Dr Julie Harris
Principal Research Fellow - Evaluation Development Manager
I am a social researcher who specialises in evaluation research with a particular interest in theory driven methodologies, such as realist evaluation, that recognise the importance of individual agency, capture complexity and emergence in systems change and that prioritise partnership and iterative learning throughout the evaluation process.
I have particular experience in evaluating local authority children’s services, local child protection and safeguarding systems and the role that the third sector brings to social welfare intervention and support.
I am currently a Principal Research Fellow and Evaluation Manager within the Safer Young Lives Research Centre focussing on the safeguarding of vulnerable, often marginalised and excluded communities of children/young people with intersecting experiences and needs.
Special research interests include the development of co-produced approaches to measuring the outcomes of social intervention that support bi-directional learning between those providing services and those using and engaging with them.
Prior to joining the University in 2013, I was Assistant Director for Research and Evaluation with Barnardo's, leading the organisation's strategic programme of evaluation, developing the evidence base and providing support for services in demonstrating their impact. For several years I also held the research and policy lead for child sexual exploitation and, more latterly, for child trafficking; managing the organisation's research, policy and campaigning activities in these key policy areas.
- Professional Doctorate - University of Bedfordshire, 2014.
- Master of Arts - University of Leeds, 2002.
- Postgraduate Certificate in Public and Voluntary Sector Management - University of Leeds, 2001.
- Bachelor of Arts in Combined Honours in Philosophy and Literature - University of Warwick, 1990.
- Undergraduate supervision
- PhD / D Prof supervision
- Lectures in research methods at Masters / PhD level
- Theory driven / realist research and evaluation focussed on social care and welfare intervention, complexity and systems change;
- Multiple stakeholder / co-produced approaches to outcomes measurement;
- Contextualised approaches to safeguarding young people with intersecting experiences and needs;
- Participative methodologies, particularly young people's involvement in research and evaluation;
- Issues affecting marginalised and excluded communities of young people including those in and leaving care.
Current Research Projects
- ‘Out There’ Rescue and Response: A contextual safeguarding evaluation of a pan-London safeguarding response to children who are criminally exploited via ‘county lines’
- A Thematic Child Safeguarding Practice Review ‘Cross-Border Peer-on-Peer Abuse and Child Criminal Exploitation’ for the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership
- Justice and Care: A toolkit for tackling Modern Slavery
- The Enthusiasm Trust: Developing a theory of change for young people’s mentoring programme
- YMCA Sussex Wise – Evaluation of the ‘Wise Ambassadors’ programme
Recent Research Projects
- The Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse Evaluation (in partnership with Research in Practice)
- Leicestershire County Council and Barnardo’s Children’s Innovation Partnership – Phase one evaluation 2019-20
- A Thematic Review of Serious Youth Violence for Bedford Borough Safeguarding Children Board 2019-2020
- Department for Education - Children's Social Care Innovation Programme Wave 2 - Leeds Partners in Practice Innovation Project Evaluation 2018 - 2020
- The Alexi Project- A realist evaluation of hub and spoke development with sixteen child sexual exploitation services (2013-2017).
- Harris, J., Tinarwo, M. and Ramanathan, R. (2020) Leeds Partners in Practice: Reimagining child welfare services for the 21st century. Final evaluation report April 2020. Department for Education
- Harris, J. (2020) Leicestershire County Council and Barnardo’s Children’s Innovation Partnership – Phase one evaluation report 2019-20. University of Bedfordshire.
- Harris, J. (2020) A Thematic Review of Serious Youth Violence for Bedford Borough Safeguarding Children Board. University of Bedfordshire.
- Brandon, M., Sidebotham, P., Belderson, P., Cleaver, H., Dickens, J., Garstang, J., Harris, J., Sorensen P., and Wate, R. (2020) Complexity and challenge: a triennial analysis of SCRs 2014-2017. Final report March 2020. Department for Education
- Shuker, L. and Harris, J. (2018). The role of the voluntary sector in protecting children from sexual exploitation. Evidence Briefing. January 2018. University of Bedfordshire.
- Harris, J., Roker, D., with Shuker, L., Brodie., D'Arcy, K., Dhaliwal, S. and Pearce, J. (2017) Evaluation of the Alexi Project 'Hub and Spoke' programme of CSE service development: Final Report. November 2017. University of Bedfordshire.
