The Centre has over 20 years of experience in child protection research and has developed an extensive portfolio of cutting-edge research. Much of this work has been conducted in projects working closely with policy and practice partners. Current research priorities focus on Rethinking Child Protection, Politics of Child Protection and Social Work, Child Care Policy and Practice, Adoption, Fathering, Parental Support, Child Neglect and Abuse, Social Work Education, the experiences of Children Looked After and Leaving Care, Welfare Inequalities; Child and parents living apart.
Current and recent research projects
Domestic Abuse and Child Protection (2022-24) Nuffield Foundation, partnership between Sheffield (PI), Huddersfield and Kingston Universities, Safe Lives and Research in Practice (Contact: B.M.Featherstone@hud.ac.uk)
Evaluating Models of care, best practice and care pathways for women who are dependent on drugs (2022-24) NIHR, Led by Kings College London, (Contact: B.M.Featherstone@hud.ac.uk)
Review of Children’s Services Formulae research project. DCLG, (2017-2019) with LG Futures, (Paul Bywaters, Co-I)
Identifying and understanding the link between system conditions and welfare inequalities in statutory children’s social care services. Nuffield Foundation, (2018-20) (Paul Bywaters, Co-I)
Child welfare inequalities project (2015-2017) Nuffield Foundation with Universities of Coventry (lead), Cardiff, Nottingham, Queens Belfast, Stirling & Edinburgh. Project aim was to establish child welfare inequalities as a core concept in policy making, practice and research in the UK and internationally. The project has had major impacts with policymakers in all four countries of the UK and Ofsted including the development of joined up policies across government departments, changes in local authority policies in relation to supporting families in poverty, changes in the data collected by Ofsted and changes to mapping of area-level deprivation and its links with child protection practices.
(PI: P.Bywaters@hud.ac.uk; Co-I: B.M.Featherstone@hud.ac.uk)
The Role of the social worker in adoption, (2016-2018) British Association of Social Work, combined research methods with public forms of enquiry including calls for evidence and hearings to maximise their outreach and stimulate public debate. As such, it attracted a great deal of political and professional attention.
National evaluation of the de-Institutionalisation of children’s care in Bulgaria (2012-2021) Oak Foundation, with The Know How Centre for Alternative Care, Bulgaria (Project lead). Now in its third phase and using an action research approach using findings working with key partners to influence a shift in thinking to inform child care reform to inform child care reform. This has involved dialogue with key stakeholders including Coalition for Childhood 2025, and National and International partners to preventing the chaotic placement of children and influence change in the law concerning the function of small group homes for children. Contact: B.Percy-Smith@hud.ac.uk
Publications and research outputs:
Current & recent PhD projects
• The care system and education: A phenomenological approach to care leavers' experiences of university, Belinda Bluff
• Excluded from fatherhood: How do young men of the British care system experience parenthood? Elizabeth Gilmartin
• An inquiry into the contextual barriers to the process of deinstitutionalisation of childcare in Bulgaria, Evgenia Ivanova
• Exploring the use of coaching in child protection, Suzanne Triggs
• Domestic Abuse and Child Protection: A intersectional approach, Greig Ferguson
• Birth mothers’ understandings of mental distress, Siobhan Beckwith
• Exploring staff perceptions of young people in Secure Children’s Homes, Paula Phillips
• Black children, skin, hair and social work, Zoe Thomas
This cluster involves a collaboration with Creative Minds [add link ] and the Centre for Applied Health Research and focuses on the development of understanding and alternative approaches to support mental well-being. We are interested in working with service users and community partners to community-based alternatives to medical approaches for supporting mental well-being. Particular emphasis is placed on the role of creative, physical and nature-based activities.
Current and recent projects
Understanding young people’s experiences of creative provision, (2021-22) Creative Minds and SWYPHT Barry Percy-Smith and Eric Greenwood.
