I’m currently working as a Research Associate on the WISERD Education Multi Cohort Study (WMCS) project that gathers data on a wide range of issues, having recently completing my PhD in Cardiff University on the topic of young carers and mental health. I’m particularly interested in writing reports and articles on poverty, how young people’s knowledge and engagement in politics have changed over time, and the impacts of the coronavirus on education.
Prior to my doctoral study I worked in the Welsh children’s rights sector for 10 years with a focus on participation, and also worked in Cardiff Council research and engagement team.
I recently finished my PhD entitled Caring Lives: What do young people with caring responsibilities for family members need to thrive? The study aimed to increase clarity over why the impacts of caring vary for children depending on their individual circumstances, and revisited longstanding issues including the lack of quantitative research and the challenges of identifying young carers that are unknown to services.
This informed the mixed methods used in the study (structural equation modelling; phenomenology) and focused on a wider spectrum of young carers than in most research. My findings focused on perception of control as a way to differentiate between young carers who are largely able to manage their role, and those who struggle due to particular aspects of their caring such as inappropriate tasks and excessive responsibilities. This has implications for policy and services that increasingly acknowledge the larger population without recognizing the diversity of experiences, impacts and needs.
I’m also interested in research on children’s rights and participation, equality and poverty, with a particular focus on marginalized groups.