Skip to main content
 Bridget Handley

Bridget Handley

Research student,


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.

From January to April 2022, I joined a team based at Swansea University to work on the COVID and Young Children's Voices project.  This research was conducted by academics from Pan Wales to creatively investigage the educational experiences of young children aged 4 to 7 during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent return to school.

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 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.


Rees, A. and Handley, B. 2022. Final report - Evaluation of fostering wellbeing. Project Report.


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. 


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


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?


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)


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.


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


Areas of expertise

External profiles