Research and Projects

We take part in many research projects just some of which are detailed below.

My Marriage My Choice

My Marriage My Choice is a two year study funded by the National Institute for Health Research - School of Social Care Research (NIHR-SSCR). The project is led by Rachael Clawson at the University of Nottingham and we are working with colleagues from the University of Kent and RESPOND.

Find out more about My Marriage My Choice.

Taking Time - Learning to Protect Disabled Children from Child Sexual Exploitation

Taking Time is a new 12 month project funded by the Nottinghamshire Police & Crime Commissioner: Community Safety Fund 2014/15.The project will support frontline workers across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire’s communities to build up their skills and knowledge around child sexual exploitation (CSE) and safeguarding young people with learning disabilities.
Taking Time is looking to involve managers and workers from across Nottinghamshire and if you would like more information about how to be involved please contact us

Financial Abuse of People with Learning Disabilties

ACT and BILD collaborated on a two year project, funded by the Department of Health. The aim of this project was to produce a training pack that will be available and accessible to all people supporting people with learning disabilities with their financial management. It will also incorporate training for people with learning disabilities themselves in order to raise their awareness about all aspects of safeguarding their finances. Advocates, deputies, IMCAs, brokers and carers will benefit from the training materials that will offer them sound financial management advice and information about prevention and detection of financial abuse. The projects findings are available to buy here.
(Funded by the Department of Health)

Forced Marriage of People with Learning Disabilities Project

This research project, in partnership with Judith Trust, is looking at exploring the reasons why people with learning disabilities might be forced into marriage, the motivating factors for families in carrying out this practice, the warning signs, best practice in relation to dealing with these cases with the ultimate aim of producing guidance for professionals.
(Funded by the Forced Marriage Unit)

Inclusive Support for Parents with a Learning Disability

This project, in partnership with Mencap and NCT, is looking to develop and deliver targeted training for professionals working in antenatal care. Following a literature review on antenatal/ postnatal care for parents with learning disabilities and an exploration of current good practice examples, a survey of antenatal professionals' current knowledge of learning disabilities has been completed along with focus groups with parents with learning disabilities. This training has been developed and piloted in response to this.
(Funded by the Department of Health)

Safeguarding Adults in Nottinghamshire

This research was commissioned by Nottinghamshire County Council, who were concerned that a significant number of adult safeguarding alerts were resulting in 'inconclusive' outcomes. The work involved both statistical analysis of the safeguarding database and interviews with Safeguarding Managers across all adult social care groups. Findings have been presented to County Council Officers and will feed into ongoing practice improvements in this area. Nottinghamshire has also agreed that this research can be published for the benefit of wider audiences.
(Funded by Nottinghamshire County Council)

Parents with Learning Disabilities: A Volunteer Home-Visiting Project

This pilot project ran for three years and was carried out in partnership with Nottingham Home-Start, along with support from Social Services, the Play Centre and Advocacy. A small group of volunteers visited families where the parent(s) had a learning disability to offer on-going support in the care of their children. The volunteers received the usual training and support offered by the Home-Start co-ordinators with additional training from Dr Susan McGaw and ACT. Evaluation of the work was carried out by ACT throughout the project along with dissemination of the results during the third year (2004). The final report is now available. We have since had further funding from the Parenting Fund for joint work with Mencap, to develop a training pack, and deliver training to volunteers supporting parents with learning disabilities.
(Funded by the Family Support Unit at the Home Office)

Whistleblowing Project

This project explores the ethical and practical dilemmas of whistleblowing in relation to the abuse of people with learning disabilities in social care settings. Through a survey, interviews and documentary analysis, the study maps current whistleblowing policy and practice, evaluates the impact of recent legislation; explores the experience of professionals who have whistleblown on abuse of adults with learning disabilities by another member of staff; identifies 'best practice', difficult issues and makes recommendations on how whistleblowers and adults with learning disabilities can be best protected. This project ran for 18 months, the final report is now available.
"this report is of real practical value...It should be in the duty room of every service for people with learning disabilities"
(Funded by the Baily Thomas Charitable Fund)

Adolescent Abusers with Learning Disabilities

This research project, which commenced in April 2001, was funded by the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund for three years and was run jointly with the Centre for Social Work at The University of Nottingham. The research looked at the current situation for adolescent abusers to find out what interventions might have been helpful and what would be beneficial in the future regarding the prevention of any further abusive behaviour. Dissemination of the results will be carried out towards the end of the third year. The final report is now available.
(Funded by the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund)

The Abuse of Children with Disabilities

This research project had the following aims: to study current practices in recording the abuse of disabled children; to attempt to estimate the incidence of abuse of disabled children; to identify the outcomes for children with disabilities in comparison with those of a small group of children without disabilities; and to make recommendations to increase the competence of authorities to protect disabled children from abuse. A Report was published in April 2000 (see publications).
(Funded by Children-in-Need)

The Training Development Project

This project ran over a three year period. The Training Development Officer reviewed the position within different professions concerning their awareness of the sexual abuse of individuals with learning disabilities, and developed in partnership with various agencies and organisations, a number of course modules to address in-service education for professionals in contact with children and adults with learning disabilities (see publications).
(Funded by the Department of Health)