Research

 

You will find a complete range of our monographs, muti-authored and edited works including peer-reviewed, original scholarly research across the social sciences and aligned disciplines. We publish long and short form research and you can browse the complete Bristol University Press and Policy Press archive of over 1600 titles.

Policy Press also publishes policy reviews and polemic work which aim to challenge policy and practice in certain fields. These books have a practitioner in mind and are practical, accessible in style, as well as being academically sound and referenced.
 

Books: Research

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Narratives of Care Experienced Lives

Understanding what ‘family’ means – and how best to support families – depends on challenging politicised assumptions that frame ‘ordinary’ families in comparison to an imagined problematic ‘other’.

Learning from the perspectives of people who were in care in childhood, this innovative book helps redefine the concept of family. Linking two longitudinal studies involving young adults in England, it reveals important new insights into the diverse and dynamic complexity of family lives, identities and practices in time – through childhood and beyond.

Paving the way for future policy and practice, this book makes an important contribution to the theorisation of family in the 21st century.

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Critical Perspectives on Children’s Services Reform
Editors: and

Over the last decade there has been a series of Government policy initiatives in respect of children’s services and social work education in England, many of which aim to de-regulate or privatise aspects of these services. Critically considering the impact of the MacAlister Review, this book explores the past, present and future of children’s services in the UK from a range of perspectives – lived, professional and academic.

This accessible guide provides a timely and incisive overview of the current children’s services reform agenda in the UK. It identifies current challenges, analyses both strengths and weaknesses in the current policy agenda and sets out alternative policy and practice directions for a system that can meet families’ needs.

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Female Perspectives on Power, Control and Gendered Social Norms

Ceryl Teleri Davies’ research in female-only spaces informs this illuminating guide to young women’s experience of intimate relationships. Essential reading for those working with young people, the book makes a vital contribution to the study of gender-based violence. Her research reveals young women’s understandings of what it means to have a healthy relationship, and considers the influence of gendered social norms within both healthy and abusive relationships.

While contributing to the debate on how young women negotiate the conflicts inherent in contemporary constructions of gender, the book then suggests a pathway towards gender equality.

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This textbook offers students and practitioners an accessible introduction to strengths-based approaches in Social Work and Social Care practice. Covering the theory and research in support of these approaches, and packed full of case studies, the book will allow readers to develop a critical understanding of how strengths-based approaches work, and how they can be successfully applied in order to improve outcomes for people with lived experience.

Covering the five main models of strengths-based practice, the text presents international research and evidence on the efficacy of each approach, enabling students and practitioners to apply the benefits in their own social work practice. The guide features the perspectives of people with lived experience throughout and includes the following key learning features:

  • case studies of best practice;

  • points for practice: succinct tips for practitioners and students on practice placement;

  • further reading list and resources;

  • glossary.

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From Embryo to Adolescence
Authors: and

This bestselling textbook provides social science students with an accessible introduction to neuroscience and the implications for our understandings of child development, considering the links between brain development and social and cultural issues.

Now covering the 0-18+ age range, the new edition critically analyses the relationship between children and young people’s thoughts, behaviours and feelings and the ways in which their developing brains are structured. It includes a new section on emotional development in adolescence, considering the impact of drugs and alcohol on the brain and the role of brain changes in driving risky behaviours.

Assuming no prior knowledge of the subject, the text connects the latest scientific knowledge to the practice of understanding and working with children. Incorporating the latest research and debate throughout, the book offers students and practitioners working with children:

  • case studies showing how brain science is changing practice;

  • a companion website including self-test questions;

  • end-of-chapter summaries, further reading and questions to test knowledge;

  • a glossary of neuroscientific terms.

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Reflexivity, Methodology, and Researcher Identity

This collection explores leading values and concepts in global child-based research through the lens of reflexivity.

The book considers issues such as the identities and roles of researchers, as well as the burdens, boundaries and ethical frameworks which govern their activities. Using empirical examples from Israel, India, Thailand and England, expert contributors discuss a range of topics to include online safeguards, disabilities, gang membership, child protection and various sex-related issues.

This book guides childhood research towards a more reflexive debate that critically challenges conventions, highlighting plurality of voice and improving outcomes.

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Responding to Extra-Familial Risks and Harms

EPDF and EPUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

During adolescence, young people are exposed to a range of risks beyond their family homes including sexual and criminal exploitation, peer-on-peer abuse and gang-related violence. However, it has only been over the past two decades that the critical safeguarding implications of these harms have started to be recognised. Social care organisations are increasingly experimenting with new approaches but continue to experience challenges in supporting affected young people and their families.

This book analyses the results of the first rapid evidence assessment of social care organisations’ responses to risks and harms outside the home across 10 countries. The authors highlight key areas for service development, give insights into how these risks and harms can be understood, and consider wider implications for policy and practice.

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A Multi-agency Approach

Schools play a vital role in safeguarding children and young people, yet there has been little research into how schools identify and respond to child protection concerns, and their engagement with local authority children’s services.

This book highlights the findings of a major ESRC-funded study on the child protection role played by schools, their decision-making processes and involvement in inter-agency working. Crucial reading for academics, practitioners and managers in children’s social care and education, it evaluates the impact of recent policy developments, including the Academies and Free Schools programme, as well as the restructuring of local authority children’s services.

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A Model for International Reform

The UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty detailed many children’s poor experiences in detention, highlighting the urgent need for reform.

Applying a child-centred model of detention that fulfils the rights of the child under the five themes of provision, protection, participation, preparation and partnership, this original book illustrates how reform can happen. Drawing on Ireland’s experience of transforming law, policy and practice, and combining theory with real-life experiences, this compelling book demonstrates how children’s rights can be implemented in detention.

This important case study of reform presents a powerful argument for a progressive, rights-based approach to child detention. Worthy of international application, the book shares practical insights into how theory can be translated into practice.

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Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing in a Hi-Tech Age

How can we support children’s and young people’s mental wellbeing in a digital age?

Through a series of informative and thought-provoking case studies, this book explores how to enable children and young people to stay safe, happy and mentally healthy at a time when so much of their lives are spent online. Featuring contributions from across research and practice, with the voice of the child at its heart, the book offers simple, practical guidance for improving wellbeing based on real-world evidence. It will be essential reading for parents, carers and professionals working with children across a range of school and community settings.

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