ARC Wessex and CRN Wessex have pulled together to expand research into social care. Four researchers have been funded to work with local councils inDorset, Portsmouth, Southampton and Hampshire.
Senior Research Fellow Doctor Michelle Myall has just been named researcher-in-residence at Southampton City Council. Amy Drahota will work with Portsmouth City Council, Andy Pulman with Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch Council and Dorset Council and David Raper with Hampshire County Council. The researchers come from the Universities in Southampton, Bournemouth, Winchester and Portsmouth.
Research projects are at an early stage but will include issues like domestic abuse and social care workforce capacity. Funding is also available to support development of Research Champions within councils to work with the four research leads.
The social care research champions will be existing employees from the councils concerned. The specific focus of the role will differ by individual council and its needs. This will be an opportunity for learning for all involved, to understand more about what support is needed to enable growth in social care research.
Later in the year funding will be available for internship awards for social care practitioners building on and extending a successful internship programme that has seen health care staff from across Wessex start their research journeys.
Lee-Ann Fenge is a Professor of Social Care at Bournemouth University and is leading the work across the Wessex CRN and ARC Wessex.
Lea-Anne recorded an interview recently giving tips on how to make your way into research from social care and why it is so important.
Professor Alison Richardson, Director of ARC Wessex said:
"I am delighted NIHR ARC Wessex is working together with NIHR Wessex CRN and 4 councils from across Wessex to develop research capacity in adult social care.
We are keen to support research in social care by funding research and offering training and career development for social care practitioners and professionals. This investment will help us understand how we can support people working in social care and social work to engage with research and find ways to improve people’s lives ."