Research Assistant (Evaluation of the Multi-Agency Child Safeguarding Reforms)

King's College London

Job id: 074029. Salary: £36,532 – £41,299 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance.

Posted: 01 September 2023. Closing date: 17 September 2023.

Business unit: Social Science & Public Policy. Department: Education, Communication & Society.

Contact details:Dr Jenny Driscoll. [email protected]

Location: Waterloo Campus. Category: Research.

Job description

We are seeking to recruit a Research Assistant with expertise in Sociology, Social Work, police studies, Health, Law or policy to work on the two-year NIHR-funded project Evaluation of the multi-agency safeguarding reforms. This project comprises an evaluation of the effectiveness of Local Safeguarding Children’s Partnerships (LSCPs) introduced in 2019 to oversee and coordinate multi-agency child safeguarding arrangements in local areas in England. It includes investigation of the impact of COVID-19 on safeguarding arrangements, exploration of the potential cost-effectiveness of investment in LSCPs and the extent to which their work is informed by the views and experiences of children and young people. It will propose outcome measures to facilitate the ongoing monitoring of multi-agency safeguarding arrangements.  

The successful candidate will be confident in qualitative research methods. Understanding of child safeguarding and the child protection system is desirable. Experience of evaluation, including economic evaluation, would be an advantage but is not essential.   

Responsible to the Principal Investigator Dr Jenny Driscoll (based in the School of Education, Communication & Society at King’s) and to the economic evaluation lead Professor Sarah Byford (based at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s), the Research Assistant will help with survey administration and analysis, selection and recruitment of case study local areas, running qualitative workshop events, data archiving and impact and knowledge exchange events. They will contribute to data analysis and dissemination, including presentations and publications for both academic and non-academic audiences. They will, under supervision, be responsible for data management across the project.  

This is a full-time post, with an option for job-sharing. The post will be offered on a fixed-term contract until 31 December 2024. 

Interviews will be held on October 3rd.

Please contact Dr Jenny Driscoll with any informal queries ahead of the closing date: [email protected]

Key responsibilities

  • Liaise with partner organisations and collaborating organisations and support communication with stakeholders and participants from a range of organisations and settings 
  • Contribute to reports and summary publications at regular intervals during the project 
  • Data entry and cleaning, anonymising and preparing data for analysis 
  • Administering survey and analysis of survey data 
  • Support selection and recruitment of case study LSCPs 
  • Assist with development of Theory of Change  
  • Organise workshops for groups of professionals and parents/carers in case study LSCPs 
  • Support the project’s young researchers from Camden Young Advisors in facilitating workshops/focus groups for children and young people 
  • Support analysis of qualitative data from the workshops/focus groups 
  • Support Professor Sarah Byford in an economic evaluation of the potential cost-effectiveness of LSCPs 
  • Assist with identification and/or development of outcome and economic measures for future monitoring of multi-agency safeguarding arrangements 
  • Lead on the dissemination of findings including through webinars, short briefing papers and accessible materials (eg child-friendly materials, podcasts) 
  • Support development of a pilot Young Advisors/Young Scrutineers project 

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.

Skills, knowledge, and experience 

Essential criteria  

1.       A Master’s award or near completion or equivalent in a related area (health or social sciences)

2.       Strong qualitative research skills, including analysing and interpreting qualitative data  

3.       Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English and an ability to engage different audiences, including: children and young people, parents/carers, professionals, policymakers and community stakeholders

4.       Strong organisational, administrative and teamworking skills

5.       A commitment to inclusive research practices and promoting social justice

6.       Understanding of the importance of data management, which will involve anonymising the data from all sites and taking responsibility for data archiving

7.       Ability and willingness to travel within England for fieldwork and to help organise impact-related events

Desirable criteria

1.       Experience of facilitating workshops/focus groups

2.       Experience of conducting research with children and young people 

3.       Strong quantitative research skills, with experience of designing and administering surveys and analysing quantitative data

4.       Understanding of child safeguarding and the child protection system 

Further information

This post will be embedded in an experienced multi-disciplinary research team of academics from: the King’s Health Economics research group in the Health Service and Population Research Department at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience; the Institute of Women and Children’s Health in the School of Life Course & Population Sciences in the Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine; and the School of Education, Communication and Society in the Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy, all at King’s College London, and the Safer Young Lives Research Centre in the Institute of Applied Social Research at the University of Bedfordshire. The project team includes public co-Applicants from the Association of Safeguarding Partners and Camden Young Advisors.

The postholder will be a member of the friendly and vibrant Centre for Public Policy Research within the School of Education, Communication and Society in the Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy. The PI and research team will be committed to supporting your career development and you will have the opportunity to co-author publications arising from the project.

This post is subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service clearance.

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