Tagged / Centre for Social Work & Social Policy

Highly topical BU article on BREXIT

Congratulations to Dr. Rosie Read and Prof. Lee-Ann Fenge in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences who just published in the academic journal Health and Social Care in the Community.  Their paper is called What does Brexit mean for the UK social care workforce? Perspectives from the recruitment and retention frontline’ [1].  You can’t have a more topical academic paper and it is freely available on the web through Open Access!  

The paper is based on research on research they undertook last year on the impact of Brexit on the social care workforce.  A key finding is that, irrespective of whether they employ EU/EEA workers or not, research participants have deep concerns about Brexit’s potential impact on the social care labour market. These include apprehensions about future restrictions on hiring EU/EEA nurses, as well as fears about increased competition for care staff and their organisation’s future financial viability. This article amplifies the voices of managers as an under‐researched group, bringing their perspectives on Brexit to bear on wider debates on social care workforce sustainability.

Congratulations!

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

 

Reference:

  1. Read R, Fenge L‐A. (2018) What does Brexit mean for the UK social care workforce? Perspectives from the recruitment and retention frontline.
    Health Soc Care Community [online first] :1–7.    https://doi.org/10.1111/hsc.12684

 

 

Congratulations to Anne Quinney

Anne Quinney, Senior Lecturer Social Work (HSC) who has been appointed to the Editorial Board of the highly esteemed British Journal of Social Work.

Anne recently stepped down as Editor and Co-Editor of the peer-reviewed journal Practice; social work in action.  Whilst she also recently completing her five-year term of office as Editorial Board member of the peer reviewed journal Social Work Education.

 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health

BU Social Science Input at Tasik Chini, Malaysia

A very significant aspect of our Fusion Funded Study Leave has been our invitation to spend time as Visiting Professors at the Tasik Chini Research Centre, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.  This Research Centre is primarily a natural science-based one, which is now expanding its remit to embrace social science, and which focuses on Tasik (Lake) Chini in the State of Pahang, about 4 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur. This lake, one of only two freshwater lakes in Peninsular Malaysia, is composed of a very large area of 12,568 acres, and in terms of beauty and grandeur was not dissimilar to England’s Lake District.  Google the lake and a serene vision will appear of placid waters smothered in ravishing pink and white water-lilies in a valley of opulent, teeming rain forest and rimmed by green mountains. A veritable paradise, seemingly, and also the traditional ‘native’ lands of a community of indigenous, ‘first-people’, of Malaysia, the Jakun tribe of the Orang Asli (original people).

 

Hardly surprisingly maybe that this wonderful area received coveted UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status due to its lush diversity of flora and fauna. However, although once a popular eco-tourist destination, very few tourists are spotted now and the trade has virtually died off. The reason being that the lake itself is dying with total and irreversible collapse of the ecological system predicted by 2030.  Unrestrained mining of the mineral-rich soil in the area has led to mass deforestation, while logging, itself, and destruction of the colossal swathes of the forest has made way for Oil Palm plantations. Contaminants from mines in very close proximity to the lake have caused considerable pollution and the replacement of local flora with a pernicious species of aquatic weed and algae.  To add to a catalogue of disasters, and against the wishes of the those Orang Asli communities who managed to hear of it (as they were not formally consulted) and Malaysian environmentalists, an ill conceived dam was placed in 1994 at the juncture of the Tasik Chini and the great Pahang River. This served to prevent the annual ebb and flow of the lake that made boating of tourists difficult at times but was essential to the ecosystem of the area  The lake is now stagnant, polluted and  the fish, upon which the Jakun relied on as fisher folk, frequently unfit to eat, their flesh being tainted and their bodies invaded by parasites.

 

Our role as social scientists invited to work with the Tasik Chini Research Centre is to help to bridge the gap between scientific knowledge of the problems here and the local communities. Our work is to aid amplification of their voices in speaking of their experiences of trying to survive in traditional native lands that have been violated and usurped.  With our fourth intensive field trip to Tasik Chini coming up this week and a packed itinerary of interviews and focus group discussions planned with the local villagers, our ethnographies are rapidly developing. The Orang Asli people have much to be angry about and although too often treated as backward and uneducated in Malaysia itself, they have impressed us considerably with their passion for their lands, their rage and grief at the destruction, their eloquence, their gracious hospitality to us – and their ability to organise their communities and their protests up to the highest levels of Government. Truly they are a great if much abused people and we count it a pronounced honour to be so warmly welcomed by them, and regard this as some, and maybe, the most important work of our careers.

