Collections in this community

Recent Submissions

  • Engaging parents to reduce youth violence: evidence from a youth justice board pathfinder programme

    Caulfield, Laura; Brooks-Wilson, Sarah; Booth, Jane; Monaghan, Mark (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023-12-31)
    The Youth Justice Board’s 2019-2022 strategic plan set youth violence as a priority. As part of this, a ‘pathfinder’ approach was launched to assist Local Authorities and their partners to devise, develop, and disseminate whole systems approaches to serious youth violence (Youth Justice Board, 2020). In partnership with a regional Violence Reduction Unit, seven local Youth Offending Teams worked together with a programme that facilitated peer support networks for parents of children known to the youth justice system. The programme presented a challenge to a view in statutory youth justice of parents as part of the problem (Burney & Gelsthorpe, 2009). The aim of the programme was to engage parents of young people involved in the youth justice system, facilitating peer to peer support through a blend of online and face to face meetings. Taking a mixed-methods approach, the research sought to investigate the impact of the programme on participants’ wellbeing and perceived competence with parenting. A secondary aim was to explore experiences of the self-care and peer support activities offered by the programme. The quantitative findings showed statistically significant increases in parents’ self-reported wellbeing and perceived competence with parenting during engagement with the programme. Effect sizes reached the minimum important difference for all of the quantitative measures, with a large effect for wellbeing The qualitative findings highlighted that the self-care focus was important in engaging parents and helps distinguish the programme from statutory services. The findings are combined in the paper to produce a potential model of peer support for parents of children known to the youth justice system. Future research should investigate the impact on the children of parents who took part in this programme with a specific focus on youth violence.
  • Building resilience and addressing vulnerabilities to serious and organised crime: the case of community coordinators

    Hadjisergis, Kyros; Caulfield, Laura; Uppal, Pravanjot (Manchester Metropolitan University, 2023-05-30)
    This paper presents findings from research into one of the Serious and Organised Crime Community Coordinator (SOC CC) pilots funded by the Home Office. Delivered in Birmingham UK between 2019 and 2021 by West Midlands Police, the SOC CC role included identifying community projects and building partnerships across statutory and voluntary sectors in high-need areas of the city. The research took a qualitative approach, interviewing 11 key stakeholders representing the programmes commissioned by the SOC CC, the Home Office, community partners, the West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit, local schools, and West Midlands Police. The study focused on the potential of the pilot to develop community resilience and address vulnerabilities through a whole-system approach and commissioning of resources from statutory, police, and third-party stakeholders. The findings highlight successes and barriers to the role. The data revealed four sources of commitment necessary for success: the commitment of the CC (Internal), the commitment of the commissioned partners and the Police (Institutional), the commitment of the targeted communities and its concerned individuals (Community), and the commitment of funding and resources (Operational). The findings presented here are applicable to post-pilot CCs and also to the scaffolding of similar initiatives, such as Violence Reduction Unit Community Navigators.
  • Reimagining the language of disability and inclusion in primary teacher education through a translanguaging framework

    Luong Thi Thu, Thuy; Trang Thu, Dinh Nguyen; Puttick, Mary-Rose; Blackburn, Carolyn (Taylor & Francis, 2023-06-07)
    Whilst words such as ‘disability’ and ‘inclusion’ have some shared meanings across cultural and linguistic contexts, they also have meanings that are fluid and changing according to individual, institutional, and environmental dimensions. Deconstructing these differential understandings in special education needs and disabilities (SEND) provision is essential to challenge deeply-rooted societal deficit-based assumptions and stigmatisation that can have detrimental impacts on children and young people’s life experiences. In this UK-Vietnam collaborative project we aimed to uncover the ‘languaging of disability and inclusion’, using Vietnamese primary teacher education as an illustrative case study with experiential insights gathered from primary school teachers, leaders and teacher educators. This paper presents findings from our six in-depth qualitative interviews. Our analytical framework, informed by key concepts in translanguaging and affective pedagogies, enables us to uncover nuances in meanings that went beyond solely Vietnamese-English linguistic translations, to take account of semiotic understandings, body language, and movement. Key findings revealed a prevailing medical-based terminology associated with SEND, practice-based contradictions attached to bureaucratic recognitions of disability, as well as repertoires associated with ‘circles of friendship’. Our paper opens up an international dialogue that both challenges potentially homogenising and harmful labelling processes and celebrates the sharing of asset-based languaging practices.
  • Conspicuous by their absence – reclaiming the silenced voices of black women in the criminal justice system

