Jonathan Scourfield

Jonathan Scourfield
Cardiff University | CU · School of Social Sciences

About

202
Publications
64,852
Reads
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4,176
Citations
Citations since 2017
62 Research Items
2571 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
Additional affiliations
August 2011 - present
Cardiff University
Position
  • Professor of Social Work
Description
  • I've worked at Cardiff University since 1996

Publications

Publications (202)
Research
Full-text available
A family group conference (FGC) in child welfare brings immediate and wider family members together to decide on the best way to meet the needs of a child who requires support and/or protection. Unlike professionally-led meetings, including child protection case conferences, FGCs aim to share decision-making with family members. FGCs have the two...
Article
Interventions that change family income include any policy or practice that directly or indirectly changes the amount of money a family have. Although theory regarding the relationship between poverty and child maltreatment is well established, theories of how family income change affects the likelihood of children being in out-of-home are not well...
Article
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Objectives The Strengthening Families Programme 10–14 (SFP10-14) is a USA-developed universal group-based intervention aiming to prevent substance misuse by strengthening protective factors within the family. This study evaluated a proportionate universal implementation of the adapted UK version (SFP10-14UK) which brought together families identifi...
Article
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Identifying which approaches can effectively reduce the need for out-of-home care for children is critically important. Despite the proliferation of different interventions and approaches globally, evidence summaries on this topic are limited. This study is a scoping review using a realist framework to explore what research evidence exists about re...
Article
There was a highly publicised cluster of at least ten suicides in South Wales, United Kingdom, in 2007–2008. We carried out a qualitative descriptive study using cross-case thematic analysis to investigate the experiences and narratives of eight individuals who lived in the area where the cluster occurred and who survived an episode of near-fatal s...
Article
Objective: To systematically review international evidence on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of interventions targeting the mental health, wellbeing, and retention of child and family social workers and their impact on child and family outcomes.Method:Systematic review and narrative synthesis of quantitative comparative studies. Published...
Article
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Purpose The rates of children looked after by local authorities in England have been rising for more than two decades. This study was conducted to determine what approaches local authorities have adopted that they perceive to be the most effective in preventing the need for children to come into care. It also considers how they evaluate these appro...
Article
Discourses of self-harm, and also suicide, are often underpinned by a central tenet: prevention is the priority. This belief is seemingly so inscribed in research that it is rarely interrogated. The present paper re-analyses qualitative data from a hospital-based study of self-harm management and prevention practice. It aims to reflect upon, and di...
Article
Purpose: What Works for Children’s Social Care has developed an “Evidence Store” to improve awareness of evidence from systematic reviews in children’s social care. During review selection, some reviews were excluded due to methodological flaws, which this paper considers. Methods: Reviews were identified using a systematic search and screening pro...
Article
Flying Start is an enhanced early years programme in Wales which is targeted at areas where a high proportion of households with children are recipients of income-related benefits or tax credits. Child protection interventions are known to be concentrated in more deprived areas. Flying Start could have the effect of reducing risk to children or, co...
Article
Background Children’s social care/child welfare services, are under pressure to maximize the value of resource expenditure in meeting the needs of children and young people exposed to risk factors for care entry or residing in care. Economic evaluations can support the decision to adopt, routinize or discontinue an intervention, informing the alloc...
Article
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Background: Fostering Changes is an in-service training program for foster carers designed to enhance carer skills, coping strategies and carer-child relationships. The training program has been evaluated in a randomised controlled trial comparing Fostering Changes to usual care. Objective: To conduct a qualitative process evaluation drawing on...
Article
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Background Many looked after young people in Wales are cared for by foster or kinship carers, usually as a consequence of maltreatment or developmentally traumatising experiences within a family context. Confidence in Care is a pragmatic unblinded individually randomised controlled parallel group trial evaluating a training programme to improve fos...
Article
Background: Previous research has identified a relationship between income inequality and child abuse and neglect in the USA. This association has received limited exploration outside the USA. Methods: Administrative data on child protection (CP) in 172 English and Welsh local authorities between 2013 and 2018 were combined with data on deprivat...
Article
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Background Longitudinal studies of patterns of healthcare contacts in those who die by suicide to identify those at risk are scarce. Aims To examine type and timing of healthcare contacts in those who die by suicide. Method A population-based electronic case–control study of all who died by suicide in Wales, 2001–2017, linking individuals’ electr...
Article
This article presents the findings of a quantitative intersectional analysis of child welfare interventions within small area ethnic populations in England. Recent research has highlighted that White British children, on average, have higher rates of intervention than children from other ethnic groups in poorer neighbourhoods and lower rates in mor...
Article
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Background There is little evidence on the degree of underreporting of social work contact in survey studies. There are also few studies about the emotional and behavioural problems of children in families who have contact with social workers, despite the adversities they face. Objective We examine underreporting of social work contact; the predic...
Article
Background: During 2007–2008, media attention focused on a cluster of youth suicides in the UK. There were two peaks (P1, P2) in the volume of newspaper reporting of the deaths. The number of possible suicides was greater than expected at the time of the first peak but not at the time of the second. Aims: To explore any differences in the content o...
Article
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This article addresses some potential limitations of key findings from recent research into inequalities in children’s social services by providing additional evidence from multilevel models that suggest the socioeconomic social gradient and ‘Inverse Intervention Law’ in children’s services interventions are statistically significant after controll...