What works in creative provision for young people to improve wellbeing (2021-22). Evoke Kirklees Creative Health Partnership (KCHP) Barry Percy-Smith and Eric
Evaluating soft outcomes (2018-2019) with Creative Minds and People’s Voice Media, Health Foundation Q Exchange. Barry Percy-Smith and Amanda Edmondson
We are unbeatable (2020-21) Kirklees Council, funded by Sport England, Barry Percy-Smith with Nicola Stenberg and Hira Younas (Huddersfield Business School).
Young Creative Minds: developing creative approaches with children and young people for managing their mental health, (2017-2018) SWYPFT, (Barry Percy-Smith, Sarah Kendall and Mike Lucock
Current & recent PhD projects
A realist evaluation of how community-based arts activities influence the identity change process in recovery from serious mental illness, Louisa Peters
Young people, mental health and transition; Exploring the role of creative arts. Stacey Durham
Promoting learning of lived mental health experience through the use of selected media resources, Gary Morris
This research theme is concerned with the theory and practice of children and young people’s participation as active citizens. The particular focus of current research is on participation, empowerment and social and political engagement of young people. Current projects are focused on ‘alternatives’ to mainstream approaches and new forms of participation, in particular expressions of young people’s participation in everyday life settings, young people’s own understandings and expressions of meaningful participation, online participation, and explorations of participation and empowerment for marginalised groups. We have considerable expertise in participatory and action research approaches also provide support for organisations and services who seek to integrate and embed children and young people’s participation in ongoing learning and development processes.
PARTISPACE: Styles and Spaces of youth participation (2015-18) EU - H2020
The PARTISPACE project focused on analysing ways in which young people participate in formal, non-formal and informal settings and how this is supported or inhibited by local youth policies and youth work? The project involved partners from: Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the UK. For further information go to: http://partispace.eu/
'Lowering the Voting age in the UK' (2019-20) Leverhulme, with Jon Tonge University of Liverpool and Tom Loughran
An evaluation of historical and contemporary debates on lowering the voting age: This research project analyses historical and contemporary debates concerning voting age reform, youth democratic participation, rights and responsibilities of youth and adult citizenship. For further information: A.J.Mycock@hud.ac.uk
Children, Identity and Citizenship Europe Association www.cicea.eu
Cicea is a European network with a focus on supporting citizenship education and identity formation in young people in Europe and the world. For further information: A.J.Mycock@hud.ac.uk
Participation experiences and Empowerment of Roma Youth (PEER) (2015 -2016) EU DG Justice (JUST/2013/FRAC/AG/6230)
PEER (Participation and Empowerment Experiences) for Roma young, with Babes-Bolya University, Romania and UcLAN, UK. Involving young Roma in 9 countries exploring how they might become more empowered to participate in decisions and actions that shape their lives. www.peeryouth.eu (Professional practice guide: (http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/31030/).
Current & recent PhD projects
The Just Futures Centre provides a home for scholars concerned with issues of migration and the causes and consequences of the movement of people across international borders. With a particular focus on how migration is experienced by children, young people, women and families, research takes a variety of empirical approaches, including qualitative and participatory methodologies as well as often being applied and practice based. Underpinning this work is an agenda to ensure our research makes a difference and improves the well-being and lives of children, rights, fundamental freedoms and inherent dignity and worth.
Refugee Housing Pathways, (2021) European Commission’s Asylum and Migration Integration Fund/Home Office (Phil Brown)
Refugee Integration in Yorkshire and Humber, (2019-20) European Commission’s Asylum and Migration Integration Fund/Home Office (Phil Brown)
Feminist responses and survival strategies in the Covid-19 pandemic: Precarities and strategies for surviving/coping. (2020-21) Rapid response COVID-19-related research, UoH (Kate Smith)
Making space in Covid-19: Online mixed-methods, mapping needs, resilience and visions for change with marginalised women in UK. (2020-21) CV19 URF fund (Kate Smith)
Feminist Spaces: Occupying Hostile Environments. Five European-based projects and allied global projects, (2019-2020) (Kate Smith)
Lived Experiences and Implications of FGM Safeguarding Policies and Practices in the UK. (2018-2020) Foundation for Women's Health Research and Development, (Kate Smith)
‘Everyday Objects of Carceral Spaces’. (2019) Researching with women held in immigration detention facilities and prison, (Kate Smith)
Publications and research outputs:
For key publications please go to profiles for:
Current & recent PhD projects
Postgraduate study in this area includes work on: women and/or children seeking asylum and refugees; asylum and immigration policy and practices – including detention, asylum housing and access to public services; transnational migration processes of inclusion, exclusion and expulsion dynamics.
