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 Bridget Handley

Bridget Handley

Research student,

Overview

My research interests are in improving outcomes for children, with a focus on care experienced children and young people.


My part-time PhD is supervised by Dr Alyson Rees and Dr Jennifer Lyttleton-Smith. It is a CASCADE based study that aims to report the gaps in provision for wellbeing and mental health as identified by care experienced children and young people.


As a research assistant on the Fostering Wellbeing project, I am currently working with The Fostering Network to help conduct a mixed-methods evaluation of their pan-Wales Masterclass training programme.


My work as a PGR Tutor involves teaching in The School of Social Sciences on two modules.  My previous experience of primary school teaching informs my techniques used for creating student engagement.


Recently, I have worked with the writer, Clare E. Potter, to co-ordinate a creative project to stimulate and record young people's viewpoints.  Their audio, written and artistic creations informed the Tranistions Conference

Research

Research interests

My research interests include childhood, young people, wellbeing and mental health.  I draw upon creative, engaging methods to conduct research.


The evaluation of The Fostering Network's Fostering Wellbeing programme involves a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods.  The qualitative data is collected through semi-structured interviews, and the survey data is analysed using Qualtrics.

Teaching

I work as a PGR Tutor in the School of Social Sciences.  Over the last three years I have taught on the modules, Children and Childhood, Introduction to Social Science Research and Becoming a Social Scientist.


Before studying at Cardiff University, I worked as a primary school teacher with specialisms in literacy, forest schools, sports and dance. 

Thesis

Falling between the gaps? An analysis of provision to support the mental health and wellbeing of children in care.

Overview


This study aims to provide an in-depth investigation of the experiential impact of the wellbeing and mental health provision for care experienced children and young people in Wales.


Research Questions


What experiences do the child, family and professionals have of wellbeing and mental health provision?


How could these services be improved?


What recommendations for policy and practice can be drawn from best practice?


Methodology


This qualitative study adopted a creative online approach to foreground the views and experiences of children and young people in care.  The research process was guided by CASCADE Voices, a group of care experienced young advisors who provide researchers with suggestions.


Innovative research techniques have been adopted as demonstrated by the participant information clip.


A total of 33 participants have contributed to this study (n = 19 children and young people, n = 4 carers, n = 10 professionals)


Analysis


An application of Braun and Clarke's (2006) analysis is guiding the development of themes which currently include communication, relationships, networks, support, transitions and autonomy.


Findings


The thematic data will be used to create powerful poems that will be performed by a number of the research participants in Welsh and English.  A recently awarded Social Impact Award will fund a trial video performance.


Funding source

The Wales School for Social Care Research

Supervisors

Thomas Slater

Dr Thomas Slater

Senior Lecturer

Areas of expertise

External profiles