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Sexting and Websex by UK children and young people

Summary of the impact

This case study demonstrates the impact generated through research studies at Plymouth University into `sexting', the self-generation and distribution of explicit images, by children and young people. The findings have informed briefing material for Ofsted inspectors, been used to develop material for schools, and led to schools developing new curriculum based support and peer mentoring. The research has also extended the understanding of the emerging issues and helped inform national debate and public discourse.

Submitting Institution

Plymouth University

Unit of Assessment

Education

Summary Impact Type

Societal

Research Subject Area(s)

Medical and Health Sciences: Public Health and Health Services
Education: Specialist Studies In Education
Psychology and Cognitive Sciences: Psychology

I: Defining the scale and demographics of technology-mediated crimes and illegal images of children, leading to new international accord and changes to sentencing guidelines

Summary of the impact

Impact: Research defining the victim demographics and mode of online grooming led to the joint coordination of a G8 meeting and subsequent Declaration, formation of a Global Alliance and input into international sentencing procedures.

Significance: As a result of formal policy, legislative changes, and advice given to people who work with children, more child victims of online pornography are protected and supported; more perpetrators are identified, prosecuted and sentenced appropriately.

Beneficiaries: Vulnerable and abused children; governments and non-governmental organisations; teachers, youth and social workers; the police and judiciary.

Attribution: Quayle, UoE, led the underpinning research and was the main co-ordinator for expert content at the G8 and Global Alliance meetings.

Reach: Worldwide; 48 countries on five continents have committed to the goals of the Global Alliance. The work has informed legislative proposals and sentencing in USA, Japan and Russia. 80 million child pornography images were identified between 2002 and 2012.

Submitting Institution

University of Edinburgh

Unit of Assessment

Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience

Summary Impact Type

Societal

Research Subject Area(s)

Medical and Health Sciences: Public Health and Health Services
Studies In Human Society: Criminology
Psychology and Cognitive Sciences: Psychology

Safeguarding young people affected by sexual violence and exploitation

Summary of the impact

Child protection policy and practice has largely ignored young people's experiences of child sexual exploitation (CSE) and peer-on-peer violence. Law enforcement and child protection responses are not integrated, resulting in oversimplified interpretations of young people's victimhood and criminality. As the only research centre in Europe exclusively targeting these problems, The International Centre: Researching Child Sexual Exploitation, Violence and Trafficking has had direct impact on:

  • Policy: using research findings to create safeguarding tools for all English Local Safeguarding Children's Boards; evaluating service provision, actively informing Scottish, Irish and English government departments; advising The Council of Europe and Eurochild; attracting funding for CSE prevention in six European countries;
  • Practice: actively working with four UK children's charities to prevent CSE; directing funding to CSE practitioners by coordinating over 23 funding trusts; running a `CSE research forum' which engages with over 500 practitioners and researchers,
  • Sexually exploited young people: advocating child centred evidence practice-based interventions, promoting innovative child centred ethical research and integrating the voices of over 800 young people from the UK into policy and research agendas. Enabling victims of CSE to gain internships and employment, improving their assertiveness through media training and offering opportunities for skill development through creative art and film activities.

Submitting Institution

University of Bedfordshire

Unit of Assessment

Social Work and Social Policy

Summary Impact Type

Societal

Research Subject Area(s)

Medical and Health Sciences: Public Health and Health Services
Studies In Human Society: Criminology, Policy and Administration

4: Bringing Children's Concerns to the Development of Alcohol Policy and Services, and Sex Education Practice

Summary of the impact

Research providing novel insights into children's perspectives on families and relationships has had wide impact on policy and practice in Scotland. Through a partnership with ChildLine Scotland, research conducted into children's calls has:

  • led to the development of voluntary sector services to support children affected by their parents' drinking
  • provided key information used to raise the awareness of `harm to others' in the change of alcohol policy to focus on reducing population-level alcohol consumption in Scotland (introduction of restrictions on sales and minimum pricing)
  • been included in the training and education for parents, teachers and health improvement staff responsible for sexual health education of about 98,000 school-age children.

Submitting Institution

University of Edinburgh

Unit of Assessment

Social Work and Social Policy

Summary Impact Type

Societal

Research Subject Area(s)

Medical and Health Sciences: Public Health and Health Services

Empowering children online through literacy and safety initiatives

Summary of the impact

LSE research has helped shape children's internet literacy and safety policy. In the UK, the research informed the establishment of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) and the creation by the Council of the UK's first Child Internet Safety Strategy. Based on the research, the Council tasked industry to improve safety tools, and raised awareness among parents and teachers. This has enhanced children's online opportunities, digital literacy and ability to cope with online risks, thereby reducing the probability of harm. In Europe, the research informed the European Commission's Safer Internet Programme's work on industry guidance, safety tools and awareness campaigns, shifting the emphasis from protecting children to empowering them to use the internet safely and with confidence. Policy and practical initiatives around the world draw on the methodology and findings of the research.