 

We hear much in the UK of the trite, overused and sometimes disingenuous phrase ‘making a difference’ when applied to higher educational endeavour and these experiences have brought into sharp relief the differences between its application to the banal and to the truly tragic. This area is part of the traditional land of the Jakun, and as such should be protected and preserved. But much more than this it is an international site for the earth’s future generations and we must, as academics, plough back what little knowledge we have into securing this heritage.

 

Sara Ashencaen Crabtree and Jonathan Parker

Research Ethics: Insights from the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health and the Centre for Social Work, Sociology & Social Policy

Ethics contributions

Collage of research ethics contributions

Academics based in HSC have experience in a wide-range of research.  In the process of reflecting on all aspects of the research process several members of HSC have published about ethical issues that they have had to address in their own research.    This BU Blog highlights some of these key HCS papers which may help fellow academics and students across the globe address similar ethical questions.  HSC has a history of publishing on research ethics, Professor Emerita Immy Holloway wrote about the researcher who may have a dual role, or even conflicting role, as researcher and health care professional (1).  More recently, several midwifery researchers in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health wrote about the issues facing practitioners doing research in the field where they work, especially concerning the similarities and differences between professional ethics and research ethics (2-3).  Negotiating ethical paths cleaved by competing concerns between protecting research participants and over-managing the ethical process is tricky.

In her book Rainforest Asylum: The enduring legacy of colonial psychiatric care in Malaysia Dr. Ashencaen Crabtree in the Centre for Social Work, Sociology & Social Policy, addresses the problematic issue of gate-keepers in research together with the ethics of critical observation of abuse (potential or actual), as well as the ethics of advocating on behalf of research participants (4).

The fear that the ethical application process in the UK is becoming more and more cumbersome and bureaucratic has been widely recognised as highlighted by Prof. van Teijlingen and colleagues (5-6).

Research ethics review processes are also considered in terms of access to participants regarded as ‘vulnerable’ in a recently published paper by Dr. Ashencaen Crabtree (7) of ethnographers working in health settings who are seeking to understand the context of care and patient/service user experiences.  She concludes that paternalistic control of participation on the grounds of ethical protection of vulnerable people seriously disenfranchises potential participants in preventing them from being able to share their relevant, lived experiences as recipients of service provision.

Prof. van Teijlingen and BU Visiting Fellow Dr. Padam Simkhada highlighted that the social, cultural and economic contexts in which research is conducted often differ between developing and developed countries.  However they stress that researchers need to apply for research ethics approval to the relevant local authority, if national legislation requires one to do so (8).

A new and challenging area of research is the use of discussion boards as a source of research data.  In their paper Dr. Bond and BU colleagues discuss both practical and ethical dilemmas that arise in using such data (9). In earlier research, Prof. Parker of the Centre for Social Work, Sociology & Social Policy, highlighted some of the benefits and dangers of using email and the Internet for research as the potential for electronic media continues its rapid growth (10).

Obtaining informed consent is something that all researchers need to consider. However, in some research situations obtaining consent can be particularly challenging.  Prof. Hundley and colleagues discuss the ethical challenges involved in conducting a cluster randomised controlled trial, where consent needs to be considered at a number of levels (11).  In a second paper issues of consent during pregnancy, where there is the potential for harm to two participants, are considered (12).

In research into the implications of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 for social research, Prof. Parker explored the contested meanings and difficulties associated with informed consent in social research, highlighting some of the challenges raised by an almost unquestioned acceptance of biomedical research ethics in social research and questioning whether potential ‘harm’ is different in this context (13, 14). This research has led to further explorations of the potential for ethical covert research by Prof. Parker and Dr. Ashencaen Crabtree.

