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From violent fathers to muscular dystrophy: four new grants in Policy Studies

20 March 2007

Four new research grants have recently been awarded to academics in the School for Policy Studies.

Four new research grants have recently been awarded to academics in the School for Policy Studies.

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has awarded a post-doctoral fellowship worth £57,729 to Dr Lynne Harne for a project entitled ‘Violence, power and the meanings of fatherhood in issues of child contact’. This study was the first in the UK to conduct in-depth research with violent fathers about their parenting practices, when having contact with their children post-separation. It found considerable shortcomings in their parenting practices, leading to risks of direct abuse and a lack of willingness to consider the needs of their children, or the impact of their violent and abusive behaviour on them. A key objective of the fellowship is to disseminate these findings more widely to academics and professionals in the socio-legal and child protection fields who are concerned with the assessment of risk and decision-making about children’s contact with a violent parent on separation or divorce.

The ESRC has also awarded a grant of £26,539 to Dr Demi Patsios for a project entitled ‘Trends in the receipt of formal and informal care by older people with functional dependencies living at home in Britain’. This research seeks to understand how and why the relationship between formal care (provided by health and social services) and informal care (help provided by family, friends, and neighbours) for dependent older people living at home has changed over 20 years since 1980.

Dr Eldin Fahmy and Dr Simon Pemberton have received a grant of £30,920 from the Rural Media Company for their project ‘Multi-media testimony on rural poverty and social exclusion’. This aims to document the experience of poverty in rural communities through the eyes of less well-off people through video diaries and interviews. It will tackle issues such as whether rural living affects the causes of poverty and prospects for escaping it and what the consequences of poverty are for people living in rural areas.

Professor John Carpenter is principal investigator on a two-year study funded by the Department of Health on the needs of young men with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) as they approach adulthood. David Abbott (on secondment from the Norah Fry Research Centre) is the main day-to-day researcher, and Dr Philip Jardine at the Division of Child Health is the main clinical contact in the South-West region. The study will focus on the issues and concerns of young disabled men and their families during the transition from childhood to adulthood and from child services to adult services. The project is being carried out in partnership with Professor Kate Bushby and her team at the Institute of Human Genetics at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, the Duchenne Family Support Group and the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign.

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