The project team
Role: Principal Investigator
Michelle Lefevre is Professor of Social Work at the University of Sussex and Director of CIRCY – the Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth. Her research primarily focuses on professional practice with children, young people and families where there are issues of risk and harm, and it is rooted in her background as a child protection social worker and arts psychotherapist.
Role: Co-Investigator, leading the Trauma-Informed Practice strand, and providing thematic expertise on Contextual Safeguarding
Dr Carlene Firmin is Principal Research Fellow at The International Centre: Researching Child Sexual Exploitation, Violence and Trafficking at the University of Bedfordshire. Since 2013 she has developed and led the Contextual Safeguarding and peer-on-peer abuse research programmes at Bedfordshire. She developed Contextual Safeguarding as a theoretical and operational framework which could be used to draw attention to, and address, the social and cultural contexts in which extra-familial abuse occurs.
Role: Research Fellow, Trauma-informed Practice strand
Dr Carlie Goldsmith is a social researcher who has worked in higher education and the not-for-profit sector for the past fifteen years. She has designed and conducted a range of national and local research and evaluation projects in the fields of crime and justice, suicide prevention, human trafficking and modern slavery, and trauma-informed practice. Carlie is really interested in research that works with people and that aims to make a tangible and positive difference to their lives, especially those living in the most insecure and challenging circumstances. Carlie is working on a review of innovation theory and practice in year 1 and conducting interviews on innovation practice with professional expert informants.
Reima Ana Maglajlic
Role: Researcher, Trauma-informed Practice strand
Dr Reima Ana Maglajilc (known as Rea) trained originally as a social worker in Croatia, where she gained particular experience with refugees and displaced persons. She subsequently worked to support the development of the mental health system survivor movement in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She has a particular interest currently in reform processes in health and social care (particularly in post-conflict societies), and in theorisations of mental health.
Role: Thematic expert for Transitional Safeguarding
Dr Susannah Bowyer is Assistant Director at Research in Practice, where she leads the children and families team on core delivery to the Partnership network, as well as a range of commissioned project activities. Susannah provides intel on emerging Transitional Safeguarding approaches and will support knowledge exchange on the project with the Research in Practice network as findings emerge.
Role: Innovation expertise
Martha Hampson is an Associate of Innovation Unit. She has built up expertise in innovation across public services, having worked on a range of projects in health and social care, education, complex families and probation services, including included three years in the Innovation Unit team delivering the DfE’s Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme, Martha is working on two research reviews in the first year of the project: a critical interpretive synthesis of existing knowledge on innovation in children's social care, and a documentary analysis of policy and guidance on approaches from around the UK to addressing complex safeguarding risks in adolescence.
Role: Young people’s voice and participation
Sam is the Policy and Participation Manager at Become, the national charity for children in care and young care leavers. Sam manages the charity’s policy, campaigning and research activity which listens to and works alongside care-experienced young people to improve the care system. As part of The Innovate Project, Sam is coordinating an advisory group of care-experienced young people to ensure the expertise of those with lived experience of care is at the heart of everything the project does.
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