Aoife O’Higgins

Aoife is a research assistant and DPhil student at the Rees Centre. Her research examines the risk and protective factors for educational outcomes of children in care, with a particular focus on how carers help young people.

Aoife holds a MSc in Evidence Based Social Interventions from the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, Oxford and a MA in Refugee Studies from the University of East London. Aoife worked in social care for seven years, including five as an advocate for refugee and migrant children.

http://beingyoungnow.com/

Research

Current Research

What are the risk & protective factors for educational outcomes for children in care?

  • Study 1: What is the relationship between being in care and educational outcomes of children foster or kinship care? A systematic review. See full report.
  • Study 2: What are the factors associated with educational outcomes of children in foster or kinship care? A systematic review. (link to journal page?)
  • Study 3: What do carers do to support the educational success of children in care?

Informed by the findings from both reviews, study 3 examines the critical role played by carers in supporting the education of children in care. Specifically, the analysis uses a large Canadian dataset to explore whether the involvement of carers over time is associated with gains in attainment.

Supervisors: Professor Judy Sebba, Rees Centre & Professor Frances Gardner, Dept of Social Policy and Intervention

Other research:

  • Aoife was also part of the research team looking at the educational progress of looked after children-linking care and educational data, a project funded by the Nuffield Foundation. As part of this project, she analysed data on migrant children in care.
  • Aoife is completing a systematic review on placement type and educational, physical and mental health outcomes of forced migrant children in care. This I sa joint project with Dr Ellie Ott (link?) and Dr Michael Shea.
  • Aoife works with a team of researchers at The University of Ottawa. Research includes secondary data analysis on risk and protective factors for children in care and a systematic review on the involvement of carers for educational outcomes for children in care.

Teaching:

  • Policy Evaluation and is seminar convenor at the Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford.
  • Systematic Reviewing for the Social Sciences, Social Sciences Division, Oxford
  • Teaching Children in Care (PGCE module), Department of Education, Oxford
  • Doctoral development training, Social Sciences Division, Oxford.
  • Social work with refugees and asylum seekers, University of West London.

Publications

Publications

  • O’Higgins, Aoife (In press) “What is the impact of placement type on the mental health of independent migrant children? A systematic review of the evidence.”
  • O’Higgins, Aoife (2014) ““Book Review: Safeguarding Children from Abroad: Refugee, Asylum Seeking and Trafficked Children in the UK” “, International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care
  • O’Higgins, Aoife and Evans, Rosalind (2013) “‘Change 4 Me? Young refugees’ and migrants’ research on social inclusion and educational achievement in London’ “, Mitsuko Matsumoto ed.,Education and Disadvantaged Children and Young People. Bloomsbury Academic
  • O’Higgins, Aoife (2012) “Vulnerability and Agency: An irreconcilable dichotomy for social workers working with young refugees in the UK”, New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development (Special Edition: Independent Child Migration—Insights into Agency, Vulnerability, and Structure) 136 70-93
  • O’Higgins, Aoife (2011) “The Destitution of Young Refugees in the UK”, Oxford Monitor (OxMo) 1: 2 8-11

Conferences

  • Oct 2012: Promoting unprotected unaccompanied children’s access to their fundamental rights in the European Union (PUCAFREU, organized by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France). Presentation title:Vulnerability and agency: Beyond an irreconcilable dichotomy for social service providers working with young refugees in the UK.
  • May 2011: Canadian Association of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (CARFMS) Conference 2011: Human Rights Challenges. Presentation title: Reconceiving the Rights and Needs of Young Refugees.
  • May 2010: CARFMS Conference 2010: Challenges and Change in Forced Migration. Presentation title: Safeguarding and refugee children in the UK.
  • Apr 2010: BASPCAN Conference: Safeguarding and young refugees. Presentation title: Destitution and safeguarding young refugees.

Journal articles

  • O'Higgins, A, Sebba, J, Gardner, F (2017) “What are the factors associated with educational achievement for children in kinship or foster care: A systematic review”, Children and Youth Services Review. 79 198-220.
    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.06.004

  • Tessier, NG, O'Higgins, A, Flynn, RJ (2016) “Neglect, educational success, and young people in out-of-home care: Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses”, Child Abuse and Neglect.
    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2017.06.005

  • O'Higgins, A (2015) “Safeguarding Children from Abroad: Refugee, Asylum Seeking and Trafficked Children in the UK”, International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care. 11(1) 71-72.
    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/IJMHSC-09-2014-0039

  • O'Higgins, A (2012) “Vulnerability and agency: beyond an irreconcilable dichotomy for social service providers working with young refugees in the UK.”, New directions for child and adolescent development. 2012(136) 79-91.
    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cad.20012

  • O'Higgins, AA “The destitution of young refugees in the UK”, Oxford Monitor of Forced Migration.

Reports

  • Sebba, JC, Berridge, D, Luke, N, Fletcher, J, Bell, K, Strand, S, Thomas, S, Sinclair, I, O’Higgins, A (2015) The Educational Progress of Looked After Children in England: Linking Care and Educational Data. Oxford: Rees Centre & Bristol University.

  • O'Higgins, AA, Sebba, J, Luke, N (2015) What is the impact of being in care on the educational outcomes of children? An international systematic review.

  • Luke, N, Sinclair, I, O'Higgins, AA The Educational Progress of Looked After Children in England. Technical Report 2: Relating Care to Educational Attainment and Progress.

Category

  • Research student

College affiliation

  • St Cross College

Research groups

  • Rees Centre for Research in Fostering and Education

Publications, books and other work