DRILL Series 1: Disability research ethics – Lessons for research and practice

Introducing the Drill webinar series

In autumn 2020, ExChange Wales is delivering a series of webinars led by project partners from the Disability Research on Independent Living & Learning (DRILL). DRILL is a Four Nation Research Project which delivers the world’s first major research programme led by disabled people. The Programme is led by Disability Action NI in partnership with Disability Rights UK, Disability Wales and Inclusion Scotland.

DRILL promotes coproduction and collaboration between disabled people and their organisations, academia, research bodies and policy makers. Disabled people are empowered to have direct influence on decisions that impact on their independent living, particularly in relation to policies, legislation and services.

The programme has funded 32 coproduced research and pilot projects across the UK. The purpose of the projects is to find solutions about how disabled people can live as full citizens and take part socially, economically and politically.

Webinar 1: Disability research ethics – Lessons for research and practice

The DRILL Ethics Committee is Chaired by Professor Alison Koslowski and operated by a body of experts led by disabled people from across Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England. Its membership includes representatives from academia and leaders from civil and civic society. The purpose of the Committee is to ensure that in all areas the DRILL ethos of co-production is upheld, also to support the DRILL Programme Board, the National Advisory Groups and the Central Research Committee.

This ExChange Wales webinar, the first in our DRILL series, will involve members of the Disability Ethics Committee sharing their experience and lessons for co-production in research and practice. There will be an opportunity to ask questions after the presentation. Our thanks to Disability Wales and the DRILL Ethics Committee for making this webinar possible.

Organiser of DRILL Series 1: Disability Ethics Committee

ExChange is an all-Wales network that brings together workers, researchers and those who use services to share experiences and expertise and learn from one another. Our aim is to improve social work and social care services by creating dialogue and ongoing relationships between people with different types of expertise.

We believe that research has most impact when it is part of an ongoing dialogue between researchers, practitioners and those with direct experiences of services. As such our focus is on bringing leading researchers into direct contact with workers, managers and those who use services so that we can learn from one another. In our first year we are running a programme of more than 20 events across Wales, from large national conferences to small seminars with leading experts.

ExChange was set up by the Cascade Centre at Cardiff University, but we are working closely with Swansea, Bangor and we hope other universities across Wales. Almost every local authority in Wales is a member, as well as key charities and other organisations. We hope this will allow us to provide a range of opportunities for discussion and collaboration with an ongoing focus on ensuring that our research makes a difference. If you would like more information or to be involved, please contact us.

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There are a few ways you can prepare for an ExChange Wales event. Research the venue and consider travel times to arrive early. Study the schedule or details of the visiting lecturer or workshop leader to familiarise yourself with their expertise or to help you to prepare questions. While at an event, connect with other researchers, staff or practitioners to broaden your own areas of interest. Organise your materials – bring a pen and paper or check your technology for note-taking. Don’t forget to follow-up after the workshop: presentations, Twitter feeds, or further materials may be available. And finally: check for our next event!

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Webinar: Use of secure accommodation for welfare purposes in Wales

Date: Wednesday 9th September at 11.30am

Earlier this year due to lockdown, we were unable to run our workshop on the Use of secure accommodation for welfare purposes in Wales. ExChange Wales will now be running a free webinar in its place. We’ll be recording this webinar and it will be made available shortly after the live event. If you’re unable to join us on the day please visit the Cascade channel to view the webinar following the event.


Secure accommodations are residential homes with approval to restrict the liberty of young people aged 10 -17 years of age who are a serious risk to themselves or to others. While young people often enter secure (or alternative) accommodation via the criminal justice system, many are placed by social services for welfare reasons and there is little sign of this practice diminishing. This troubling situation is further complicated by a scarcity of secure placements in Wales which sees many young people being placed outside of Wales or having no bed in secure care due to a lack of availability.

At present there is little research evidence of what had led to this or what can be done to improve matters. To give better insight a recent project commissioned by Social Care Wales and conducted by CASCADE at Cardiff University explored the experiences of young people from Wales prior to, during and following a referral to secure accommodation. Many findings caused deep concern and led to a series of recommendations.

The workshop will give an opportunity for practitioners and managers to hear about the study and its findings, and use these as a platform for collaborative discussion of

  • The study recommendations
  • The extent to which the recommendations map onto practice experience and whether they would profit from amendment
  • Barriers envisaged when implementing the recommendations
  • How such barriers could be overcome

Presented by:
CASCADE: Children’s Social Care Research and Development Centre, Cardiff University

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From identification to support: Assessing and improving services for young carers

Date: April 30, 2020
Please note: this event has been postponed

Family carers are sometimes described as an ‘invisible army’ – a large group of citizens who bear a significant proportion of the national social care strategy. Child carers, commonly known as ‘young carers’, are an under-recognised and particularly vulnerable group within this ‘army’. Current policy and practice on recognising and supporting young carers is variable across Welsh Local Authorities, and the level or nature of intervention activity bears further examination nationally. This group has significant, diverse needs and disparate experiences of personal disruption depending on their circumstances and level of care required for their family members. Education and health could offer substantial support to these children and young people but research shows that they currently struggle to effectively identify and support them, in part due to a lack of clear guidance and strategic planning, and most young carers report difficulties in being recognised for the valuable work that they do. This workshop focuses on sharing knowledge from recent Cardiff University research and policy insight and strategy from national charity Carer’s Trust Wales. We facilitate practitioner-led discussion on common and differing experiences in trying to best support young carers, and co-develop approaches and recommendations to improve Welsh provision. No child or young person should be disadvantaged in their lives by being a young carer. This workshop offers the opportunity to add your experience and expertise to the national conversation around how we can best see, listen to, and support them better.

Presented by:
Faaiza Bashir (Carer’s Trust Wales), Edward Janes (Cardiff University), Jen Lyttleton-Smith (Cardiff University)

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