    McLean, Paula; Caulfield, Laura (Manchester Metropolitan University, 2023-05-17)
    Despite being the most overrepresented group of women in the Criminal Justice System (CJS), a significant lack of attention has been paid to Black women in academic literature and government policy in relation to this disparity. Using a Black feminist lens, this article seeks to illuminate the mistreatment, neglect, discrimination, and oppression experienced by these women once in the CJS. The research highlights their voices and experiences through a process of Narrative Interviewing, one of the most effective tools for collecting data from marginalised groups, and the use of Critical Race Feminism as the theoretical framework that assists in providing powerful counter narratives. Eight women with experience of imprisonment in England and Wales were interviewed, producing 21 in-depth interviews. This article explores key themes including racist stereotyping, poor healthcare, and lack of rehabilitative services and presents participant’s narratives alongside case examples. The data suggests that, in an already problematic system, poor treatment and negative experiences are due to intersectional factors such as race, gender, religion, and class. The article ends with some considerations of how to minimise exclusionary practices and integrating Black women’s narratives into solutions to the highlighted issues.
  • Young people’s engagements with heritage: Tackling inequality & other opportunities for public policy

    Blamire, Joshua; Rees, James; Elkington, Rob; Arts Connect; Institute for Community Research and Development; Historic England (Institute for Community Research and Development, University of Wolverhampton, 2023-05-15)
    In 2021 Historic England commissioned Arts Connect and the Institute for Community Research and Development to investigate and report on the value and impact of young people’s engagements with heritage. We had observed that there are clear signs of increasing interest in heritage amongst young people across both informal and extracurricular settings such as social media and in the street. Whilst some research has shown that programmes designed to engage young people do support a range of personal, social, health, and learning benefits, existing evidence was thin in regard to the impact that a focus on heritage – especially outside of school – has in these areas. Our research was given additional urgency by the UK Government’s Levelling Up agenda and the renewed focus on place, particularly those that are described as being ‘left behind’. In this context, understanding the role and value of heritage in generating positive social, economic, and health outcomes is vital in order to inform future activities, to influence public policy, and to better make the case for public investments into the heritage sector. We hope this research will be useful to those working as policymakers and practitioners in heritage and youth work.
  • Reflections on good practice in evaluating violence reduction units: Experiences from across England and Wales

    Caulfield, Laura; Quigg, Zara; Adams-Quackenbush, Nicole; Timpson, Hannah; Wilson, Sophie (SAGE, 2023-07-03)
    Internationally, interpersonal violence places huge burdens on the health, wellbeing and prosperity of society. In response to a notable increase in serious knife crime, in 2019 the UK Government awarded £35 million for the establishment of 18 Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) across England and Wales. There has been limited evaluation of community level approaches for violence, with almost no published literature on the impact of VRUs. The paper presents the approaches and experiences of two interdisciplinary teams of researchers from public health, psychology, criminology, and systems change, working as evaluators of four VRUs in England and Wales. The paper describes the value of adopting a whole-system approach to evaluation s, outlines good practice in evaluating VRUs, and elicits challenges to developing and embedding evaluation within complex systems.
  • Too hot to handle: African Caribbean pupils and students as toxic consumers and commodities in the educational market