Article
Background: Intensive Family Preservation Services (IFPS) are in-home crisis intervention services designed to help families with children at imminent risk of out-of-home placement. Objectives: To assess the evidence of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of IFPS in reducing the need for children to enter out-of-home care. Participants and...
Article
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Introduction The increasing number of children and young people entering statutory care in the UK is a significant social, health and educational priority. Development of effective approaches to safely reduce this number remains a complex but critical issue. Despite a proliferation in interventions, evidence summaries are limited. The present proto...
Article
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Delineation of the full integration of quantitative and qualitative methods throughout all stages of multisite mixed methods case study projects remains a gap in the methodological literature. This article offers advances to the field of mixed methods by detailing the application and integration of mixed methods throughout all stages of one such pr...
Article
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To explore possible distinctive features of online memorials for youth suicides, amid concerns about glorification, we compared public Facebook memorials for suicides and road traffic accident deaths, using Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count software. People who posted on memorial sites wrote at greater length about suicides, using longer words and...
Article
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Background Adolescent self‐harm is a major public health concern. To date there is a limited evidence‐base for prevention or intervention, particularly within the school setting. To develop effective approaches, it is important to first understand the school context, including existing provision, barriers to implementation, and the acceptability of...
Article
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This paper aims to compare developments in theory and evidence about ethnic disparities in the USA with findings from the Child Welfare Inequalities Project in England with a view to identifying key issues for a future research agenda. It has a particular focus on the relevance of the concept of the Hispanic Paradox for disparate intervention rates...
Article
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Comparative international data on patterns of inequality in child welfare interventions, for example, the proportion of children about whom there are substantiated child protection concerns or who are in out-of-home care, are far less developed than data about inequalities in health. Few countries collect reliable, comprehensive information and def...
Article
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Objectives: In the light of concern about the harmful effects of media reporting of suicides and a lack of comparative research, this study compares the number and characteristics of reports on young people’s suicides and road traffic accidents (RTAs) in newspapers and Twitter. Methods: Comparison of newspaper and Twitter reporting of deaths by sui...
Article
Frontline is a fast-track training scheme for social workers in children's services in England, which aims to attract 'outstanding' graduates who may not previously have considered a career in social work. This implies that students recruited onto the Frontline programme will be of a higher academic quality than those on mainstream social work cour...
Article
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The relationship between children's material circumstances and child abuse and neglect raises a series of questions for policy, practice, and practitioners. Children and families in poverty are significantly more likely to be the subject of state intervention. This article, based on a unique mixed-methods study of social work interventions and the...
Article
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Background The Fostering Changes programme was developed by the Adoption and Fostering National Team at the Maudsley Hospital, South London, in conjunction with King’s College London. It is a 12-week group-based training programme for foster and kin carers, which aims to build positive relationships between carers and children, encourage positive c...
Article
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Relatively little is known about the characteristics of fathers who receive social worker contact. This lack of knowledge also extends to male partners of mothers who, while not biologically related to the children, may also be significant caregivers. Increased knowledge is vital to inform the provision of services for whole families. This research...
Article
Objective Using data from our evaluation of the Frontline fast-track social work training program, introduced by the Government in England, we compare the performance of the first cohort of Frontline trainees with students from regular social work programs using simulated practice. Method Forty-nine Frontline trainees were compared with 36 postgra...
Article
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Students in the United Kingdom (UK) are found to lack knowledge and skills in quantitative research methods. To address this gap, a quantitative research method and statistical analysis curriculum comprising 10 individual lessons was developed, piloted, and evaluated at two universities The evaluation found that BSW students’ (N = 81) self-efficacy...
Article
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Social work, poverty and child welfare interventions The relationship between children’s material circumstances and child abuse and neglect raises a series of questions for policy, practice and practitioners. Children and families in poverty are significantly more likely to be the subject of state intervention. This article, based on a unique mixe...
Article
Full-text available
To date, research on the role of the Internet in self-harm has focused on young people's interaction via the medium of text, with limited consideration of the effect of images. This qualitative study explores how young people understand and use online images of self-harm. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a community sample of 21 indiv...
Article
Full-text available
Suicide in children and young people is a major public health concern. However, it is unknown whether individuals who have been in the care of the child welfare system are at an elevated risk. Care is presently defined as statutory provision of in-home care (e.g. child living with birth family but in receipt of legal order involving supervision by...
Article
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The World Wide Web, and online social networks in particular, have increased connectivity between people such that information can spread to millions of people in a matter of minutes. This form of online collective contagion has provided many benefits to society, such as providing reassurance and emergency management in the immediate aftermath of n...
Article
Care for children in residential settings is popularly characterised as the last resort for children who have had multiple failed placements and often high levels of need, requiring therapeutic help. It is often assumed that children will leave residential care for independent living. Using administrative data for a six-year period (2008–2014) for...