 

The way forward

There a plenty of challenges to research ethics in both the health and social care sectors.  Ethical considerations relate to technological developments such conducting research over the Internet or the analysis of tweets.  HSC staff will continue to publish on a range of moral dilemma as well as practical issues related to research ethics.  Moreover, academic from the two centres are planning a Masterclass on research ethics to be held in early 2014.

 

 

References

  1. Holloway, I., Wheeler, S. (1995) Ethical Issues in Qualitative Nursing Research, Nursing Ethics 2: 223-232.   Web address:  http://nej.sagepub.com/content/2/3/223.full.pdf+html
  2. Ryan, K., Brown, B., Wilkins, C., Taylor, A., Arnold, R., Angell, C., van Teijlingen, E. (2011) Which hat am I wearing today? Practicing midwives doing research, Evidence-Based Midwifery 9(1): 4-8.
  3. van Teijlingen, E.R., Cheyne, H.L. (2004) Ethics in midwifery research, RCM Midwives Journal 7 (5): 208-10.
  4. Ashencaen Crabtree, S. (2012) Rainforest Asylum: The enduring legacy of colonial psychiatric care in Malaysia, London: Whiting & Birch.
  5. van Teijlingen, E., Douglas, F., Torrance, N. (2008) Clinical governance and research ethics as barriers to UK low-risk population-based health research? BMC Public Health 8(396)                            Web address: www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-2458-8-396.pdf
  6. van Teijlingen, E. (2006) Reply to Robert Dingwall’s Plenary ‘Confronting the Anti-Democrats: The unethical Nature of Ethical Regulation in Social Science, MSo (Medical Sociology online) 1: 59-60  Web address:  www.medicalsociologyonline.org/archives/issue1/pdf/reply_rob.pdf
  7. Ashencaen Crabtree, S. (2013) Research ethics approval processes and the moral enterprise of ethnography. Ethics & Social Welfare. Advance Access: DOI:10.1080/17496535.2012.703683
  8. van Teijlingen E.R., Simkhada, P.P. (2012) Ethical approval in developing countries is not optional, Journal of Medical Ethics 38 :428-430.
  9. Bond, C.S,  Ahmed, O.H., Hind, M, Thomas, B., Hewitt-Taylor, J. (2013) The Conceptual and Practical Ethical Dilemmas of Using Health Discussion Board Posts as Research Data, Journal of Medical Internet Research 15(6):e112)  Web address: http://www.jmir.org/2013/6/e112/
  10. Parker, J.  (2008) Email, ethics and data collection in social work research: some reflections from a research project, Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate & Practice, 4 (1): 75-83.
  11. Hundley, V, Cheyne, HC, Bland, JM, Styles, M, Barnett, CA.. (2010) So you want to conduct a cluster randomised controlled trial? Lessons from a national cluster trial of early labour, Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 16: 632-638
  12. Helmreich, R.J., Hundley, V., Norman, A., Ighedosa, J., Chow, E. (2007) Research in pregnant women: the challenges of informed consent, Nursing for Women’s Health 11(6):  576-585.
  13. Parker, J., Penhale, B., Stanley, D., 2010. Problem or safeguard? Research ethics review in social care research and the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Social Care & Neurodisability, 1 (2): 22-32.
  14. Parker, J., Penhale, B., Stanley, D. (2011) Research ethics review: social care and social science research and the Mental Capacity Act 2005, Ethics & Social Welfare, 5(4): 380-400.

 

Vanora Hundley, Sara Ashencaen Crabtree, Jonathan Parker & Edwin van Teijlingen

 

 

Centre for Post Qualifying Social Work launch new Safeguarding frameworks

National Competence for Safeguarding Adults front coverNational Competence Framework for Safeguarding Adults

Learn to Care and Bournemouth University undertook this work in partnership to reflect the significant role that learning and developing plays in the delivery of high standards of social work and social care.

The framework will be invaluable to Adult Safeguarding Boards, practitioners and learning and development personnel, both in managing performance and delivering quality outcomes for people who are made vulnerable by their circumstances.

 

National Competence Framework for Safeguarding ChildrenNational Competence for Safeguarding Children front cover

This document complies with legislation, statutory guidance and best practice in relation to the safeguarding of children. Local Safeguarding Boards should take account of local needs, including an assessment of the effectiveness of multi-agency training to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people (Munro, 2011).