    Hamilton, Dennis George (Taylor & Francis, 2017-09-21)
    Secondary sources are used in this paper to highlight how African Caribbean pupils and students – the Black British-born descendants of post-war Caribbean migrants – are victims of symbolic violence, because they are denied the educational capital needed to improve their social status. Since African Caribbean children entered the 1960s British educational sector, their learning has been perceived as problematic by the State. Although assimilation, integration and multicultural education policies were implemented to supposedly address the ‘problem’ of educating Black children, subsequent government reports identified racism as a significant barrier in their education. I argue here that the contemporary marketisation of education makes it increasingly difficult to distinguish between racism and competition, as causal factors of ethnic differences in educational attainment. Moreover, due to increasing private sector intervention and decreasing mediation by the State, racism is now hidden within the vicissitudes of the educational market. School exclusions and discriminatory practices in universities are viewed in this paper as major barriers to the economic success and future social mobility of Black Caribbean pupils and students. I conclude by suggesting that marketisation policies can be appropriated to ameliorate racism in education, but only if the political will to do so exists.
  • “I’ll live better, stay away from crime": Exploring the reintegration of former prisoners into the community through a music programme

    Hopley, Rachel; Caulfield, Laura; Jolly, Andy (Emerald, 2023-08-16)
    Purpose There is evidence that music programmes can have a positive impact on people in contact with the criminal justice system. However, little attention has been paid to the potential role of music programmes as people leave prison and re-enter the community. Providing support for former prisoners ‘through-the-gate’ is important to aid resettlement and reduce risk of reoffending. This paper presents research on a programme called Sounding Out: a two year, London-based programme, providing ex-prisoners with longer-term rehabilitative opportunities upon their release to bridge the gap between life inside and outside of prison. Design/methodology/approach The study aimed to understand the impact of the Sounding Out programme on ex-prisoners from the perspective of participants, staff and family members. Semi-structured interviews took place with 17 people: 10 participants across two Sounding Out projects; six members of staff - three from the Irene Taylor Trust, two musicians, and one former prison worker; and one family member of a participant. Findings The research provides an understanding of the impact of involvement in a carefully designed programme of music creation, skills development, and work placements. Thematic analysis of the data resulted in three key themes: personal impact; focus and direction; interpersonal relationships. The findings are consistent with the body of research that demonstrates the impact of music programmes on prisoners. Originality The current study adds to the relatively limited body of evidence on the role of music programmes in the reintegration of former prisoners into the community.
  • Exploring the impact of music on children at risk of contact with the criminal justice system

    Caulfield, Laura; Sojka, Bozena (Emerald, 2023-02-02)
    Purpose Previous research has demonstrated the positive impact of participation in a music programme run by a Youth Offending Team in England. While the previous research focused solely on children involved with the criminal justice system, this current paper reports findings from research extended to young people identified as ‘at risk’ of involvement with the criminal justice system, vulnerable, or disengaged. Design/methodology/approach A mixed-methods approach was taken, using quantitative measures of the primary outcomes (educational engagement, well-being, musical development, and& attitudes and & behaviour), complemented and extended by semi-structured interviews with a sample of participants. Findings Analysis of the quantitative data from 57 participants showed significant improvements in self-reported engagement with education, musical ability, and well-being. In-depth interviews with 11 participants added a depth of understanding about children’s experiences of the programme and the impact they felt, providing a safe space and improved confidence and well-being. Originality This paper builds on previous research in schools and youth justice settings by presenting findings on the impact of a music programme on the educational engagement and wellbeing of children identified as at-risk of offending, vulnerable, or disengaged.
  • The value and meaning of young people's engagements with heritage

    Blamire, Joshua; Rees, James; Sojka, Bozena; Elkington, Rob (Institute for Community Research & Development, 2022-06-30)
  • Leavers and remainers as ‘kinds of people’ : accusations of racism amidst Brexit

    Tyler, Katharine; Degnen, Cathrine; Blamire, Joshua (Taylor & Francis, 2022-12-12)
    After the referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, leavers and remainers have become identified in media, political, intellectual, social scientific and everyday discourses with a contested set of racialised and classed characteristics. Central to this portrayal of leavers and remainers is the idea widespread within remain-orientated discourse that leavers are more likely to hold racist attitudes on questions of multiculturalism and immigration compared to remainers. This article draws on fieldwork that examines the emotive accusation of racism articulated by leavers and remainers at each other, and expressed in everyday discourses and social interactions. We explore the ways in which racism becomes reduced within social interactions to an individual characteristic of leave or remain ‘kinds of people’. Our argument is that the individualisation of racism in this way inadvertently displaces and curtails critical reflection on the reproduction of white privilege in British society.
  • No recourse to public funds: A toolkit for social workers in England

