Andrew is a Research Officer at the Rees Centre. He is currently working on various projects, including the evaluations of DfE policy programmes concerning Virtual Schools (extension of duties to children with a social worker, and pupil premium plus for post-16 young people in care, and care leavers). Andrew is also working on a project about placing children with disabilities with adoptive families, funded by a group of regional adoption agencies.
Andrew has a background as a teacher and senior leader in a special school, and as a teacher trainer, particularly focused around inclusive education. At the Rees Centre, Andrew has previously worked on the Alex Timpson Attachment and Trauma Programme in Schools, primarily involving qualitative analysis of teacher interview data from schools that have had attachment and trauma training and a systematic review of recent literature.
Andrew’s primary research interests are around the influence of young people’s adoptive identity on educational experience and outcomes. His doctoral research focused on the intersection of adoption, education and identity which included analysis of data from a range of sources including the Wales Adoption Cohort Study and Understanding Society.
Brown, A., Waters, C. S., & Shelton, K. H. (2017). A systematic review of the school performance and behavioural and emotional adjustments of children adopted from care. Adoption & Fostering, 41(4), 346-368.
Brown, A., Waters, C. S., & Shelton, K. H. (2019). The educational aspirations and psychological well-being of adopted young people in the UK. Adoption & Fostering, 43(1), 46-59.
Áine Kelly is a Care Experienced Research Officer at the Rees Centre. Her research interests focus on understanding and promoting the physical and mental health of children and young people in public care. Áine completed her DPhil with the Rees Centre in 2022 where she used mixed methods (including creative methods with young people) to look at factors associated with the ability of the care system to meet the health needs of young people in care.
Áine was recently awarded a Spark grant from the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care to assess the feasibility of implementing a co-produced supplementary health measure for young people in residential and foster care. Áine is also part of the team working on the Future of Care research project with Become to co-design a new tool to measure care leavers success. She is also working with the Medical Sociology & Health Experiences Research Group at the University of Oxford to explore care leavers’ transitions to independence, which will be published on Socialcaretalk.org for prospective care leavers, educators, services providers and policy makers.
Ellie is a Postdoctoral Research Officer in the Rees Centre and is currently working on the Children’s Information project.
Ellie is currently working in the Nuffield Foundation’s flagship project, Children’s Information (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), which aims to improving lives of families and children through better listening and better data. In this project, she is working closely with the School Readiness team at Rochdale as the site leader. Her earlier work at Rees centre focused on the methodological aspects of cost effectiveness evaluation as well as quantitative data analysis, focusing on policies for children and families.
Priya Tah is a Research Officer at the Rees Centre, University of Oxford.
She previously completed work on the Reading Together Programme RCT, looking at a reading intervention for children in care, and was also part of the Timpson Programme research team, evaluating the impact of the Alex Timpson Attachment and Trauma and Programme in Schools. Priya is currently PI across three projects: Experiences of Black and Asian Kinship carers in London and the Midlands; Independent Evaluation of the Mockingbird Programme; and Pathways into Higher Education of young people with a social worker. Priya is also working with Adoption Plus to analyse the STEP assessment tool (a web-based tool aimed at improving the provision of adoption support in the UK). With the exception of TASO, which falls under the Post-16 theme, the majority of Priya’s current research relates to the themes of ‘Permanence’ and ‘Mental Health and Well-being.’
Priya’s research interests lie in improving outcomes for children and young people, focusing on children in need (including children in care), mental health and well-being. She has extensive research experience working with vulnerable children and young people. Before joining the Rees Centre in 2019 she worked at Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick for 10 years. Her research explored the outcomes of children and young people with long-term physical illnesses and diagnosed mental health conditions.
Nikki is a Research Fellow and has been at the Rees Centre since its launch in 2012.
She has a PhD in Developmental Psychology, focusing on the perceptions of self and others and how this relates to peer relationships for children in care. At the Rees Centre she has used mixed methods and systematic review techniques to explore a range of topics relating to the support of children in care and children with a social worker. She is a co-founder of the Children’s Social Care Data User Group, and was also part of the Evaluation Coordinators team on Wave 1 of the DfE’s Children’s Social Care Innovations Programme. Her recent research has fallen under three main themes:
- Supporting the well-being of children in care and care leavers. A 3-year study funded by NIHR trialled a model of training, assessment and feedback that brought together foster carers and designated teachers to support the well-being of children in care across the home and primary school contexts. A current study funded by Become seeks to understand what ‘success’ means to care leavers, and how this might be measured.
