Social Sciences lecturer receives O2RB Excellence in Impact Award 2018

  • Sunday, April 29, 2018

Dr Caroline Oliver from the Department of Social Sciences has been awarded a highly commended recognition in the O2RB Excellence in Impact Awards, supported by the Economic and Social Research Council.

The O2RB Excellence in Impact Awards recognises successes of social science researchers who have achieved excellent economic and societal impacts. Dr Caroline Oliver from the University of Roehampton worked with Dr Sarah Spencer and Nicola Delvino from the University of Oxford in a package of work aimed at changing municipal practices on irregular and destitute migrants in Europe. Dr Oliver worked with Dr Spencer to devise a new online tool to help advise local authorities across the UK to support migrant families who have no recourse to public funds. The new web tool aims to help local authorities to make the best of reduced and scarce resources in order to adhere to statutory child duties, by:

  • Acting as an aid to enable local authority staff to conduct assessments more efficiently by explaining key elements of the complex law that governs eligibility for social services support.
  • Providing information to help plan how a case might be resolved.

Dr Caroline Oliver said ‘It's an honour to receive this recognition. It is important to note that the lack of training and guidance that is available to staff in the Local Authorities had resulted in inconsistent approaches to helping migrant families. This tool aims to help voluntary sector advisers find out if a family is eligible for social services, understand what the implications of any exclusions to support are, discover what information social services requires, and provide signposting to further information to help the family resolve their housing and financial difficulties before statutory support is required’.

The tool was designed following a major study by the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) at the University of Oxford in July 2015. To find out more about this study, please click here.

The Department of Social Sciences is rated one of the best in the UK for the impact of our social sciences research (REF 2014).