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Dr Edward Janes

Dr Edward Janes

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, CASCADE

sbarc|spark, Maindy Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF24 4HQ


My main research interest is young carers and I’m currently funded by the ESRC as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, a role that focuses on the consolidation of my doctoral study on why the impacts of caring vary for children depending on their individual circumstances.  The focus of the fellowship is impact and dissemination and the one-year role includes publishing peer-reviewed articles and attending conferences, raising awareness of my work with policy makers and practitioners, and developing bids for further new research.

In addition to young carers, my research interests include wider children’s social care and public health, children’s rights and participation.  I’m also interested in the use of mixed methods including realist approaches, phenomenology and structural equation modelling.


Having completed my undergraduate studies in Geography at Swansea University, I worked in the voluntary and public sector for 13 years.  This included working with Children in Wales, the Welsh children’s rights umbrella group, for nine years as a Participation Development Officer.  The role initially focused on supporting practitioners to share good participative practice, but grew to include consultation and research with children on topics including young carers, fuel poverty and inequality.

In 2017 I began a PhD in Cardiff University on the mental health and wellbeing of young carers.  The mixed methods study focused on the wider spectrum of young carers, and how investigating the wider population can increase our understanding of those with problematic responsibilities.  I’m currently funded by the ESRC on a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship to increase dissemination and impact of these PhD findings.


Current Work

I’m currently funded by the ESRC as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, a role that focuses on the consolidation and dissemination of my doctoral research, Caring Lives.  The fellowship includes publishing peer-reviewed articles, attending conferences and engaging and raising awareness of my work with policy makers and practitioners.

Caring Lives: What do children who care for family members with disabilities need to thrive?

My doctoral study sought to revisit some of the early challenges in young carers research concerning the challenges of identification and the lack of large-scale quantitative studies.  This resulted in the majority of previous research being with children who access young carer projects, and I argued that this had created a perception of young carers as a small population with substantial responsibilities.  This study sought to focus on the wider spectrum of young carers.

The mixed methods study included:

  • - A realist review of past research concerning why the impacts of caring vary for children depending on their individual circumstances
  • - Structural equation modelling that compared the mental health of young carers to non-young carers over time
  • - Qualitative research that recruited young carers from schools as well as projects, enabling a focus on the wider spectrum. These young carers then participated in a phenomenology that explored their experiences of caring.

The study highlighted the importance of investigating the whole spectrum to better understanding when caring becomes problematic.  In particular, perception of control over the caring role enabled differentiation between those who were largely able to manage their responsibilities, those who faced threats to this control, and those in urgent need of support due to particular aspects of their responsibilities.  These findings have implication for policy makers, practitioners and professional in terms of how we view young carers, but also suggests the need to tier support and awareness raising to the wider young carer spectrum.

Previous research

Between March and September 2022, I worked as a Research Associate in WISERD (Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research and Data) on the WISERD Multi Cohort Study (WMCS).  The longitudinal study was founded in 2012 and annually surveys cohorts on topics including perception of school, political engagement and the impact of Covid.  My role included collecting data for the tenth sweep, and assessing the potential for longitudinal analysis.

Between January 2018 and July 2020 I worked as a Research Assistant on Caring Changes, CASCADE’s evaluation of a ten-week training course for residential care workers.  The role included collecting pre-, peri- and post-course quantitative data, conducting qualitative interviews with course participants and facilitators, and writing up the final report.


External profiles

Research links