Monday 18 May 2015

Dr Jane Callaghan

The University of Northampton’s Dr Jane Callaghan​ visited King’s College London on Friday 15 May, to present her research into children’s experiences of domestic violence.

Dr Callaghan’s presentation focused on children’s abilities to manage their emotions in situations of domestic violence, challenging received psychological wisdom that children who live with violence are emotionally incompetent, concrete and inarticulate. Instead, Dr Callaghan presented evidence of the complex, relational and located ways that children manage emotions in these difficult circumstances, arguing that to understand and support children who experience domestic violence, we need to understand their emotions and actions within their context.

Dr Callaghan’s presentation built on the work completed in the Understanding Agency and Resistance Strategies (UNARS) project, a two year project funded by the European Commission which explores children’s capacity for resilience.

The Making Research Count seminar series is a joint project of King’s College London and the University of Bedfordshire, that aims to share contemporary research with practising social workers, to support evidence based practice.  Dr Callaghan commented: “I was delighted to have the opportunity to share our research with about 200 social workers at the Making Research Count conference.  Social workers are on the frontline, dealing with children who experience violence, often when children are at their most vulnerable.  Our emphasis on resilience and on children’s capacity to voice their experiences and making meaning of those experiences was particularly welcomed by practitioners who work in child protection and safeguarding.”

For more information on the UNARS project, visit www.unars.co.uk. UNARS is a four nation collaborative, funded by the European Commission. It is led at the University of Northampton by Jane Callaghan, with Joanne Alexander, Lisa Fellin and Judith Sixsmith.

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