Processes for local authorities recording and monitoring autism spectrum diagnoses within the looked-after children population. (Student Project)

Jessica Keevash

MSc Research Methods in Psychology.

As part of my Masters, I will be completing a dissertation to extend the work carried out by Parsons, McCullen, Emery and Kovshoff (2018) which investigated the processes local authorities implement to report on the diagnosis status of Looked-After Children with autism at a strategic level.

The aim of the research is to uncover what the challenges are when reporting this diagnosis, as well as the implications for not reporting the diagnosis. This will be carried out using qualitative research methods to interview relevant professionals within a variety of education settings, and the local authority to establish how a diagnosis of ASD is shared between these different settings for Looked-After Children, with the child themselves, and with their family.

I will be using a qualitative approach to gain a deeper understanding of what is happening for these professionals involved in the care of Looked-After Children with a diagnosis of autism. Through semi-structured interviews I hope to gain an understanding of the processes involved at an education level, right up through to the local authority, with the potential to involve professionals from health as well.

The project will run until the summer holidays 2019, with the final write-up to be completed in September 2019, ready for submission. This project is supervised by Professor Sarah Parsons and Dr Hanna Kovshoff. You can read in detail about the project’s findings here.