- Improving educational outcomes for children in care and children in need. Two studies funded by the Nuffield Foundation explored how experiences in care and education are linked to GCSE outcomes; Nikki led the analysis of national datasets. She is now part of the team evaluating the extension of Virtual School Heads’ duties and the Pupil Premium Plus.
- Supporting local authorities to make the best use of data and other information to inform services for children and families. On the Nuffield-funded Children’s Information project Nikki is mapping how information is collected, collated, analysed and used, and works with sites to identify how this can be improved.
Emeritus Professor of Education in the Rees Centre, engaging in research mainly on the education of vulnerable children including children in care.
Research includes factors that contribute to better educational outcomes, a RCT reading intervention combining book-gifting and paired reading and a national research programme developing an evidence base on attachment and trauma training in schools.
- Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences since 2011
- ESRC Peer Reviewer
- Regular reviewer for six journals
Helen joined the Rees Centre as a researcher in February 2018, to work on the Alex Timpson Attachment and Trauma Programme in Schools.
Helen, previously a researcher at the Centre for Child and Family Research since 2013, is currently working on the evaluation for the Alex Timpson Programme (2017-2022), and a Hadley Trust funded project to highlight good practice in local authorities working with schools to develop attachment and trauma informed practice (2021-2022). Other projects also include an exploratory study into the inclusion of attachment and trauma awareness in PGCEs (2021), the Mockingbird Family Model Evaluation in foster care (2019), and the Australian Open Adoptions Outcomes Study, for Barnardos Australia, with Professor Harriet Ward. Helen is a co-author of the recently published open access book “Outcomes of Open Adoption from Care: An Australian Contribution to an International Debate”, available to download here.
Helen has also been an integral member of the Cost Calculator for Children’s Services (CCfCS) team with Professor Lisa Holmes, at Sussex University. Helen’s detailed knowledge of the CCfCS tool itself, the bottom-up costing methodology used to develop unit costs for social care processes, and skills in time-use data collection techniques has enhanced her expertise has a social care researcher. In particular, understanding the link between children’s needs, costs and outcomes.
Helen is interested in relational approaches in education and social care, including: how education systems and settings support pupils who have experienced attachment and trauma issues, particularly those who are care experienced; the resources and training available to education, and social care staff to take on supportive roles; the protective factors that education settings provide to vulnerable pupils; and the impact of effective support through the life course of care experienced people.
In 2020 Helen started her DPhil in the Department of Education, part-time and continues to work as a researcher at the Rees Centre. Her doctorate will explore how pupils, who have experienced abuse and neglect, develop and describe trusting positive relationships with school staff.
Ward, H., Tregagle, S., Moggach, L., & Trivedi, H. (2021) Outcomes of Open Adoption from Care: An Australian Contribution to an International Debate. London: Palgrave Macmillan/Springer. Available to download here: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-76429-6
McDermid, S., Trivedi, H., Holmes, L., & Boddy, J. (2021). Foster carers’ receptiveness to new innovations and programmes: An example from the introduction of social pedagogy to UK foster care. The British Journal of Social Work. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcab152
Tregeagle, S., Moggach, L., Trivedi, H., & Ward, H. (2019). Previous life experiences and the vulnerability of children adopted from out-of-home care: The impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences and child welfare decision making. Children and Youth Services Review, 96, 55-63. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.11.028
Harriet Ward is Emeritus Professor of Child and Family Research at Loughborough University. She is currently working with the Rees Centre as an Honorary Research Fellow.
In 2002 she founded Loughborough’s Centre for Child and Family Research (CCFR), an independently funded research centre designed to produce methodologically sound, policy relevant research on issues concerning children’s social care. She directed the centre until she stepped down in 2014.
