Social Policy and Social Work

Bucks New University conducts research in a range of disciplines relating to social policy and social work, with a number of research projects relating to the welfare of marginalised communities.

The goal of ROMOMATTER is to dismantle discrimination related to early motherhood in Roma girls living in at-risk contexts through building transformative motherhood mattering. ROMOMATTER has two general objectives: (1) Identifying psychosocial, cultural and contextual determinants that influence early motherhood of at-risk Roma girls; and (2) Developing and evaluating the impact of youth participatory action research processes that empower at-risk Roma girls to develop motherhood mattering by linking it to reproductive justice.

Bucks New University is a partner on this project with work led by Professor Margaret Greenfields, from January 2019 to December 2020. The project is led by the University of Seville and is funded by the European Commission Rights, Equality and Citizenship programme.

Further details of the project and updates on progress can be found on the ROMOMATTER project website

Access the report on this link The impact of migration in the Fenland area. A scoping report and access the video recording of the report presentation here The Impact of Migration in the Fenland Area. A scoping report video

This project was initiated and funded by Rosmini Migration Support as part of the Fenland Local Authority multi-agency consortium across East Anglia funded by the UK Government Controlling Migration fund. It is led by Professor Margaret Greenfields at Bucks, with collaboration with Anglia Ruskin University and runs from 2018 to 2019.

The purpose of the Migrant Workers’ Mapping Project is to gain a clearer understanding of the size, mobility drivers and impact on the local community and service demand (both as consumers of public services and as suppliers of labour) of a large East European migrant workforce population resident within the Fenland region in East Anglia. Given the political context of the area, there is a clear need to identify elements which may impact on community cohesion, for example, in relation to perceptions of anti-social behaviour in some areas.

Benefits of the project consist firstly of greater knowledge of the employment patterns, residence and accommodation, use of welfare services and support needs of the migrant workers. Secondly, the project will explore with stakeholders, including employers, the potential for devising innovative data-management methods for supplying accommodation and work flow/labour market data on migrant workers’ employment availability as well as supporting supply of high quality service provision data to local statutory agencies.

Professor Margaret Greenfields is working on this project in partnership with Bar Ilan University and the Herbrew University of Jerusalem during 2019.

Focused on ‘religious’/Ultra-Orthodox women in Jewish society, in Israel and the UK, the study examines the phenomenon of women activists in traditional religious societies to understand how they deal with the change processes they lead.

The study utilises two main theories (radical feminism and the theory of empowerment and change mechanisms) to explain and understand the processes explored within interviews. Grounded theory and feminist critical standpoint theory will be used to analyse findings.

Professor Margaret Greenfields is working on this project in partnership with Bar Ilan University and the Herbrew University of Jerusalem during 2019.

Prior research in both Israel and the UK has consistently shown that Ultra Orthodox  Jewish community members experience barriers to accessibility of mainstream services (e.g. mental health or learning disability services; domestic violence or family support provision).

There is an important and growing need to explore how specialist services have developed and how other ‘mainstream’ agencies can adopt inclusive practice to support Ultra Orthodox Jewish populations. Findings are also likely to be relevant to organisations and services working with other conservative religious groups in the UK and Israel.

Led by the University of Middlesex and funded by Barnet Council, Professor Margaret Greenfields worked on a study investigating issues concerning children in need and child protection within Jewish communities in Barnet.

Following on from this work, the Jewish Leadership Foundation has funded a project to investigate support services for Jewish children and young people in relation to mental health, special educational needs and social care.

Rituals Reconstructed is a collaborative project working with film, performance, installation and storytelling to explore the ways in which Jewish people who identify as LGBTQI engage in religious and community life. The project was led by Professor Margaret Greenfields, in partnership with Liberal Judaism, the University of Portsmouth and the University of Coventry.

The initial project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council completed in 2015 and has been followed by a number of dissemination events, including the Rainbow Pilgrim events in 2018 funded by the National Lottery fund. Further details are available on the Rituals Reconstructed project website. Details of publications from the project can be found on Research Council UK’s Gateway to Research.