Submitting Institution

London School of Economics & Political Science

Unit of Assessment

Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information ManagementĀ 

Summary Impact Type

Societal

Research Subject Area(s)

Medical and Health Sciences: Public Health and Health Services

Influencing policy and practice in mental health services for children and young people.

Summary of the impact

Coppock's original research has impacted upon children's workforce development strategy and child/adolescent mental health services in England - specifically in workforce up-skilling to provide inclusive, child-centred mental health services. Coppock's research provided intellectual and empirical underpinning for a highly successful training programme 'Mad, Bad or Misunderstood? Interactive Multimedia Training for Professionals Working with Children and Young People' (MBM Training). MBM Training has been delivered to over 4,000 participants including: teachers/social workers/health workers/police officers/residential care staff/parents/carers/foster carers and volunteers and is recognised by the Child and Maternal Health Observatory (ChiMat) as an important tool in mental health promotion and tackling stigma.

Submitting Institution

Edge Hill University

Unit of Assessment

Social Work and Social Policy

Summary Impact Type

Societal

Research Subject Area(s)

Medical and Health Sciences: Public Health and Health Services
Studies In Human Society: Policy and Administration

Making children's hospital design more child-centred

Summary of the impact

In response to a new NHS policy initiative to create child-friendly hospitals, an ESRC funded research project (Space to Care, 2004-7) explored children's own perceptions and experiences of hospital space by seeking out the views of children aged 4-16 who were hospital patients. Through revealing the importance of age as a key differentiating factor in children and young people's views about hospital space, the result of adopting this child-centred approach was to demonstrate that the government's concept of a `child-friendly hospital' was failing to address the different needs of all children up to the age of 16. The findings from the study were therefore used to develop a set of key design principles and evaluation toolkits for healthcare professionals, architects and healthcare planners to help make hospitals more child-centred. These have: (1) informed the health-care design practices of architects, nationally and internationally; and (2) assisted health-care professionals in the UK and Australia to improve their existing facilities.

Submitting Institution

University of Sheffield

Unit of Assessment

Social Work and Social Policy

Summary Impact Type

Health

Research Subject Area(s)

Medical and Health Sciences: Public Health and Health Services

Developing practice and policy for adolescents who experience neglect within families

Summary of the impact

The research addressed the lack of insight from research, policy and practice in relation to adolescents who are neglected within families. Findings have informed policy development at a national level, and were the basis of a guide to good practice, published and circulated widely by the (then) Department for Children Schools and Families ((DCSF), now the Department for Education (DfE)), and a guide for young people to increase their awareness of neglect, published and circulated by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). At a local level, researchers worked intensively over 18 months with the whole senior management tier from Children's Services in one local authority to enable understanding and refocusing so that adolescent neglect becomes a legitimate part of practice. Managers went on to enable the shift in practice with their teams, and adolescent neglect has been included in revised safeguarding screening tools approved by the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB).

Submitting Institution

University of Lincoln

Unit of Assessment

Social Work and Social Policy

Summary Impact Type

Societal

Research Subject Area(s)

Medical and Health Sciences: Public Health and Health Services
Studies In Human Society: Policy and Administration, Social Work

Development of Inclusive Participative Media

Summary of the impact

Established in 2002 in London Metropolitan University's Faculty of Computing, Gamelab UK is a research and innovation centre in interactive educational media. By `pushing the envelope' in production and development Gamelab has become the pre-eminent centre for the development of TV, and interactive media and games, for audiences and end-users with special education needs. Gamelab's impact includes over seven hours of television output for the BBC, eight BAFTA nominations since 2008 and a range of published, and highly innovative, games and interactive software for children, teenagers and young adults with sensory impairments, learning difficulties and other disabilities.

Submitting Institution

London Metropolitan University

Unit of Assessment

Computer Science and Informatics

Summary Impact Type

Societal

Research Subject Area(s)

Information and Computing Sciences: Information Systems
Education: Specialist Studies In Education

Pioneering longitudinal research leads to greater understanding of childhood poverty among policy-makers

Summary of the impact

Young Lives is identifying major influences on children's development, from infancy to adulthood, by carrying out a pioneering longitudinal study across four developing countries over 15 years. Young Lives gathers and analyses data on how childhood is changing in diverse communities, especially through the impact of economic, cultural and policy shifts, by studying two age cohorts in each country. UNICEF, the World Bank, Plan International, and Save the Children International, among others, are using Young Lives research to design childhood poverty-reduction policies in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The research also underpins the re-visioning of global child protection work by UNICEF, Save the Children Canada, and World Vision UK.

Submitting Institution

University of Oxford

Unit of Assessment

Anthropology and Development Studies

Summary Impact Type

Societal

Research Subject Area(s)

Medical and Health Sciences: Public Health and Health Services
Economics: Applied Economics
Psychology and Cognitive Sciences: Psychology

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