Harriet has over 30 years of experience both as a research director and field researcher, as an adviser to policymakers and service providers, and as a social work practitioner. She was academic adviser to the joint DH/DfE research initiative on safeguarding children and chaired the DfE working party on neglect. She has given invited expert evidence to parliamentary committees and inquiries on looked after children, child and family social work, child protection and foster care. She represents England on the Board of EUSARF (European Scientific Association on Residential and Family Care for Children and Adolescents), and is a founder member of the international network of research on transitions to adulthood from care (INTRAC). In 2019 she co-founded the International Research Network on Infants and Child Protection Systems (https://www.irnicp.org), which she co-directs. She has a EUSARF lifetime achievement award and was awarded a CBE for services to children and families in 2012.
Harriet joined the Department in 2018, and acts as a consultant to (and participant in) the programme of research on fostering and education situated in the Rees Centre.
Harriet’s research interests focus on the relationship between the state and the family both now and in the past. Her research programme includes: the construction and piloting of a methodology for assessing the outcomes of local authority care (the Looking After Children Project); studies of the relationship between costs and outcomes in children’s services; an empirical study of the experiences of children who entered the Waifs and Strays Society (Children’s Society) in the nineteenth century; and an eight year prospective longitudinal study of children identified in infancy as likely to suffer significant harm. She has recently completed a major study (with Barnardo’s Australia) of the outcomes of open adoption in New South Wales and is currently working on a study designed to produce national guidance on supporting vulnerable women throughout pregnancy including when infant removal is deemed necessary. Findings from Harriet’s research programme have underpinned developments in policy and practice concerning child protection, looked after children and adoption in the UK, the USA, Australia and parts of Europe.
Funded Research Projects (Current)
- Improving Safe, Ethical and Effective Practice when the State Intervenes to Protect Newborn Babies at Birth: co-designing and testing an evidence informed guideline
Funded by the Nuffield Foundation (and led by Lancaster University) 2019-2022
- Parker, R., Ward, H., Jackson, S., Aldgate, J. and Wedge, P. (eds) (1991) Looking After Children: Assessing Outcomes in Child Care, London: HMSO
- Ward, H. (ed) (1995) Looking After Children: Research into Practice, London: HMSO
- Ward, H. and Rose, W. (eds) (2002) Approaches to Needs Assessment in Children’s Services, London: Jessica Kingsley
- Scott, J. and Ward, H. (eds)(2005), Promoting the Wellbeing of Children, Families and Communities, London: Jessica Kingsley
- Ward, H., Munro, E., Dearden, C. (2006) Babies and Young children in Care: Life Pathways, Decision-Making and Practice, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
- Ward, H., Holmes, L. and Soper, J. (2008) Costs and Consequences of Placing Children in Care London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
- Davies, C. and Ward, H. (2012) Safeguarding Children Across Services: Messages from Research, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
- Ward, H., Brown, R. and Westlake, D. (2012) Safeguarding Babies and Very Young Children from Abuse and Neglect, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
- Ward, H., Moggach, L. Tregeagle, S. and Trivedi, H. (2022) Outcomes of Open Adoption from Care: An Australian Contribution to an International Debate, London: Palgrave MacMillan and Springer Nature Switzerland.
