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Home > Research > Researchers > Karen Broadhurst

Current Postgraduate Research Students

Karen Broadhurst supervises 4 postgraduate research students. Some of the students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

Student research profiles

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Dr Karen Broadhurst

Formerly at Lancaster University

Karen Broadhurst

PhD supervision

PhD completions

Kellie Thompson: Child Protection (The development of integrated services to safeguard children and support families, ESRC CASE studentship) graduated 2009

I am currently supervising the following PhD students:

Peter Denenberg (with Sociology): Child-centred study of foster care

Joy Spiliopoulos (with Educational Research) : Migrant identities

Marjorie Hearton: Adoption (Adoption panels and decision making)

Paula Doherty: Child Protection (Defining significant harm in safeguarding work: analysing decision-making in borderline Cases, ESRC CASE studentship).

Emily Yeend (with Statistics, ESRC sponsored student)

I welcome applications from PhD students in the field of child welfare (see research interests above).

Research Interests

I have undertaken a range of applied research projects that aim to contribute to the international knowledge base that informs policy, legislation and practice in child welfare and child protection. Current work is focused on the intended and unintended consequences of procedure and protocol, practice possibilities post-bureaucracy in child welfare and how technologies might be harnessed to good effect for both service provides and service users. I am particularly interested in strengthening the social science knowledge base for social work practice and the links between academic and practice sites. In 2009, I foundedthe interdisciplinaryChild Welfare Research Unit, within the deparment of Applied Social Science at Lancaster University.

Web address:http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/groups/cwru/index.htm

Research Networks: I am a member of the international network DANASWAC (discourse and narrative approaches in social work and counselling) web-site address:

Current Projects

CAFCASS pre-proceedings pilot: The role of the Children's Guardian in public law pre-proceedings work. Funded by the Child and Family Court Advisory Services, 2011-2012 (Principal Investigator).

Recently completed projects:

1. Academic Lead: National Evaluation of Peer Support Pilot Programme - Children's Workforce Development Council. This evaluation examined the potential and actual impact of peer support for children's services managers tasked to lead change in the context of workforce reform. This 12 months project completed inMarch 2011. Reports available from CWDC web-site.

2. Principal Investigator - Lancashire County Council Children's Services: 'Front-Door Troubles'. This project examined processes of referral and response in children's services and the operation of the Common Assessment Framework (CAF). The project team worked alongside the local authority to troubleshoot 'front-door' problems with respect to safety and consistency of thresholds for initial response. In partnership with Lancashire County Council, the project aimed to generate new locally derived solutions to entrenched national/international problems of referral and response in child welfare and protection (completed, 2011). Reports available from project team.

3. Intended and Unintended Consequences of Legal Protocols: the case of the Public Law Outline. Working with Kim Holt (Bradford University), this project focused on the impact of the Public Law Outline, specifically the intended and unintended consequences of the new protocol's likely diversion of a percentage of 'edge of care' cases from care proceedings. The study focused in detail on decision-making in the administrative space, in regard to Human Rights issues (completed 2010). See publications list below.

4. A two year ESRC funded project, with the title:'Error blame and responsibility in child welfare: problematics of governance, an invisible trade' is recently concluded (with Sue White, Principal Investigator, Dave Wastell,Chris Hall, Sue Peckover and Andy Pithouse). There are a number of outputs from this project which focus on issues of regulation, discretion and the introduction and impact of Information Technology in child welfare practice. http://www.publicservices.ac.uk/research/error-blame-and-responsibility-in-child-welfare-problematics-of-governance-in-an-invisible-trade/

5. A 24 months study ofchildren missing from school systems (see publications list below for published reports of this project).This project was undertaken between 2002 and 2004 and was funded by the CYPU (Children and Young Person's Project) http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/faculty/activities/257/ - See publications list below for outputs.

Editorial Work

I am book review editor for the journal Child and Family Social Work.

I am a member of the editorial boards of Child and Family Social Work and Sociological Research Online. I am also a referee for a range of national and international journals and funding bodies.


Current Teaching

I convene and teach courses on the BA and MA Social Work that focus on social work with children, families and young people.I chair the departmental ethics group and take a lead role in service user and carer involvement in the social work degrees. I currently supervise a cohort of 5 PhD students.

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