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Griesbach & Associates - Social Research for Policy and Practice

Children and Young People

There has been rapid development of policy and practice in relation to provision of children’s services in Scotland over the past few years.  The publication of Getting it Right for Every Child signals a new focus on the rights of children and young people, and early response to the needs of children and young people and their families — rather than waiting for things to go wrong.

Griesbach & Associates have been involved in a number of studies which aim to improve the lives of children and young people, particularly those who are vulnerable to abuse and neglect. Studies have included:

Independent Care Review
(Client - Independent Care Review)
The Independent Care Review, conducted from February 2017 - February 2020, was an independent, 'root and branch review of the care system'. The purpose of the Review was to identify and deliver lasting change in Scotland’s care system and leave a legacy that will transform the wellbeing of infants, children and young people.  In 2019, Dawn Griesbach worked as a member of a team with two other freelance researchers (Jennifer Waterton and Claire Baker) to conduct a series of rapid evidence reviews to support the Working Groups in the Journey Stage of the Independent Care Review. Dawn's reviews were carried out specifically to support the work of the Justice and Care group, the Best Place in the World group, and the Rights group.  These reviews have informed the Independent Care Review's findings and recommendations (published in February 2020). The reviews, together with other evidence gathered by the Review group, were separately published in June 2020. [Evidence Framework]

Young adults and e-cigarettes: A qualitative exploration of awareness, experience and attitudes
(Client - Scottish Government)
This research involved a series of focus groups with young adults in three Scottish cities. We specifically wanted to speak to young people, aged 16 to 25, who were no longer in school. A purposive sampling approach was used to recruit young adults (i) in employment, (ii) in full-time education and (iii) NOT in education, employment or training.  The study explored what young adults think about e-cigarettes; what they know about them; what they feel they need to know about them; and their experience of using them. This research addressed a significant gap in the research to-date on e-cigarettes. The work was carried out between October 2015 and February 2016 with associate Alison Platts.
[ Summary report | Full report ]

An in-depth qualitative exploration of the links between self-harm and suicide in young people
(Client: Scottish Government)
A previous history of self-harm is one of the strongest predictors of suicide. However, previous research has shown that young people who self-harm often do so for a variety of reasons. Many have no intention whatsoever of taking their own lives. Rather, self-harm is used as a way of coping with psychological / emotional distress and strong feelings which the young person cannot otherwise express.

This study sought to explore the processes by which self-harming behaviour, which many would say is intended for coping and survival, can become suicidal. The study involved in-depth interviews with young people aged 14-25 from across Scotland. The purpose was to identify possible ways of reducing the risk of suicide among young people who self-harm.
[ Summary report | Full report ]

Other projects this area:

  • Consultation on draft statutory guidance for parts 4, 5 and 18 (Section 96) of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014: An analysis of responses (with A Platts, J Waterton and S Campbell) — for the Scottish Government
  • Survey of young people on the topic of mental health, stigma and discrimination — for See Me
  • Barnardo's Children’s Hearing advocacy service action research project: An independent evaluation (with J Waterton) — for the Scottish Government
  • Co-facilitation of an event for young adults with learning disabilities and their families to explore future housing options — for Building Bridges
  • Improving advocacy for children and young people:  Principles and minimum standards.  Analysis of consultation responses (with J Waterson) — for the Scottish Government.
  • Evaluation of the Dundee Outreach project for children affected by parental substance -- the Aberlour Child Care Trust, Dundee City Drug & Alcohol Action Team, Scottish Executive & Lloyds TSB Foundation Partnership Drugs Initiative.
  • Scoping study on children affected by parental substance use (with Clare Lardner) — for Fife Drug and Alcohol Action Team and Fife Child Protection Committee.
  • The development of a multi-agency protocol on children affected by parental substance use (with Patricia Russell) — for Fife Drug and Alcohol Action Team and Fife Child Protection Committee.
  • Reducing re-offending among young people in Moray — for Moray Community Safety Partnership.
  • Investigating the associations between adolescent smoking and family structure — for the European Commission.
  • An examination of the associations between school smoking policies and perceptions of smoking in Scottish schools — for the European Commission.
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