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Apply for Approval for Social Research

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Why do I have to apply for approval for my research?

COVID-19 External Research Activity has now resumed.

The approval application process, which includes ethical approval, is in place to protect service users, staff and the researcher, ensure effective use of our resources and ensure compliance with relevant legislation (for example the Data Protection Act 2018).  On submitting application forms, can you please give careful consideration (within your methodology) to any consultations you wish to conduct, as social distancing measures will still apply due to COVID-19.

What themes should I consider researching?

Glasgow City Council Social Work Services Professional Governance Board has approved a list of themes it would welcome further research on, as outlined below. While other themes will be considered, students / researchers are advised to consult the theme list when applying to conduct research involving GCC Social Work staff, service users or data.

While applications to conduct research related to themes on the list will be considered more favourably, approval is not guaranteed since they will still be subject to the scrutiny of the full external research application process.

List of Approved Research Themes

2020/21 Approved Research Themes for students (as at Oct 2020)
 Care GroupTheme(s)Notes
1Children's ServicesImproving outcomes for families where long term neglect is a risk factor. 
2Children's ServicesSupporting young people on the edge of care - what works to prevent them becoming looked after?Some work internally on this recently eg. Family Group Decision Making & Lifelong Links initiatives
3Children's ServicesKinship careStudents should identify narrower more focussed projects within this heading such as what works in supporting carers; what are the gaps in support; third sector's role in helping kinship carers.
4Children's ServicesPromoting long term stability of placements for looked after children, for example in foster care 
5Children's ServicesEducation and outcomes for care experienced children 
6Children's ServicesContinuing care - how should young people aged 16+ be supported to achieve good outcomes?Potential for small & larger scale research
7Children's ServicesAftercare - how should young people aged 16+ be supported to achieve good outcomes?Potential for small & larger scale research
8Cross cuttingEvaluating the impact of health and social care integration in GlasgowInitially proposed for Children & Families but could be explored within all relevant care groups
9Children's ServicesTopics related to family support and engaging with vulnerable familiesStudents should identify narrower more focussed projects within this heading
10Children's ServicesTackling child povertyStudents should identify narrower more focussed projects within this heading
11Children's ServicesImproving quality of care plans for looked after/looked after and accommodated children & young people in light of technological developmentsInclude focus on sibling contact using new technologies
12Adult ServicesAre communication aids handed back re-used appropriately & effectively by Social Work ServicesLearning disability care group - cost analysis, suitability of aids and re-allocation process could be looked at in particular with a view to recommending improvements
13Adult ServicesExperiences of newly qualified mental health officers working in Glasgow HSCP 
14Criminal JusticeTomorrows Women Glasgow service users who have had their children removed from their care: Investigating the scale of this and the impact of this on the service users 
15HomelessnessHousing First service tenancy sustainment: Investigating key barriers and enablers 
16HomelessnessImpact of positive service relationships on Housing First outcomes 
17HomelessnessHousing First tenancy breakdown: Investigating supports available for individual service users 
18HomelessnessHousing First: The effectiveness of partnership working/integration of agencies and the impact on outcomes for service users 
19HomelessnessFrom a lived experience perspective what barriers and supports have Housing First service users encountered in accessing mental health services? 
20HomelessnessWhat influences service users engagement with support services pre- and post- Housing First? 
21Older People ServicesInvestigating the benefits of physical activity on the physical and emotional wellbeing of older peopleThere is a particular interest in this related to older people in residential care
22Older People ServicesService users experience of intermediate care 
23Adult & Older People ServicesInvestigating well-being outcomes for older carers (age 70+) of service users with learning disabilities and those who they care forA focus on how much carers have considered alternative care arrangements should be looked at within this
24Adult & Older People ServicesInvestigating the (potential) use of Family Group Conferencing within Adult and Older People ServicesBeing used in Glasgow within Children's Services only. Investigate use outwith Children's Services elsewhere & use with Children's Services in Glasgow.
25Cross cuttingExpectation of referrers to social work servicesInitially proposed for Children & Families but could be explored between & across all care groups
26Cross cuttingHow is digital technology transforming health & social care?Students should identify narrower more focussed projects within this heading perhaps relating to a single care group
27Cross cuttingGender Based Violence - Do women "know where to go"? Understanding landscape of services for women and information availableRecommendations to improve type / access / source of information
28Cross cuttingCarers - Impact of Carer ActGaps / opportunities
29Cross cuttingDo carers receive the training they need to undertake their role?Review of support packages to identify perceptions of gaps in training or style / quality of training
30Older People ServicesResidential care homes - perceptions of barriers to reduce unscheduled careDialogue with stakeholders to develop thematic review of issues and recommendations to improve
31Older People ServicesOpportunities for anticipatory care within care and residential facilitiesCase study approach to understand opportunities for earlier intervention and triangulated with stakeholder perception
32Older People ServicesWhy in a number of cases is Intermediate Care not seen by family / carers as best option for next stage of care?Understanding drivers / incentives / reasons for refusal or delay to identify opportunities to address these and reduce number of people being assessed / delayed in hospital
33Children's ServicesThe impact of Children's Hearing and court decisions on the management of young people in the youth justice system 
34Children's ServicesEffective community based interventions to prevent young people becoming involved in youth justice services 
35Children's ServicesWhat are professionals' views on the range of factors associated with Global Developmental Delay? 
36Children's ServicesWhat is the impact of diagnosis (of Autistic Spectrum Disorder/ Global Developmental Delay/ ADHD/ Foetal Alcohol Syndrome) on parents/ carers/ young people? 
37Children's ServicesWhat are the experiences/understanding of families of health and social care integration following a child's diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder/ Global Developmental Delay/ ADHD/ Foetal Alcohol Syndrome? 
38Children's ServicesWhat are parents'/ carers'/ young people's/ professionals' expectations/understanding of the remit of CAMHS? 
Next update due: Sep-21

How do I apply?

In order to start the application process, you should fill out the word icon External Research Application Pack [92kb]  and return it to

The form includes a checklist of documents that should be submitted when you return your application.

When should I apply?

In order to ensure that you get a decision that meets the planned timescales of your research, you should submit your application at least one month before you need access to our resources.

We receive many external research applications every year.  Unfortunately, we are unable to approve every application we receive for a variety of reasons.

How much does it cost?

The application process is free of charge

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