Student Research With a Positive Impact

High-quality research is an important part of the work we do at NYAS and we are proud to co-produce this alongside talented university students across England and Wales.

NYAS does this by working in partnership with the University of Liverpool through Interchange research. Interchange is a registered charity managed by the University of Liverpool, connecting voluntary sector organisations with students in higher education. Each academic year students from the university work with NYAS to produce a research report exploring issues that affect care-experienced young people as part of their studies. 

Student Research Project Results

NYAS has been fortunate enough to offer undergraduate research opportunities to several students. You can find all of their original research, including their findings, below. We have grouped each research project by the theme or issue they were exploring. 


Marginalised and Failed by PolicyMakers: Looked-After Disabled Children (2022)

Researcher: Harriet Gledhill-Baker

​​In this report, Harriet Gledhill-Baker explores how disability affects care experienced children and young people in and outside of care.


Examining the Relationship Between Child Poverty and Social Care (2022)

Researcher: Imogen Thompson

Child poverty in the UK is an ongoing crisis. Imogen Thompson's report explores the relationship between child poverty and children entering the social care system.


A Knowledge Review On the Services and Support Available for Young Care Experienced Fathers in Wales (2022)

Researcher: Emilie Daniels

This knowledge review examines the support on offer for care experienced fathers, and where improvements need to be made.

Personal Advisors

Active or Invisible: Investigating the Role of Personal Advisors Within the Care System (2022)

Researcher: Amelia Hudson

Read Report Here

Should Personal Advisors Support Mental Health and Wellbeing as a Key Performance Indicator? (2022)

Researcher: Emily Pierce

Read Report Here

In these reports, the researchers explore the role of personal advisors within the lives of care leavers, including their purpose and potential for positive impact.

Early Intervention

Early Intervention: A Cost Saving Exercise? (2022)

Researcher: David Wood

​​In this report, David Wood explores the benefits of early intervention services for both local authorities and children in care.


‘Not In My Backyard’: How Communities Choose to Welcome or Reject Vulnerable Children (2021) 

Researcher: Joanne Chetwood

​​In this report, Joanne Chetwood explored why communities often go to great lengths to stop vulnerable children moving into their area.

Youth Homelessness

Youth Homelessness: From Support in a Crisis, to Support to Avoid a Crisis (2021) 

Researchers: Leonie Townsend; Brigita Petruskeviciute

Two students took part in this undergraduate research opportunity exploring youth homelessness, but they took slightly different angles. 

Leonie Townsend researched why care-experienced young people are more likely to experience homelessness than their peers. She analysed the impact of housing legislation and the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read the full report here.

Brigita Petruskeviciute also examined why care leavers are at greater risk of becoming homeless, analysing whether social services and local authorities provide the support that they’re statutorily obligated to as corporate parents. The full report is available here.

Mental Health

Mental Health: The Links Between Leaving Care, Entering Adulthood and Moving On From CAMHS (2020)

Researcher: Isobel Hopwood. 

In this report, Isobel Hopwood outlines the challenges care leavers can face during transitions, and impact of stigma on their mental health during that journey.

Missing Children

Missing Children and Return Interviews: Analysis of Data in England and Wales (2020) 

Researchers: Jasmine Millard; Jiahao Zhou

Two students, Jasmine Millard and Jiahao Zhou, researched Wales and England respectively, to gain a deeper insight into the effectiveness of return interviews across these countries. 

The Welsh report is available to read here, and the English report is accessible here.

Leaving Care

Care Leavers Policy: Transition from Children’s to Adult services (2019) 

Researcher: Penny Rimmer

Penny Rimmer researched some of the challenges facing young people leaving the care system, as well as the opportunities that may be available to them.


The Child’s Journey through NYAS’ Contact Centres: Considering the Significance of the Child's Voice Throughout the Process (2019) 

Researcher: Hannah Nicholas

In this project, Hannah Nicholas focused on NYAS Contact Centres. She evaluated the impact of the voice of the child at the beginning, middle, and end of their contact journey, to uncover any barriers preventing the child from being heard

Get Involved

Are you a student and think that you could deliver a research project which could benefit NYAS and have a positive impact on care experienced young people? 

Perhaps you’re a university professor, or a course convenor looking to secure undergraduate research projects for your students?

If you’re looking to get yourself or your students involved with NYAS’ student research opportunities, please get in touch with the Policy and Research team by emailing

You can also learn more about NYAS by exploring our services, our mission and values, and our campaigns for change. For all of the latest NYAS updates and guidance, head to the NYAS News Hub. If you’re keen to be more involved with NYAS’ work, consider volunteering for us.

Got More Questions?

If you have further questions about our student research opportunities, please do get in touch.

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