- Harris, J., Roker, D., with Shuker, L., Brodie., D'Arcy, K., Dhaliwal, S. and Pearce, J. (2017) Evaluation of the Alexi Project 'Hub and Spoke' programme of CSE service development: Key Messages. November 2017. University of Bedfordshire.
- Harris, J., Roker, D., D'Arcy, K. Shuker, L. with Brodie, I. and Pearce, J. (2015) The CSEFA Hub and Spoke Evaluation - Year Two Progress Report and Interim Findings 2014-15. University of Bedfordshire.
- Harris, J., Roker, D., Dhaliwal, S. with Shuker, L. (2014) The CSEFA Hub and Spoke Evaluation - End of phase one report. University of Bedfordshire.
- Harris, J (2014) Co-Determining the Outcomes that Matter with Young People Leaving Care - A Realist Approach. (Doctoral Thesis) University of Bedfordshire.
- Blazey, L., Devasahavam, A., Harris, J., Minnis, H. and Lines, M (2013) Using the Adult Attachment Interview to inform foster carer assessment: The experience of one fostering agency. Adoption & Fostering: 37(3) 297–306. Sage Publications
- Ward, F., Cundy, J. and Harris, J. (2011) Evaluation of Barnardo's Trafficking Services. Barnardo's.
- Harris, J., Scott, S and Skidmore, P (2009) Child Sexual Exploitation: A Barnardo's teaching case on the integration of practice, research, and policy. Barnardo's: Barkingside.
- Harris, J., Treanor, M. and Sharma, N. (2009) Below the Breadline: A year in the life of families in poverty. Barnardo's: Barkingside.
- Harris, J (2008) Effective Work with Sexually Exploited Children and Young People. Barnardo's: Barkingside.
- Harris, J and Robinson, B. (2007) Tipping the Iceberg – a pan Sussex study of young people at risk of sexual exploitation. Barnardo's: Barkingside.
- Scott S and Harris, J (2007) Learning the lessons from the Community Based Refuge Pilot Projects. DCSF and Barnardo's: Barkingside.
- Harris, J and Scott, S. (2006) Missing in London: Meeting the needs of young people who run away. Barnardo's: Barkingside.
- Harris, J. (2006) Future Positive: A Good Practice and Resource Guide for the Support of Young Disabled People Leaving Care. DfES
- Harris, J and Broad, B (2005) In My Own Time: Achieving positive outcomes for young people leaving care. Leicester: De Montfort University, Monograph Series No.5
- Harris, J (2005) Pathway planning for young disabled people leaving care, Ch 2.2 in Wheal, A (ed) RHP Leaving Care Handbook. London: Russell House Publishing.
- Harris, J (2005) The health and well being of disabled care leavers. Ch. 12 in Broad, B. Improving the health and well being of young people leaving care. London: Russell House Publishing.
- Priestley, M., Rabiee, P. and Harris, J. (2003) Young Disabled People and the 'New Arrangements' for Leaving Care in England and Wales, Children and Youth Services Review, 25(11): 863-890
- Harris, J., Rabiee, P. & Priestley, M. (2002) Enabled by the Act? The Reframing of Aftercare services for young disabled people, in Wheal, A. (ed) RHP Companion to Leaving Care. London: Russell House Publishing.
- Rabiee, P., Priestley, M. & Knowles, J. (2001) Whatever Next? Young disabled people leaving care. Leeds: First Key.
Recent conference presentations
- 3rd International Conference on Realist Evaluation and Synthesis: 20 Years On: From Promise to Practice. 24th -26th October, 2017. Brisbane, Australia. Mining the Mechanisms of Influence: A realist approach to maximising the impact of evaluation on policy and practice.
- 2nd International Conference on Realist Evaluation and Synthesis: Advancing Principles, Strengthening Practice: 2nd - 6th October, 2016. London. Co-determining the outcomes that matter with young people leaving care: A realist approach.
- Children and Young People Now 2016 - Achieving Outcomes for Children: Evidence-Based Thinking and Practice: Overcoming the challenges of evaluating services that support young people affected by sexual exploitation - A realist approach.
- BASPCAN Congress 2015 - New Directions in Child Protection and Wellbeing: Extending the reach of CSE services -The Hub and Spoke evaluation 2013-17.
- BASPCAN Congress 2015 - New Directions in Child Protection and Wellbeing: Using realist evaluation with vulnerable young people and the services that support them: Examples from research.
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