Department of Education

Dr Nikki Luke

Research Fellow

Nikki is a Research Fellow at the Rees Centre for Research in Fostering and Education.  Her work aims to identify ways for foster carers and educators to support looked after children. Research topics include mental health and well-being, and experiences in education and in care. She supervises doctoral and master’s students on related topics, and teaches sessions on the PGCE course as well as on the use of systematic review techniques in the social sciences.

Nikki did her PhD on the social understanding, empathy and peer relationships of children in care. Her recent projects include an evaluation of foster carer support groups, an exploration of how experiences in care and education are linked to GCSE outcomes, and the development of a training and assessment package that brings together foster carers and schools to support children’s well-being. She was also part of the Evaluation Coordinators team on Wave 1 of the DfE’s Children’s Social Care Innovations Programme.

Nikki is an Associate of the Higher Education Academy and is an Associate Lecturer in Psychology at The Open University.

  • Part of the editorial board for Developmental Child Welfare
  • Reviewer for Child Abuse Review, Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Cognition and Emotion, Child and Family Social Work, Children and Youth Services Review, Development and Psychopathology, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, Evaluation and Program Planning, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
  • Reviewer for the Economic and Social Research Council (proposals) and the National Institute for Health Research (final report)

Funded Research Projects:

  • The Effectiveness of an Enhanced Book-Gifting Intervention for Improving Reading Outcomes for Children in Care (CI)

    2018-2020

    ESRC, £745,372

  • The Educational Attainment and Progress of Children in Need and Children in Care (Co-PI)

    2017-2019

    Nuffield Foundation, £314,052

  • Improving the emotional, social and psychological well-being of looked after children: testing the Shared Training and Assessment for Well-Being package (STrAWB) (PI)

    2017-2018

    Sir Halley Stewart Trust, £35,687, and anonymous donor, £40,000

  • Evaluation co-ordinator for the Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme (CI)

    2014-2016

    Department for Education, £404,383

  • The Evaluation of the London Schools Excellence Fund: Children in Care (CI)

    2014-2015

    Greater London Authority, £80,460

  • Review of Mental Health Interventions for Looked After Children (PI)

    2014

    NSPCC, £9,500

Doctoral Applications

Nikki welcomes doctoral applications from students interested in the following research areas:

  • Children in out-of-home care, in particular:
  • Educational experiences and outcomes
  • Mental health and well-being
  • Peer relationships and social understanding
  • Use of mixed methods
  • Secondary analysis of administrative datasets

Publications:

  • Featured Publications

    • 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.

    • Luke, N, Sinclair, I, Woolgar, M, Sebba, JC (2014) What works in preventing and treating poor mental health in looked after children?. London and Oxford: NSPCC/The Rees Centre.

    • Luke, N, Banerjee, R (2013) “Differentiated associations between childhood maltreatment experiences and social understanding: A meta-analysis and systematic review”, Developmental Review.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.dr.2012.10.001

  • Books

    • Coleman, J, Vellacott, J, Solari, G, Solari, M, Luke, N, Sebba, J (2016) Teenagers in Foster Care. Oxford, England: Rees Centre/University of Oxford/University of Bedfordshire/University of Gothenburg.

  • Journal articles

    • Luke, N, O'Higgins, A (2018) “Is the Care System to Blame for the Poor Educational Outcomes of Children Looked After? Evidence from a Systematic Review and National Database Analysis”, Children Australia. 43(2) 135-151.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1017/cha.2018.22

    • Luke, N, Adams, P (2018) “Good practice in parent and child fostering”, International Journal of Birth & Parent Education.

    • Sebba, JC, Luke, N, Berridge, D (2017) “The educational progress of young people in out-of-home care”, Developing Practice: the child youth and family work journalE Fernandez (ed.) .