- Guest editor, Children and Society (1998).: Special Edition: Assessing Outcomes in Child Care: An International Perspective
- Guest editor, Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies (2009), Special Issue: Care Matters: Improving Outcomes for Children in Care, Vol 4, Issue Two
- Guest editor: Children and Youth Services Review (2011) Special Issue : Leaving Care
- Guest editor: Child and Family Social Work (2021) Special Issue: Young people’s transitions from care to adulthood: exploring historical narratives
- Guest editor: Child Abuse Review (forthcoming 2022) Special Issue: Child protection during the perinatal period: Innovation in assessment and practice
- Book series editor: Ward, H. Outcomes for Vulnerable Children (2004- 2014) Jessica Kingsley Publishers
- Book series editor: Davies, C. and Ward, H,: Safeguarding Children Across Services (2010-
2013) Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Reports: (peer reviewed)
- Brown, R. and Ward, H. (2012) Decision-making within a Child’s Timeframe, Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre Report to Department for Education, London: Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre
- Ward, H., Brown, R. and Hyde Dryden, G. (2014) Assessing Parental Capacity to Change when Children are on the Edge of Care: An Overview of Research Evidence, Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre Report, London: Department for Education
- Brandon, M., Glaser, D., Maguire, S., McCrory, E., Lushey, C. and Ward, H. (2014) Missed opportunities: indicators of neglect – what is ignored, why, and what can be done? Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre Report , London , Department for Education
- Brown, R., Ward, H., Blackmore, J., Thomas, C. and Hyde-Dryden, G. (2016)
Children identified in infancy as likely to suffer, significant harm: a prospective longitudinal study: age eight follow-up, London: Department for Education
- Broadhurst, K., Alrouh, B., Mason, C., Ward, H., Holmes, L., Ryan, M. and Bowyer, S., (2018). Born into care: Newborns in care proceedings in England. London: Nuffield Family Justice Observatory
- Mason, C., Broadhurst, K., Ward, H., Barnett, A. and Holmes, L. (2022) Born into Care: Developing best practice guidelines for when the state intervenes at birth. Nuffield Family Justice Observatory: London
- Mason, C., Broadhurst, K., Ward, H., Barnett, A. and Holmes, L. (2022) Born into Care: Draft best practice guidelines for when the state intervenes at birth. Nuffield Family Justice Observatory: London
- Ward, H., Holmes, L. and Soper, J. (2004) The development of unit costs for social work processes , in Curtis, L. and Netten, A. (eds) Unit Costs of Health and Social Care 2004, Canterbury, PSSRU
- Holmes, L. and Ward, H. (2006) ‘Costs and Outcomes for Looked after Children’, in J. Barber, P. Dudding and R. Flynn (eds) Promoting Resilient Development in Children Receiving Care. Ottowa: University of Ottawa Press.
- Scott, J., Ward, H. and Hill, M. (2007) ‘The health of children in residential care’ in Kendrick. A. (ed) Residential Child care: Prospects and Challenges, Research Highlights in Social Work Series, Jessica Kingsley Publishers
- Ward, H. (2008) ‘Legal and policy frameworks’ in Stein, M. and Munro, E.R. (Eds) Young People’s Transitions from Care to Adulthood: International Perspectives, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, pp 256-276
- Ward, H. and Glaser, D. (2009) ‘The developmental needs of children: new evidence for assessment’ .In Howarth, J. The Child’s World, Second Edition, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, pp160-173
- Ward, H. and Munro, E. (2010) ‘Very young children in care in England: Issues for foster care’ in Fernandez, E. and Barth, R. (eds) How does foster care work? International evidence of outcomes, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Ward, H. and Brown, R. (2013) ‘Safeguarding children in the early years’ in Pugh, G. and Duffy. B. Contemporary Issues in the Early Years , London: Sage, pp. 235-251
Ward, H. (2017) ‘Foundling Hospital Token’ in Doel, M. Social Work in 42 Objects , London: Kirwin Maclean Associates, pp 7-8
Ward, H. (2018) Changing views on safeguarding children since 1987. In Jones, S. (ed) Thirty Years of Social Change, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, pp 99-107
- Barlow, J., Ward, H. and Rayns, G. Risk assessment during the prenatal period. In Howarth, J. and Platt, D. (2018) The Child’s World (Third Edition), London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, pp573-593
- Polnay, L. and Ward, H. (2000) ‘Promoting the health of looked after children’, (editorial) British Medical Journal, 2000:320, pp 661-2
- Ward, H., Jones, H., Lynch, M. and Skuse, T. (2002) ‘Issues concerning the health of looked after children’, Adoption and Fostering: 26, 4, 1-11
- Ward, H., Skuse, T. and Munro, E. (2005) ‘The best of times, the worst of times: children’s views of care and accommodation’ Adoption and Fostering, 29, 1, 8-17
- Munro, E., Holmes, L. and Ward, H.(2006) ‘Researching vulnerable groups: Ethical issues and the effective conduct of research in local authorities, British Journal of Social Work 35(7), pp1023-1038
- Munro, E., Stein, M. and Ward, H. (2006) ‘Transitions to adulthood of vulnerable young people: cross national comparisons ‘ International Journal of Child & Family Welfare.
