body of evidence regarding the impact of contact upon an adoptive placement is inconclusive.  The findings of a longitudinal study of children’s care pathways and outcomes in Northern Ireland suggest that although most adoptive parents do feel that contact can be positive, some adoptive parents did raise specific concerns, such as: the difficulty retaining anonymity (Northern Ireland is a relatively small region); the child being upset when birth parents don’t avail of contact; stirring up difficult memories for the child; and challenges to their own parental role identity.  Given the importance of the adoptive parents to the success of any adoptive placement, this study will examine these issues in greater depth, using semi-structured interviews and focus groups with adoptive parents.  The study will have a particular focus upon the adoptive parents’ views on how contact may impact upon the success of the placement and should help identify possible areas of need in relation to future developments in policy and practice in this area.  Familiarity with relevant agencies will be an advantage.

Contact information

For further information please contact Dr Dominic McSherry

How to apply - the deadline for applications has now passed



 

Project 3.
Empowerment, partnership and participation in services for disabled children and their families.


Professor Geraldine Macdonald, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work at Queen’s University Belfast, in collaboration with the Southern Health and Social Services Board (Northern Ireland).

This is an opportunity for a high achieving social science graduate, or a graduate with a background in nursing or social care, to be fully funded to carry out research on services for disabled children and their families. A four year funding package (1+3) is available for you to take the School’s ESRC recognized Masters in Social Research Methods followed by three years of doctoral research. If you already hold an ESRC recognized advanced course in research training then you will be funded for three years (+3). The studentship covers full fees (£3,240 for 07/08) and tax free maintenance (£14,600 p.a. or £12,600 for the Masters’ year) for eligible students. Some allowance will be made for research costs. Candidates must satisfy ESRC's academic and residential eligibility requirements and be UK or EU citizens who have been resident in the UK for three years.  Further information on eligibility can be downloaded here

The project aims to explore the meaning, use and impact of key principles underpinning the development of current social policy and practice.  The research questions are:
1.      To what extent do professionals, parents and disabled children share a common understanding of working in partnership, consultation, advocacy and empowerment?
2.      To what extent does Wraparound reflect their understanding and what difference does this make to their experience of services?
3.      To what extent are parents and children actively involved in the design, delivery and evaluation of services?
4.      To what extent do these features help to ensure that disabled children achieve their potential and realise their aspirations?
5.      What theoretical frameworks of empowerment and partnership best describe the experiences of key stakeholders and best facilitate effective policy and practice?

Contact information

For further information please contact Professor Geraldine Macdonald

How to apply - the deadline for applications has now passed


ICCR Conference 2007

The ICCR will be holding its 2007 Conference entitled, ‘Closing the Loop: Connecting Child Care Research, Policy and Practice’ in the Hilton Hotel, Templepatrick on Tuesday 4th of December. For more information please visit our web pages.  Some places are still available and bookings can be made by calling Maura Dunn at 028 9097 5983, email: m.dunn@qub.ac.uk

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Sunyoung Lee chairs at the World Women's Forum, Seoul 2007.
Sunyoung at workshop
Sunyoung at Workshop
Sunyoung with Lan Yang at breakout session
Sunyoung with Lan Yang

PhD student, Sunyoung Lee, (pictured right) who has an established media career in both Korea and Europe chaired the opening day of this years 'World Women's Forum' held in Seoul, Korea, on the 12th to 14th of September.

Sunyoung chaired sessions entitled, 'Pathway to a Global Career', 'F.U.N- Funny, Unique, Nurturing - Achieving Global Success', 'Tips for Effective Time Mnanagement' and 'Authentic Leadership and East Asian Values' and co-hosted a breakout session on 'Mentoring' with Lan Yang (pictured below right)

We are very proud of her personal contribution to the World Women's Forum and to their mission "to celebrate world women's leadership, spread a global message of empowerment, and address alternative policies and supportive practices ... to ensure a future built on solid female contribution in all facets of life".

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ICCR Conference a Success
Celia Atherton OBE
Celia Athertin OBE
Professor Rob Chaskin
Professor Rob Chaskin

Thank You to everyone who contributed to making this year’s conference a success. The Institute of Child Care Research at Queen’s University, invited policy-makers practitioners and researchers from across a range of disciplines to discuss the contemporary and future challenges in the area of child care research at a one day national conference  in the Hilton Hotel, Templepatrick on the 4th of December 2007.

The hallmark of this The R&D Office for the Health and Personal Social Services sponsored conference was its multi-disciplinary perspective offering an opportunity for professionals from a range of sectors and disciplines – social care, education, legal, medical and the voluntary sector to grapple with many of the challenges inherent in making research work for the policy and practice community. 

Models of how to maximise the utilisation of research and how to effectively engage with research users, were reflected in the keynote addresses by Professor Rob Chaskin  from the international Program for Children’s Policy Research (Chapin Hall, Chicago) and Celia Atherton OBE, (Director of Research in Practice).  The scene for the conference was set by Mr Glenn Houston (Director of Children’s Services, Northern Health & Social Care Trust) who highlighted the importance of research to policy and practice in Northern Ireland, while Professor Geraldine McDonald (Director of the ICCR) provided a comprehensive national overview of the current research priorities within the field of child care research.

Using the ICCR program of research as a springboard for discussion the four workshops in the afternoon brought to life many of the challenges inherent in making the connections between research and its many potential users.

For more information on any of the content of the Conference please call Maura Dunn on 028 9097 5983, email: m.dunn@qub.ac.uk

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