Literature reviews

Literature review for Action for Children on early help- 2020

This  rapid literature review explored the evidence around early help, and gaps in same, and its reported merits. ‘Early intervention’ and ‘early help’ are common terms, and commonly used  interchangeably and/or conflated with ‘early years’ and are often poorly defined. Early help is seen as a means to address inequalities and negative outcomes for children and young people and prevent issues escalating, e.g. becoming child protection. However, although once top of the policy agenda (eg Every Child Matters, 2003; Munro, 2011; Allen, 2011; Marmoth, 2010 and 2020 ), early intervention and early help have both been demoted politically of late and are further challenged by austerity and cuts to local authority budgets for prenventative measures. This review also illustrated the challenges in evidencing outcomes and impact in this field.

Literature review for NSPCC on community volunteering – 2020

Along with Dr Louca-Mai Brady, I am currently conducting a rapid literature review for the NSPCC, around the use and impact of community volunteers to support vulnerable families. This explores the relevant processes and issues around recruiting, coordinating, supervising and supporting volunteers, matching them with families and ensuring consistency, safety and quality. It also examined the evidence on any outcomes and longer-term impact volunteers’ involvement has for families, children and volunteers, as well as the epistemological challenges in collating robust evidence in this field.

Literature review on the  disproportionate exclusion from school of certain children and young people in England – 2019

I led a literature review to examine the drivers behind the continuous disproportionate exclusion from school of certain groups of pupils, not least Black Caribbean boys, GRT children and young people, pupils with special needs and those on free school meals. Our literature review formed part of the wider-reaching review by Edward Timpson CBE. We found over 115 relevant  sources for the specified time period (2009 to 2018).

Follow the links to read the literature review report, and technical data and tables behind the Timpson review, and the Government’s response.

Other literature reviews

Over recent years, I conducted a literature review on the ‘home learning environment‘ for Action for Children to inform their policy strategy and priorities; and conducted a joint literature review with Research in Practice and the Council for Disabled Children on peer support for parents of disabled children.

My research and evaluation projects often involve a rapid literature review to set the scene and ensure we build on, rather than duplicate, existing knowledge.