- Poirier, M-A, Chamberland, C. and Ward, H. (2006) ‘Les interactions entre les adultes qui prennent soins d’un enfant place en famille d’accueil: une etude sur les pratiques quotidiennes de collaboration’ La Revue Internationale de l’Education Familiale: Recherches et Interventions, Vol 20, pp51-85
- Ward, H. and Holmes, L.(2008) ‘Calculating the costs of local authority care for children with contrasting needs’, Child and Family Social Work, 13 (1), pp 80-90
- Sempik, J., Ward, H. and Darker, I. (2008) ‘Emotional and behavioural difficulties of children and young people at entry into care’, Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 13 (2) 221-233
- Darker, I., Ward, H. and Caulfield, L. (2008) ‘An analysis of offending in young people looked after by local authorities’, Youth Justice 8(2) :134-148
- Munro, E.R. and Ward, H. (2008) ‘Balancing parents’ and very young children’s rights in care proceedings : decision-making in the context of the Human Rights Act 1998 ‘, Child and Family Social Work 13 (2) 227-234
- Ward, H. (2009) ‘Patterns of instability: moves within the English care system: their reasons, contexts and consequences’, Child and Youth Services Review, 31: 1113-1118
- Ward, H. (2011) Continuities and discontinuities: issues concerning the establishment of a persistent sense of self amongst care leavers, Children and Youth Services Review 33 (12) :2512-2518
- Stein, M., Ward, H. and Courtney, M. (2011) Editorial: Transitions to Adulthood of Care Leavers: International Perspectives, Special issue, Children and Youth Services Review, Volume 33, Issue 12
- Holmes, L.,Ward, H. and McDermid, S. (2012) Calculating and comparing the costs of multidimensional treatment foster care in English local authorities, Children and Youth Services Review 34(11), 2141-2146,
- Holmes, L.J., Landsverk, J., Ward, H., Rolls-Reutz, J., Saldana, L. and Chamberlain, P. (2014 ) Workload and cost calculator methods for estimating casework time in child welfare services: a cross-national comparison, Children and Youth Services Review Volume 39, April 2014, 169-176
- Brown, R. and Ward, H. (2014) Cumulative jeopardy: How professional responses to evidence of abuse and neglect further jeopardise children’s life chances by being out of kilter with timeframes for early childhood development. Children and Youth Services Review Volume 47 (3) December 2014, 260-267
- McDermid, Samantha; Hyde-Dryden, Georgia; and Ward, Harriet (2015) Looking for long-term outcomes: What early interventions are needed for children and young people at risk of maltreatment in England?, Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies: Volume 15 (2), Article 5.
Available online at: http://arrow.dit.ie/ijass/vol15/iss2/5
- Ward, H. and Brown, R. (2016) Cumulative jeopardy when children are at risk of significant harm: a response to Bywaters , Children and Youth Services Review, Volume 61, February 2016, 222-229
- Lushey, C., Barlow, J., Rayns, G. and Ward, H. (2018) Assessing parental capacity when there are concerns about an unborn child: pre-birth assessment guidance and practice in England, Child Abuse Review, 27(2) 97-107
- Tregeagle, S. , Moggach, L., Trivedi, H. & Ward, H. (2019)’Previous life experiences and the vulnerability of children adopted from out-of-home care: The impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences and child welfare decision making,’ Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 96(3), pages 55-63.
- Ward, H., Brown, R., Blackmore, J., Hyde-Dryden, G. and Thomas, C. (2019): ‘Identifying parents who show capacity to make and sustain positive changes when infants are at risk of significant harm’, Developing Practice 54, pp 46-60
- Ward, H. (2021) ‘Transitions to adulthood from care in late 19th Century England’, Child and Family Social Work, Vol 26 (2) pp 222-230
- Stein, M. & Ward, H. (2021) Editorial: Transitions from care to adulthood: Persistent issues across time and place, Child and Family Social Work, Vol 26 (2), pp 215-221
- Broadhurst, K., Mason, C., Ward, H. (2022) Urgent care proceedings for new-born babies in England and Wales – time for a fundamental review. International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, 2022, 00, 1–31