Recent and Current Projects

Evaluating the implementation of a new model of keyworking in St. Michael’s HouseCompletion date: ongoing

Research team:

Nicola Barry, Principal Psychologist

Catherine Duffy, Home Teacher Manager

Maria Nolan, Early Services Team Leader

Niamh Giltinan, Clinical manager for Children & Young Person’s Service

Susan Cookney, Home Teaching

Phillie Sheehan, Social Work

Suzanne Guerin, UCD Centre for Disability Studies

Research Summary 

The aim of this research is to assess the implementation of the new model of keyworking developed for use in St Michael’s House. The model will be implemented in a number of purposively sampled settings/teams. The aim will be addressed by assessing the following objectives:

  • Identifying the extent of implementation of the new model over a one-year period within the targeted settings;
  • Exploring staff experiences of the process of implementation and the model itself;
  • Exploring families’ perspectives of the pilot model.

We anticipate that this research will allow staff and the wider organisation to reflect on the implementation of this model and provide guidance on how to support implementation going forward. Considering the National implementation of PDS and the importance of keyworking within this overarching model, there is the potential that the learning from this research will have implications at a national level.

The Perspectives Of Staff On The Use And Oversight Of Restrictive Practice Within Children And Young People’s Services Across Saint Michael’s House

Status: Expected completion data. February 2023

Research Team:

Nicola Barry, Anita Hyland, Irina Jackson, Joan Kelly and Sandra Wallace - Members of St. Michael’s House Children’s Positive Approvals Monitoring Group (PAMG)

Research Summary

The perspectives of staff members involved in implementing and managing restrictive practices is important to ensuring they are only applied in appropriate circumstances with the minimal amount of distress to both service-users and staff involved.

Previous research exploring staff members’ involvement with restrictive practices has mostly taken place in intellectual disability services for adults, with little known about the experiences of staff working with children. 

This study will aim to explore staff members’ emotional responses and justifications for implementing restrictive practices. It will examine whether working in a children’s context brings with it unique considerations for staff when handling restraint. Additionally, it will investigate staff members’ attitudes to the Children’s Positive Approaches Monitoring Group that oversees the use of restrictive practices within young people’s services across Saint Michael’s House.

In order to obtain a wide variety of perspectives on restraint, the study will sample from ground staff within services, service managers and from clinicians working across services. Participants will be sampled from educational, respite, residential and link services. Both semi-structured interviews and focus groups will be incorporated into the study’s design.

The data will be analysed through a reflexive thematic analysis approach, in which the data will be interpreted into themes that explore different dimensions of staff members’ experience of restraint.