    • Weistra, S, Luke, N (2017) “Adoptive parents’ experiences of social support and attitudes towards adoption”, Adoption and Fostering. 41(3) 228-241.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1177/0308575917708702

    • Braithwaite, EC, O'Connor, RM, Degli-Esposti, M, Luke, N, Bowes, L (2017) “Modifiable predictors of depression following childhood maltreatment: a systematic review and meta-analysis.”, Translational psychiatry. 7(7) e1162+.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1038/tp.2017.140

    • Luke, N, Banerjee, R (2013) “Differentiated associations between childhood maltreatment experiences and social understanding: A meta-analysis and systematic review”, DEVELOPMENTAL REVIEW. 33(1) 1-28.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.dr.2012.10.001

    • Luke, N, Banerjee, R (2013) “Situating maltreatment in the social context: Challenges for research”, DEVELOPMENTAL REVIEW. 33(3) 279-284.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.dr.2013.07.001

    • Luke, N, Banerjee, R (2013) “Differentiated associations between childhood maltreatment experiences and social understanding: A meta-analysis and systematic review”, Developmental Review. 33(1) 1-28.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.dr.2012.10.001

    • Luke, N, Banerjee, R (2013) “Situating maltreatment in the social context: Challenges for research”, Developmental Review. 33(3) 279-284.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.dr.2013.07.001

    • Luke, N (2013) “Teaching Psychology Online: Tips and Strategies for Success”, PSYCHOLOGIST. 26(10) 766-766.

    • Banerjee, R, Bennett, M, Luke, N (2012) “Children’s Reasoning About Self-Presentation Following Rule Violations: The Role of Self-Focused Attention”, Child Development. 83(5) 1805-1821.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01813.x

    • Luke, N, Banerjee, R (2012) “Maltreated Children’s Social Understanding and Empathy: A Preliminary Exploration of Foster Carers’ Perspectives”, Journal of Child and Family Studies. 21(2) 237-246.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-011-9468-x

    • Banerjee, R, Bennett, M, Luke, N (2010) “Upsetting others and provoking ridicule: Children’s reasoning about the self-presentational consequences of rule violation”, British Journal of Developmental Psychology. 28(4) 941-947.

    • Luke, N, Coyne, SM (2008) “Fostering self-esteem: exploring adult recollections on the influence of foster parents”, Child & Family Social Work. 13(4) 402-410.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2206.2008.00565.x

    • Banerjee, R, Bennett, M, Luke, N “Children’s reasoning about the self-presentational consequences of apologies and excuses following rule violations”, British Journal of Developmental Psychology. 28(4) 799-815.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01813.x

  • Reports

    • Meakings, S, Sebba, JC, Luke, N (2017) “What is known about the placement and outcomes of siblings in foster care? An international literature review.”, In: What is known about the placement and outcomes of siblings in foster care? An international literature review.. Oxford: The Rees Centre.

    • Sebba, JC, Luke, N, Rees, A, Plumridge, G, Rodgers, L, Hafesji, K, Rowsome-Smith, C (2016) “Evaluation of the London Fostering Achievement Programme”, In: Evaluation of the London Fostering Achievement Programme. Oxford: The Rees Centre.

    • 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.

    • Cosis Brown, H, Sebba, JC, Luke, N (2015) The recruitment, assessment, support and supervision of LGBT foster carers. Oxford: The Rees Centre.

    • 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.

    • Luke, N, Sebba, JC (2014) Effective parent and child fostering. Oxford: The Rees Centre.

    • Höjer, I, Sebba, JC, Luke, N (2014) The impact of fostering on foster carers’ children. Oxford: The Rees Centre.

    • Cosis Brown, H, Sebba, JC, Luke, N (2014) The role of the supervising social worker in foster care. Oxford: The Rees Centre.

    • Luke, N, Sinclair, I, Woolgar, M, Sebba, JC (2014) What works in preventing and treating poor mental health in looked after children?. London and Oxford: NSPCC/The Rees Centre.

    • Sebba, J, Luke, N (2013) Supporting each other: An international literature review on peer contact between foster carers. Oxford: Rees Centre, University of Oxford.

    • Sebba, J, Luke, N (2013) How are Foster Carers Selected? An international literature review of instruments used within foster care selection. Oxford: Rees Centre.

    • 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.

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