Current projects include:
The focus of this cluster is on understanding the everyday experiences of children and young people in their communities and local environments. We are interested in the ways in which young people engage with, and are influenced by, ‘place’ and the impacts on their wellbeing and lifechances.
Key recent projects
Growing up in left behind places: Children as researchers and change-makers (2022-24)
Nuffield Foundation, Barry Percy-Smith (Co-PI with Helen Lomax, SEPD, UoH) and Kate Smith (Co-I) with Leanne Monchuk as impact, in partnership with Open University and Lincoln University.
Politics, participation and Pandemics: Growing up under Covid-19 (2020-21)
Nuffield Foundation, with Ecorys, Barry Percy-Smith and Leanne Monchuk, see Growing Up Under Covid 19 (guc19.com)
Corona Chronicles: Children researching their everyday lives, education and relationships during the coronavirus pandemic (Cheer).
(funded by the School of Education and Professional Development, University of Huddersfield) This research explores the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the everyday lives, education and relationships of primary school children aged 9-11
http://blogs.hud.ac.uk/hudcres/20-21/oct/corona-chronicles/ (Helen Lomax and Kate Smith)
Back Chat: Developing arts-based methods of knowledge generation and exchange with children during times of global crisis
(funded by the British Academy, 2021-22 grant number: SRG2021\211308), our follow-on research that prioritises hearing directly from children about the continuing impacts of the pandemic through collaborative, socially distanced and in-person arts-based methods as well as exploring representations of children in policy and policy reporting.
For further information: https://research.hud.ac.uk/institutes-centres/hudcres/projects/backchat/ (Helen Lomax and Kate Smith)
One in three women and girls is subject to physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. Dedicated to changing this reality, None in Three is an innovative global research initiative for the global prevention of gender-based violence. Ni3 is pioneering new ways to tackle gender-based violence (GBV) across the globe with the following aims:
For further information about the work of None in Three please go to: www.noneinthree.org
Members of this research cluster have over 30 years’ experience and expertise in the broad intersecting areas of Gender and Sexuality and contribute to key national and international debates in these areas. This includes theories of gender and sexuality; Gender and gendered identities; Sexuality and sexual identities including heterosexual and non-normative sexual identities; lgbt+ identities, with a focus on supporting lgbt+ young people; (a)sexual cultures; childhood, children and young people’s sexuality; constructions of childhood / sexual innocence.
We recognise links between gender, sexuality and sexual abuse and therefore a key aspect of much of the work within this research cluster also relates to Interpersonal (sexual) violence; child sexual abuse and exploitation; historic child sexual abuse; homophobia / transphobia and abuse.
Our work involves collaborations with academics and others beyond the university including: University of Dundee, Edinburgh University, Sheffield Hallam University, Durham University, University of Sunderland, Helsinki, Orebro, and Lund.
Key current and recent research projects
Evaluating 5 years of an LGBT+ youth support service, Funded by the Brunswick Centre
Media representations of child sexual abuse, University of Huddersfield
Beyond the individual: exploring approaches to supporting LGBT+ young people in the UK and Sweden – Funded by BA/Leverhulme
Teaching future professionals about child sexual abuse / exploitation, in partnership with Durham University, University of Huddersfield QR funds.
