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Manchester Institute of Education

Laura Goodfellow

Research details

My research centres on the enactment of Children’s Rights in local government. To explore this I will be conducting an action and ethnographic research study into professionals’ knowledge, understanding and implementation of Children’s Rights using a Local Authority Educational Psychology Service as a Case Study. This will entail an in depth examination of national and local policy and documents related to children’s rights, working collaboratively with professionals through observation, interviews and workshops to gain an understanding of child rights and how this is and could be implemented in practice locally, and to develop a strategy to support the enactment of Children’s Rights within the service. In doing this I hope to understand how children’s rights can be incorporated into practice, challenges in rights based work and current discourses around child rights.

Previous experience

Prior to beginning this PhD I worked for the national charity The Children’s Society, in services centred on promoting the rights and participation of cared for children and young people through group and advocacy work. Doing this provided me with an important overview of children and young people’s participation in service development and local authority decision making. I have worked across a number of Local Authorities in supporting children and young people’s participation and engagement with social care and key strategic boards such as Corporate Parenting and local safeguarding children’s boards.

I completed an MSc in Community Psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University. The ethos and values of Community Psychology form the foundations for both my professional practice and academic research. In completing this PhD I will be drawing upon Community Psychology values of social justice, community and collaborative working.

I am also a qualified Youth Worker with a Post-graduate Diploma in Youth and Community Work from De Montfort University. Key aspects and specialisms in this course were; anti-oppressive practice, community development and supervision skills.

Research interests

Developing and working with services and organisations to support the involvement of children and young people in leading and influencing services and rights based approaches to evaluation. Within this I hope to further consider discourses and emerging views around child rights and child voice.