This document incorporates the recommendations from Professor Eileen Munro’s review into Child Protection in England and Wales.

The aim of this Framework, as with the other publication in this series – National Competence Framework for Safeguarding Adults – is to provide a baseline for standards of competence that individuals can expect to receive from those professionals and organisations, who are tasked with Safeguarding Children. It also provides employees and employers with a benchmark for the minimum standard of competence required of those who work to safeguard children across a range of sectors.

Assessing societal impact of social work research

Edwin Van TeijingenREF logoJonathan Parker
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the new assessment method for publically funded research in universities. Its controversial new ‘impact’ element rates work based on evidence of social, economic or cultural benefits generated from it. But how easily can such things be quantified, particularly in applied academic subjects like social work?

Professors Jonathan Parker and Edwin van Teijlingen from Bournemouth University have addressed these questions in their paper ‘The Research Excellence Framework (REF): Assessing the Impact of Social Work Research on Society’, published in Practice: Social Work in Action.

They argue that ‘the framework raises doubts about whether it is possible to capture fully the impact of social work research at all, and social work itself for that matter’, and stress that some pathways need to be identified to do this.

In suggesting ways to evidence impact, such as primary evaluative research, Parker and Van Teijlingen also outline the stumbling blocks. There are data protection laws and the expense and time of tying up research evaluation with another research project.

The solution, they say, is for social work research to be built and undertaken in partnership with social care agencies; that impact is everybody’s concern and practitioners and those who use social work services and their carers have a role to play in its creation and identification.

Parker and Van Teijlingen acknowledge that the REF will promote critical-thinking, engage practitioners and address the challenges of public spending restraint, but express a deep-seated concern that this new method of assessment will mark a loss of ‘conceptual, theoretical and critical’ research.

Although assessing research through improved social, economic, health, and environmental aspects of life is unlikely to be questioned, Parker and Van Teijlingen strongly argue that it should not be the only set of research outcomes recognised.  They argue that if the REF approach becomes common currency, ‘society is likely to lose the deeper understandings and meanings that have permeated thinking and, no doubt practice and behaviour.’

Both firmly believe BU’s research programme designed to enhance social work practice through continuing professional education has changed practice and influenced policy, as well as numerous other benefits to culture, public services, health, environment and quality of life.

Read Parker and Van Teijlingen’s full paper.

Critical thinking and professional judgement for social work

Professional judgement, communication and critical reflection are vital aspects of a social worker’s role and a new book, ‘Critical thinking and professional judgement for social work’, aims to empower post-qualifying students to develop these skills.

The front cover of 'Critical Thinking and Professional Judgement for Social Work'Author Lynne Rutter from the Centre for Post Qualifying Social Work at Bournemouth University explains more about professional learning, a new way of thinking and her own research.

“I am intrigued by the psychology associated with learning. It is obviously an emotional and very personal experience, especially for qualified practitioners, but it should also be an empowering experience.

“For me, professional higher education is about developing more complex thinking which has practical, reflective, personal, moral, as well as objective, conceptual and theoretical aspects. All these aspects are part of professional reasoning and judgement and ultimately professional understanding and knowledge, and so are equally important.

“My journey has led me to understand that there is a productive and empowering synergy here if no one aspect is privileged over the others and if a professional perspective becomes a focus. These were very important elements within the professional doctorate which made it very meaningful and useful for my own practice. The book brings much of this work together and aims to highlight and develop the complex thinking associated with professional learning as a key part of developing confidence and authority in a professional role.”

Order a copy of ‘Critical thinking and professional judgement for social work’.

Ground-breaking report published by BU research centre

A new report that will serve as a blueprint for effective leadership in social work and social care has just been published by the Centre for Post-Qualifying Social Work at BournemouthUniversity.

Entitled ‘Leadership and Management Development for Social Work and Social Care: Creating Leadership Pathways of Progression’, the ground-breaking report is co-authored by Professor Keith Brown, Director of the Centre, and Jane Holroyd MBE on behalf of Learn to Care, the body which represents workforce development managers from all local authorities in England.