    Dickson, Eve; Goodman, Karen; Jolly, Andy; Shea, Sydney; Sojka, Bozena (ICRD, 2022-10-31)
  • Contribution of the voluntary sector to mental health crisis care in England: Protocol for a multimethod study

    Newbigging, Karen; Mohan, John; Rees, James; Harlock, Jenny; Davis, Alex; Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK. (BMJ Publishing Group, 2017-11-08)
    Introduction Timely access to the right kind of support for people experiencing a mental health crisis can be problematic. The voluntary sector (VS) plays a key role in providing support and enabling access, but there is a knowledge gap concerning its contribution and interface with public services in mental health crisis care. This study aims to address this. Methods and analysis The study has three empirical elements: (1) a national survey of voluntary sector organisations (VSOs) in England and national stakeholder interviews to develop a typology of organisations and interventions provided by VSOs; (2) detailed mapping of VS services in two regions through interviews and extending the national survey; (3) four case studies, identified from the regional mapping, of VS mental health crisis services and their interface with National Health Service (NHS) and local authority services, at both a system and individual level. Data collection will involve interviews with commissioners; VSO and NHS or local authority providers; and focus groups with people who have experience of VSO crisis support, both service users and carers; and mapping the crisis trajectory of 10 service users in each study site through narrative interviews with service users and informal carers to understand the experience of VSO crisis care and its impact. Ethics and dissemination The University of Birmingham Humanities and Social Sciences Ethical Review Committee granted ethical approval (reference ERN-16-1183) for the national and regional elements of the study. Ethical review by the Health Research Authority will be required for the case study research once the sites have been identified from the first two elements of the study. A range of methods including a policy seminar, publication in academic journals and a tool kit for commissioners and practitioners will be produced to maximise the impact of the findings on policy and practice.
  • Birmingham City Council’s adult social care prevention portfolio – Review of the performance evaluation framework: Final report

    Hopley, Rachel; Castro Bilbrough, André; Wilson, Sophie; Caulfield, Laura (University of Wolverhampton and Birmingham Voluntary Service Council, 2022-01)
  • Multiple and complex needs in the West Midlands: Research briefing paper

    Hopley, Rachel; Caulfield, Laura (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-01)
  • Opening the ‘black box’: Organisational adaptation and resistance to institutional isomorphism in a prime-led employment services programme

    Rees, James; Taylor, Rebecca; Damm, Chris (SAGE, 2022-08-17)
    The UK’s Work Programme (2012-18) was a major employment services programme, inspired by new public management principles. A relatively small number of directly commissioned ‘prime providers’ were paid by the central Government largely according to the number of job-outcomes their service users achieved but were given a ‘black box’ to design their own services and subcontracting arrangements. Drawing on an empirical study of subcontracted service providers, and focusing on those from the third sector, the paper shows that within this prime-led commissioning model, subcontractors came under sustained pressure to adjust their operational practices. We draw on institutional isomorphism to show that isomorphic pressures were experienced because of both the design and implementation of the Work Programme. Although there were strong pressures pushing towards convergence, however, the different starting positions of subcontractors meant that these changes were not entirely deterministic and some attempts at resistance were observed amongst third sector providers. Their diverse institutional contexts, including positioning and wider interest in the field, shaped how they navigated and responded to isomorphic pressures, ultimately mitigating homogenisation. The paper contributes a more sophisticated understanding of the ways in which provider organisations experience, interpret and respond to structural pressures within an evolving quasi-market. The findings have implications for public service reform programmes featuring quasi-markets that are intended to encourage innovation and a diversity of provision, particularly when promoting mission-led, third sector organisations (TSOs).
  • An evaluation of Changing Lives’ Iris project - supporting women with experience of sex work, survival sex or sexual exploitation

