Research – Researchers begin domestic abuse and child protection project

A partnership study, involving academics from the University of Huddersfield, that aims to better understand and enhance the UK’s response to domestic abuse and child protection is being launched thanks to funding from the Nuffield Foundation.

Professor of Social Work Brid Featherstone will lead a team at the University of Huddersfield including Professors Rachel Armitage and Paul Bywaters that will work with the University of SheffieldKingston University, the domestic violence charity SafeLives and Research In Practice.

The first part of the two-year project will see the research team work together to understand how domestic abuse is dealt with in the context of child protection and how intersecting inequalities shape experiences – building on a previous Nuffield Foundation study. It will then work with families with lived experiences and practitioners to co-produce new frameworks to support responses to children and families at risk.

“Domestic abuse is one of the main reasons for children coming into care and needing support from children’s services,” says Professor Featherstone. “This study will support responses that help reduce pressure on services and, most importantly, contribute to more respectful and less damaging relationships within families. It will encourage agencies to think and do differently in this very important area.”

The Nuffield Foundation is an independent charitable trust with a mission to advance social well-being and has awarded the project, led by Professor Kate Morris from the University of Sheffield, a grant of £430,000.

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