Leadership & Management Development for Social Work & Social CareThe report provides the UK’s first framework for establishing an effective Leadership and Management pathway in social work and social care.  It addresses the major concerns and recommendations identified following the Peter Connelly case by the Social Work Reform Board (2009) and the Munro Review of Child Protection Services (2011) in terms of the call for a clear leadership and management strategy for front line social work managers.

This new framework has been developed over the past 18 months and has involved rigorous testing and piloting. A new underpinning theory and approach, Self-Leadership, which critically emphasises the quality of thinking and developing the abilities to manage self as part of improving personal and organisational performance, has been developed by Professor Brown and Jane Holroyd. Holroyd suggests this model is applicable to all professions, whatever their managerial position, as all professionals will be leaders within their own sphere of influence.

The report also highlights the critical role of assessment and evaluation to demonstrate that individuals have reached the required levels of competence and that a return on the investment is evidenced.

Conor Burns, MP for Bournemouth West, has hailed the framework as enormously important for the future of long term care in the UK.

“Reputationally for Bournemouth University, this is an incredibly important breakthrough. What we are currently doing with social work and social care training is teaching without testing and training without measuring the impact,” he said.

“As a state, we are spending millions and millions and not questioning the effectiveness of that spend”.

The Centre for Post Qualifying Social Work at Bournemouth University is at the leading edge of post qualifying social work education in the UK. It works with over one third of all local authorities in England and over 70 major employers, including training social workers within the armed forces.

The Centre’s portfolio of courses are designed to raise standards in social work practice and help those in social work and social care demonstrate their competence to work within complex situations with the most vulnerable in our society.

Of particular note, this leadership framework has been developed to meet the requirements of the NHS Leadership Qualities Framework and it is anticipated that this will be of real value, especially as we see increasing integration between the NHS and Local Authority community services in the coming months.

You can order a copy of the publication by emailing kbrown@bournemouth.ac.uk

Mental Health Week: The Rainforest Asylum

As part of Mental Health Week here at BU Dr Sara Ashencaen Crabtree from HSC has highlighted the research that underpins her forthcoming book on psychiatric care in Malaysia.

The annual commemoration that is Mental Health Day this year promotes the theme: ‘The great push: investing in mental health’. As a theme it serves to underline both the enormous, global burden of mental illnesses that nations grapple with and the commensurate need for effective psychiatric services to keep pace with these needs. Another very important aspect of Mental Health Day is to highlight the hidden and stigmatised voices of the sufferers of mental illness. This was the inspiration behind my research into service user perspectives in Malaysia. The culmination of many years of research into this highly neglected issue has seen the completion of my book:  A Rainforest Asylum: The influences of colonial psychiatry in Malaysia, which will be published later this autumn under Whiting & Birch publishers.

This study first started out as the basis of my doctoral research, but has since been revised to incorporate data that extends the scope of the topic both internationally and historically.  To this end, the study used an intensive and extensive ethnographic methodology in the penetration and analysis of institutional care in the region, where the majority of psychiatric patients were long-stay residents. Within the walls of one particular psychiatric institution, where fieldwork was carried out close relationships with the residents, as well as the staff, enabled me to gather invaluable and hitherto untold narratives. These provided rich seams of information of sequestered lives and diachronic, as well as often anachronistic, institutional practices, which overturned many of my previously held assumptions. These stories, combined with triangulation data-gathering strategies, yielded unique insights into, not only contemporary institutional care in Malaysia, but even into its more distant colonial roots.  The aim and relevance of The Rainforest Asylum, therefore, is that it captures the fascinating and otherwise lost voices of Malaysian service users, in a cultural context where a scientific, positivistic discourse prevails. However, its aims are more far reaching in that while providing an account that straddles the fault lines of both medical sociology and medical anthropology, it also critically engages with intriguing historiographic accounts of imperial psychiatry in the British Empire, as well as that of colonial France and the Netherlands. These serve to illuminate the ideologies and practices underpinning the colonial psychiatric mission across the nineteenth century in Asia and Africa, and which today hold identifiable influences, both for good and ill, in contemporary psychiatric services in post-colonial nations.

For details of Sara’s previous publications, see her profile on BURO.