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Dr Verity Bennett

Dr Verity Bennett

Research Associate

Neuadd Meirionnydd, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF14 4YS
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a Research Associate in the Children's Social Care Research and Development Centre (CASCADE). I am currently working on a project funded by the Department for Education which places Social Workers in schools (SWIS) to improve how education and Children’s Social Care (CSC) respond to safeguarding concerns. An increasing number of children in the UK receive services from social care, and about 18% of all referrals to CSC come from schools. It has been suggested that by placing social workers within the school environment, there is a greater scope for improvement in multi-agency communication, cooperation and preventative work, however very little research has been conducted in this area. The project is a cluster randomised controlled trial across 21 local authorities in England, and the primary outcome measure is a reduction in child protection (Section 47) enquiries. My role focuses on working with the SWIS team to conduct an integrated process evaluation within this trial. This process evaluation will elucidate the underlying mechanisms of the intervention, or ‘how’ the intervention works in different contexts across the schools receiving the intervention.

I am also currently leading a study funded by a Welcome Trust ISSF Cross-Disciplinary Award investigating the feasibility of using cutting edge, unsupervised, big-data, text mining methods to investigate parents’ use of social media to discuss burns first aid. Children’s burns are a leading cause of injury in the under 5s, and can be life changing. However only 1 in 4 children attending the Emergency Department with a burn have received appropriate first aid at home. Potentially harmful ‘traditional’ and often bizarre remedies spread via social circles and parents of young children are increasingly using social media to seek and share parenting advice. This study aims to understand the potential utility of this, as yet, un-tapped data source to inform and improve online interventions to improve parents first aid for burns. This work is being conducted in collaboration with researchers in the School of Computer Science and Informatics.

Previously, I have worked on a wide range of research projects in child health including: community and online behaviour change interventions, identifying child maltreatment in health settings and the use of routine data in understanding healthcare service use by children and young people with cerebral palsy. I have a background in analysing complex quantitative datasets, and enjoy cross-disciplinary and mixed methods working.



University College London (2009-2014), PhD Evolutionary Biology

The University of Machester (2007-2008), MSc Biomechanics: Distinction

The Unviersity of Manchester (2004-2007), BSc(Hons) Geography and Geology: First class

Academic positions

2017-present: Research Associate, Cardiff University

2016-2017: Research Assistant, Cardiff University










Past projects