    Hopley, Rachel; Sojka, Bozena; Caulfield, Laura (Institute for Community Research and Development, University of Wolverhampton, 2021-05)
  • The public sector and co-creation in turbulent times: A systematic literature review on robust governance in the COVID-19 emergency

    Scognamiglio, Fulvio; Sancino, Alessandro; Caló, Francesca; Jacklin‐Jarvis, Carol; Rees, James (Wiley, 2022-08-02)
    The capacity of public sector of co-creating with other stakeholders is challenged by the increasing presence of disruptive turbulent events, such as the COVID-19. At this regard, robustness has been identified as a suitable response to deal with this kind of events. Through a systematic literature review, we analyzed how public sector organizations have co-created with other actors during the COVID-19 and what have been the contribution of robust governance strategies. Our findings point firstly to the empirical validity of the robustness concept, providing evidence of the extensive use of robust governance strategies into the co-creation processes. Second, we identified a configurational approach to robustness, with governments co-creating by simultaneously employing several robust strategies. Thirdly, we observed a more active involvement of societal stakeholders, with emergence of proto-institutions and potential threats to the political system.
  • Exploring pregnant women’s experiences of stopping smoking with an incentive scheme with ‘enhanced’ support: a qualitative study

    McCormack, Fiona C; Hopley, Rachel; Boath, Elizabeth H; Parry, Sian L; Roscoe, Suzie M; Stewart, Antony; Birch, Victoria A (SAGE, 2022-07-05)
    Aim: This study aims to understand pregnant women’s experiences of smoking cessation with an incentive scheme in a deprived UK city. This is important because smoking cessation with pregnant women is one of the most crucial public health initiatives to promote, and is particularly challenging in deprived areas. While financial incentive schemes are controversial, there is a need to better understand pregnant women’s experiences. The scheme combined quasi-financial incentives (shopping vouchers) for validated quits (carbon monoxide (CO) validated at < 10 ppm), enhanced support from smoking cessation advisors, the opportunity to identify a ‘Significant Other Supporter’ and nicotine replacement therapy. Methods: With the focus on understanding pregnant women’s experiences, a qualitative design was adopted. Semi-structured interviews were completed with 12 pregnant women from the scheme, and the three advisors. All interviews were transcribed, and thematic analysis conducted. Results: Pregnant women reported various challenges to quitting, including long-established routines, and stress. Participants were aware of stigma around incentives but were all very positive about the scheme. The relationship with advisors was described as fundamental. The women valued their advice and support, while uptake of the ‘Significant Other Supporter’ appeared low. Participants viewed the CO monitoring as ‘an incentive’, while the vouchers were framed as a ‘bonus’. Advisors perceived the vouchers as helping engage pregnant women and maintain quit status, and women appreciated the vouchers both as financial assistance and recognition of their accomplishments. Conclusion: This study highlights the great value women placed on the support, advice and monitoring from specialist advisors. The distinction between vouchers as a welcomed bonus, rather than ‘the incentive’ to engage, is important. How smoking cessation and schemes to promote this are communicated to pregnant women and health professionals is important, particularly given the stigma and controversy involved.
  • Hard work / workload: discursive constructions of teacher work in policy and practice

    Spicksley, Kathryn (Informa UK Limited, 2022-04-12)
    This paper explores contradictory constructions of teacher work across policy discourse and professional practice. It draws from a corpus-assisted critical discourse analysis of 363 political speeches published on England’s Department for Education website between 2010 and 2018, and qualitative interviews with two executive leaders working in English primary academy schools. Findings indicate a contradiction in the way that teacher work was constructed by government ministers, with hard work constructed positively as leading to improved educational outcomes, but workload negatively constructed as a problem which needed to be solved. This contradiction was echoed in school leaders’ discursive constructions of teacher work. Extending previous research on teacher workload, I raise the possibility that it is not only workload, but the requirement to navigate contradictory discursive constructions of teacher work which may cause damage to teachers’ professional identities.

View more