The Role of Practitioner Educational Psychologists in Supporting a Residential Setting to Meet the Needs of Looked After Children

  • Louise Lightfoot

Student thesis: Doctor of Educational and Child Psychology


This research focuses on the role of Educational Psychologists (EPs) in supporting looked after children in a residential home (LACRH). This population can be considered vulnerable in that they are likely to achieve poorer outcomes compared to their non-LAC peers (Jackson & McParlin, 2006). Children in residential care are considered the most vulnerable subsection of the LAC population (Rutter, 2000), and therefore the Educational Psychology Service (EPS) has commissioned a pilot model of service delivery for the children's residential care provision within the local authority (LA). Three EPs who were already established providers of EP services to children's residential care homes were interviewed. This information was used to inform a model of service delivery generated by a team of 11 EPs in the commissioning LA. This model was presented to 13 staff in a children's home, which hosted the pilot. An action research (AR) method was used (Reason & Bradbury, 2001). This model was presented to staff in the selected children's home and pre-measures were taken via questionnaire. Staff from the home refined the model and subsequently commissioned work from the EP team in light of their needs. The model of service delivery was evaluated by home staff via post- measure questionnaires. EPs in the commissioning LA and home staff also participated in evaluative focus groups. Data was subject to content and thematic analysis. Pre and post measure data was compared to track changes in opinion. The model was highly valued by EPs and home staff. Home staff valued the knowledge and support offered to them via the model of service delivery. The findings support the contention that EPs have a distinct role in supporting the residential setting to meet the needs of LAC
Date of Award31 Dec 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorCaroline Bond (Supervisor) & Garry Squires (Supervisor)


  • LAC Educational Pscychology

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