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To explore and identify how power relations influence collaborative working among agencies towards children and young people's outcomes.
My supervisors are Dr. John Canavan and Prof. Caroline McGregor. I am employed by Tusla as the Children and Young People’s Services Committee (CYPSC) Co-ordinator for Galway and Roscommon and I’m participating in the Structured PhD programme on a part-time basis. CYPSC’s are a structure for bringing together a diverse group of agencies in local county areas to engage in joint planning and co-ordination of services for children & young people, with an overall purpose of securing better developmental outcomes for children & young people. Concepts relevant to this research include:
- Power & Power Relations
- Interagency working
- Partnership working
- Child well-being
Caroline Duignan- firstname.lastname@example.org
An exploration of the interface of family support and child protection policy and practice.
Internationally, almost every country in the world is attempting to work out the relationship between family support and child protection (McGregor and Devaney, 2019). In Ireland, family support and child protection are often recognised as being different approaches to working with children and families. Family support is associated with an early intervention and prevention type of service provision where child welfare concerns exist. Child protection is associated with statutory interventions provided in response to children at risk who require protection. In Ireland and underpinned by the Child and Family Agency Act 2013, Tusla The Child and Family Agency was established in 2014 as the first centralised system for the provision child and family services. Tusla is responsible for the discharge of family support and child protection services across the country either directly or through funded agencies. This development has brought together numerous ways of working and various models and approaches delivered by a range of professionals thus establishing a continuum of care that responds to low, medium and high needs and risk. In the application of this continuum of care, children and families are often in need of both support and protection at the same time; in other words they can be considered as being families “in the middle” (McGregor and Devaney, 2019) and they require both approaches of family support and child protection interchangeably.
The focus of this PhD research is a relevant and timely exploration of the interface of family support and child protection and will be undertaken by: examining relevant policy content and policy perspectives; the experience of roles in relation to identity and power in this context; and the exploration of the formal and informal practices and processes of the inter professional working that is involved at the interface of this work. Empirical data will be collected through a qualitative, multi method, sequential research design over a number of phases.
Angela Feeney - email@example.com
Supporting parent-child relationships in a super diverse setting: An exploratory study.
The high levels of diversity and interplays between residents in many urban communities are considered by many academics to be a new social construct. As the ratio of host population residents reduces and the migrant population increases it is argued that previous assimilation theories are no longer a suitable framework to provide researches with an insight into such communities. Academics have recognised differing generational acculturation experiences between migrant parents and their children and have highlighted the increased challenges this causes to family function, however, the effects on parent child relationships of higher numbers of migrants from more places now residing side by side in many urban communities has not yet being explored. Using a potential new theoretical framework termed super diversity by my research aims to provide knowledge to support both policy and practice by gaining an insight into potential challenges to the parent child relationship for those residing in such communities.
Paul Frecklington -firstname.lastname@example.org
A study of the participation of very young children, Early Years' Practitioners and local policy deision-makers in a collaborative consultation process in the context of a Children and Young People's Services Committee (CYPSC)
This research aims to explore the experiences of very young children, Early Years’ Practitioners (EYPs) and local policy decision makers who participate in a consultation process, and to consider the impact of the process on decision making and change at strategic level.
1. To research the experiences of Early Years’ Practitioners who engage in participatory consultation processes with very young children, and to explore the impact on their learning, understandings, values and practices arising from these experiences.
2. To study and examine how very young children construct and express their views on services and policy decisions relevant to their community.
3. To understand the perspectives of local policy decision-makers on the participation of very young children in consultation processes, and the impact on decision making processes at strategic level.
4. To explore the potential for participatory action research combined to generate opportunities for meaningful engagement with a range of co-researchers. .
5. To develop a model of consultation and participation that can be used by other relevant agencies and organisations engaged in service delivery to children, including other CYPSCs, who are seeking the views of very young children.
Marie Gibbons- email@example.com
Exploring the role of early years' services for families with English as an Additional Language in contemportary Ireland: supports, barriers, interactions and participation
The Early Years sector in Ireland has evolved rapidly, responding to demographic, societal and economic change. Prior to the introduction of the universal Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) scheme, in 2010, parental/familial care was the predominant form of childhood care, in Ireland. Participation in ECCE is voluntary, yet uptake is nearing 97%. Arguably, the landscape of childhood in Ireland has changed; however, little research has focused on the lived experiences of children and families availing of the scheme.
While open to all ‘3 year-olds’ including children of diverse cultural, linguistic and socio-economic backgrounds, ECCE access rates are lower among specific marginalised groups. Concerns arise about the quality of inclusion of children from minority backgrounds in ECCE settings, within a policy and research context that recognises notions of participation, identity and belonging as central to achievement, development and resilience among children.
• Ascertain the extent of participation and interaction in ECCE provision; identifying barriers or supports to participation; exploring practitioners’ views on partnership with parents.
• Explore whether ECCE settings have a role to play in family support systems, with a particular interest in families new to Ireland.
• Develop a model for working with families and provide recommendations regarding policy development.
Beyond the Lemonade Stand- An explorative study of entrepreneurial intent in Irish adolescents.
Jonathan Tiernan- J.TIERNAN5@nuigalway.ie
The importance of allowing children to identify, describe and define what ‘culture’ is to them, appears to be something that has been ignored in the academic literature on this subject. Definitions and descriptions of ‘culture’ have emanated from a vast array of professions including anthropology, social work, psychology and sociology.
A number of common elements exist in these definitions, however, critical from the viewpoint of this study, is that they are written from an ‘outsider’ perspective, and through the lens of an adult. The voice of children within debate about culture is characterised by its absence.
This study aims to place the child at the centre, and allow its voice to be the dominant one in the discourse of ‘culture’. In addition, this research seeks to utilize the ‘strengths perspective’ (Saleebey, 2002) as a foundation for both the implementation of the research design, and in the analysis of results. An underpinning hypothesis of this research is that it is possible to find similarities in the discourse of children from around the world regarding the construct of culture, as well as to find the unique or differing elements. The researcher seeks to reframe and reorient the perspective of this study away from examining deficits or difficulties of cultural experience, toward one where convergence of narratives and meaning can be discovered.
The objectives of the study are: to allow children to discover, define and thematically organise the ‘building blocks’ that are central to the construct of ‘culture’, to facilitate children in the development of a meaningful language of culture and to explore the similarities and differences between the constructions of ‘culture’ by children across and within an international context.
Leane Robins- firstname.lastname@example.org