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A Different Take: Promoting Voices of Children, Young People and Families

Dr Gill Main

School of Education, Faculty of Social Sciences

Responsive Mode Impact Fund

Current research by the PI highlights the dissociation between policy and media narratives on child poverty in the UK, and children’s and families’ own understandings and accounts of their experiences.  The latter are notable in their absence from debates about what poverty is, how it affects individuals and society, and the most useful interventions.  Reasons for this include: people in poverty have few opportunities to access practice and policy audiences; where these opportunities exist, stigma and shame present a substantial barrier; and policy makers and practitioners may not have the time, resources or connections to meaningfully engage.

This project will address this through the development of Leeds- and London-based panels of children, parents, and young people with experience of poverty.  Research findings will be presented to these panels, and they will receive training in peer research and media engagement.  This will enable them to generate new evidence to complement existing findings.  We will then organise structured and supported launch events for policy makers, media representatives and practitioners (including representatives from the DWP and DfE; civil society and advocacy groups; and media representatives), at which panel members and project partners will have the opportunity to present their research and discuss findings.