Key recent / current PhD / Masters research projects
Young boys and sexual exploitation, Stacey Maher
Exploration of gay cisgender young men’s negotiation and presentation of
their (sexual) identities, Russell Oxley
Learning about sex: young people, sexuality and the internet, Elena Golemeeva
Learning about sex: Adolescent girls and sexuality in Nigeria, Peter Azende
Child sexual exploitation and professionals’ decision making, Sarah Lloyd
Community perceptions of child sexual abuse in Kenya, Helen Shipman
Decision making in the context of child sexual abuse in the Caribbean, Ena Trotman Jemmott
Intersecting domestic violence and abuse: A mixed-methods analysis of victim representations in public awareness campaigns Natasha Smith
We welcome applications from anyone interested in undertaking post graduate research (PhD or Masters) in these broad areas.
For key publications:
Please visit research profiles for Jo Woodiwiss, Jeff Hearn and Nick Fox
Housing is a key social determinant of health with a growing body of research amplifying this connection in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant challenge to public health more broadly. The Healthy Housing Initiative is an exciting development bringing together a cross-disciplinary group of academics together with a number of key external partners to undertake research and inform policy on this critical agenda. Research focuses on a range of projects including: the impact of housing on the wellbeing of children and families and the health impacts of decarbonisation. This Initiative is linked to the University’s National Health Innovation Campus, a transformative project which will improve health outcomes and lead innovation in healthcare for the North of England.
Social Research and Engagement (Decarbonisation) (Knowledge Transfer Partnership) Innovate UK, (2021) PI: Phil Brown
COVID-19: The effectiveness of mutual-aid groups and their lessons for post-crisis community care, AHRC (2020) Co-I: Phil Brown
Lockdown and the impact of poor-quality housing on occupants, Northern Housing Consortium and Nationwide Foundation, (2020) PI: Phil Brown
Tackling homelessness through co-production, Greater Manchester Combined Authority/HEIF. (2019) PI: Phil Brown
Publications and research outputs
Please visit research profiles for: Phil Brown
Social enterprise is complex and dynamic; it is a multifaceted change process through which social entrepreneurs offer economic inclusion and social engagement to different global communities and social groups through creative, solution-orientated strategies. Social enterprises provide communities, groups, individuals and families with a sense of purpose; they are a key tool that can develop skillsets in challenged groups and are key to responding to social and economic injustice in a context of global uncertainty. The focus of this cluster is on high-quality and multi-disciplinary research that can inform the development of Social Enterprise and Social Entrepreneurship as a strategy for enhancing social inclusion, transitions and the holistic health and wellbeing of communities.
The Benefits of Modifying Social Enterprise within Higher Education’s Social Sciences Curriculum (2017-2019), funded by UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI). The overall aim of this project is to critically explore the impact that social enterprise has on students/graduates in the United Kingdom (UK) and India higher education sectors. The project was selected as one of the top 20 global case studies in the UKIERI Annual report 2018-19 and has resulted in a number of knowledge exchange outputs including:
Development of a Social Entrepreneur Avatar model, funded by QAA. This pedagogical research project will explore the development of a unique social entrepreneurial skill acquisition framework for the development of social enterprise within the higher education curriculum. We will be working in collaboration with the University of Bolton and City College Plymouth.
Integration of social enterprise into economic development in Ghana (2021-22). Funded by the British Council Innovation for African Universities Programme (IAU). This project examines how social enterprise can be better integrated into economic development in Ghana from a higher education policy perspective. In this project, we are partnering with Accra Technical University (ATU) and a number of third sector organisations including Achievers Ghana Education, Social Enterprise Ghana. The project funding is split into three phases, and we secured the third phase in March 2022. In terms of international research impact, the project team have just been asked to write a policy brief on the transferable skills of entrepreneurship and innovation in the youth education sector for the Government of Ghana.
The Teaching Partnership and Mentoring Course (2022) Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council on behalf of Yorkshire Urban Teaching Partnership
Developing social enterprise is implicitly about bringing change to social and economic futures. Impact from the UKIERI Social Enterprise and Higher education project with University of Delhi has resulted in a number of knowledge exchange outputs including: