About me

AKPhotoNov20141

Having grown up in care system myself, I am interested in improving health outcomes for looked after children. I am currently undertaking a PhD at the Rees Centre for Research in Fostering and Education, at the University of Oxford. My research looks at the health experiences of children and young people in care with a view to making recommendations to policy makers. I have been awarded a doctoral scholarship through the Society and Ethics programme from the Wellcome Trust. I am supervised by Professor Judy Sebba, Director of the Rees Centre and Dr Nikki Luke, Research Fellow at the Rees Centre.

By writing blogs about my experience of abuse and growing up in care, and by sharing examples from my social care files I hope to influence knowledge and training about looked after children. I want to eventually develop a career in academia. I will focus on research that will investigate complex and important issues for looked after children and young people with the aim of improving the lived experience of the care system.

I hold a MSc in Health psychology and a BSc in Applied Psychology and Sociology from the University of Surrey. In 2013 I was awarded the Ann McPherson fellowship and worked as a research assistant for the Health Experiences Research Group in the Nuffield Department of Primary Health Care Sciences, University of Oxford.

2 thoughts on “About me

  1. Hello, I have just stumbled across your blog after googling ‘post graduate support for care leavers’ and it led me to your article about your intention to study for a PhD and then on to here. I cannot find a contact form to send you a message on your site so I am posting here.
    I am so happy to have found someone similar to myself. There are many instances of negative things being written regarding the future prospects of care leavers. It can be difficult to stay positive and believe in yourself as a result of this. I had a neglectful abusive childhood like yourself and was in and out of the care system before a final placement was arranged. But like you, that sense of difference and not belonging continued – and still continues – in my life but in different ways.
    I graduated from university in 2012 with a first and struggled to cope with finding a job. I eventually found one that was a year contract that I stayed through to the end, but never found it fulfilling. The past few years following this, I have been working along in various jobs but have never utilising my degree. My intention from my final year at university was looking ahead towards studying for a masters and PhD but I was scared off of the prospect after listening to a university tutor who gave me a bleak impression of the future of further study and going on to working in a university, which was my dream. I also felt that sense of inadequacy that most likely comes from being a looked after child. I often felt like I was kidding myself if I thought I could fit in or match many of the people I came across in university who came from very different backgrounds to myself. So seeing and reading about how you have come from a similar background to myself is so inspiring.
    I was wondering if you could give me any guidance on finding any support available for post graduate study? I am doing my best with researching it myself, but support when you are older and for post graduate as opposed to under graduate is tricky. I am 26 so I am past the age of getting any help from my LA and I don’t think it would be well received.
    Thank you for taking to the read this,
    Bethany

    Like

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