Article
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The role that area deprivation, family poverty and austerity policies play in the demand for and supply of children’s services has been a contested issue in England in recent years. These relationships have begun to be explored through the concept of inequalities in child welfare, in parallel to the established fields of inequalities in education a...
Conference Paper
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Objectives In Wales suicide accounts for 20% of deaths among men aged 15-24 years and almost 10% of deaths among women of that age. Up to 2% of suicides in young people are thought to occur in clusters. Yet, our understanding of the social and psychological determinants of suicide clusters is limited, with none of the cross-discipline theories prop...
Article
Objective The utilisation of evidence-based health interventions remains a challenge in educational settings. Although driving forward the scientific evidence-base may contribute to the diffusion of such approaches, abstract notions of population-level impact may not be seen as priorities in local. This paper considers the alternative forms of evid...
Article
Embedded within quantitative longitudinal panel or cohort studies is narrative potential that is arguably untapped but might enrich our understanding of individual and social lives across time. This paper discusses a methodology to assemble the life history narratives of families using social work by drawing on quantitative data from the British Ho...
Article
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Purpose: Process evaluations generate important data on the extent to which interventions are delivered as intended. However, the tendency to focus only on assessment of pre-specified structural aspects of fidelity has been criticised for paying insufficient attention to implementation processes and how intervention-context interactions influence p...
Article
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This article is based on qualitative research with fathers who attended Mellow Dads, an intensive ‘dads only’ group-based intervention underpinned by attachment theory for fathers of at-risk children. Specifically the article draws on data from a process evaluation of the programme in order to explore the challenges of engaging men in effective fam...
Article
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Background: Media reporting may influence suicide clusters through imitation or contagion. In 2008 there was extensive national and international newspaper coverage of a cluster of suicides in young people in the Bridgend area of South Wales, UK. Aims: To explore the quantity and quality of newspaper reporting during the identified cluster. Method:...
Article
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Evidence suggests that the quality of fathers' parenting has an impact on psychological outcomes during adolescence, but less is known about which aspects of fathering have the strongest effects. This study, using the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), considers which paternal attitudes towards and experiences of child care i...
Article
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This paper examines the recipients of social work support in the Millennium Cohort Study. Using panel analysis and fixed effects models, it investigates the factors that lead to the receipt of any type of social work support for individuals with young children and the effects of this support on changes in the prevalence of emotional and behavioural...
Article
There has been growing interest in religion and spirituality within social work literature. However, little empirical research has explored Islamic welfare organisations and especially their significance for service users. This article presents findings from an evaluation of a British Islamic social work organisation (Ihsaan Social Support Associat...
Article
Background: Concern has been expressed about the potentially contagious effect of television soap opera suicides and suicidal language in social media. Aims: Twitter content was analyzed during the week in which a fictional assisted suicide was broadcast on a British television soap opera, "Coronation Street." Method: Tweets were collected if...
Article
‘Fathers’ is a very diverse category and there is considerable variation in fathering within and between countries. Fathers have not traditionally been the focus of much attention in social work practice, but some committed practitioners are now developing innovative interventions. There is relatively little evidence about which interventions resul...
Article
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The key purpose of educational welfare officers in England is to support students and parents to maximise educational opportunities for young people. However more is known about their role in relation to school attendance than in relation to pupils' educational outcomes. Using the Longitudinal Survey of Young People in England (LSYPE), this paper i...
Article
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Very few UK studies make use of longitudinal general population data to explore social service contact for children and young people. Those that do only look at specific interventions such as care placements. This paper seeks to address this gap by asking to what extent do structural, neighbourhood, familial and individual characteristics predict s...
Article
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This article examines how parental mental health, and in turn children's well-being is related to receiving social work interventions. Using data from the British Household Panel Survey we examine factors predicting the likelihood of parental social work use; whether transitions into social work use is associated with an improvement of mental healt...
Conference Paper
The World Wide Web, and online social networks in particular, have increased connectivity between people such that information can spread to millions of people in a matter of minutes. This form of online collective contagion has provided many benefits to society, such as providing reassurance and emergency management in the immediate aftermath of n...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we aim to understand the connectivity and communication characteristics of Twitter users who post content subsequently classified by human annotators as containing possible suicidal intent or thinking, commonly referred to as suicidal ideation. We achieve this understanding by analysing the characteristics of their social networks. St...
Article
Full-text available
Previous individual-level research on the association between the status of divorce and suicide risk has been marked by two recurrent limitations: (a) it is not clear if the timing of divorce (recent vs. distal) affects risk of completed suicides and (b) it is not clear if the association between divorce and suicide completions will withstand contr...
Article
Full-text available
Sporadic and inconsistent implementation remains a significant challenge for social and emotional learning (SEL) interventions. This may be partly explained by the dearth of flexible, causative models that capture the multifarious determinants of implementation practices within complex systems. This paper draws upon Rogers (2003) Diffusion of Innov...