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Funding triumph for new DECIPHer-led project

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DECIPHer is awarded research funding to explore how foster care services are being moved online during COVID-19 to support the mental health of children and young people

In September 2020, The Transdisciplinary Research for the Improvement of Youth Mental Public Health (TRIUMPH) Network announced it would award funding for a project led by Dr Rhiannon Evans. The project, ‘Co-production or adaptation of online interventions for foster care: Promoting the mental health and wellbeing of care-experienced children and young people’, is due to start this month.

The TRIUMPH Network brings together young people, health practitioners, policy-makers and those working with voluntary organisations, with academics from across clinical, social sciences, arts and humanities, design and computer sciences disciplines. It aims to find new ways to improve mental health and wellbeing, especially among vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. It is part of eight Mental Health Networks funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The new project will look at how to best develop online programmes for care-experienced young people, or how to or adapt them from in-person to online delivery. Young people from CASCADE Voices and The Fostering Network Wales will be involved in the design and delivery.

Dr Evans says: ‘Young people who have been in care are at increased risk of poor well-being and mental ill-health. Recently, there has been a move to deliver services online, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. This has brought a number of unique challenges, such as how to conduct risk assessments digitally, how to ensure child protection, and how to address lack of access to technology. ‘

From this study the team will develop guidance to support policymakers, practitioners and researchers in developing and adapting programmes for delivery online. The research will also serve as the basis for developing or adapting future programmes related to online mental health provision.

The full team are:

Rhiannon Evans (Cardiff University);

Dawn Mannay (Cardiff University);

Maria Boffey (The Fostering Network Wales);

Charlotte Wooders (The Fostering Network Wales);

Lorna Stabler (Cardiff University);

Rachel Vaughan (Cardiff University);

Brittany Davies (CASCADE Voices).

More information about the TRIUMPH Funding Awards and the project can be found here: