Eimear McDowell

Final year PhD Student, Ulster University

Since commencing University it has always been my ambition to continue to postgraduate level and explore research in the area of children. I am currently in the writing-up phase of my PhD, titled ‘The role of contact with birth parents on the health and wellbeing of looked after children’. My PhD utilizes a mixed methods sequential design, exploring how care-experienced children and young people are effected by contact with birth parents. The initial phase of the research project involved in-depth semi-structured interviews with care-experienced children in order to gain a meaningful picture of the child’s experience in relation to contact. Informed by findings from the first stage, stage two used a quantitative survey approach to explore the psychosocial and emotional impact of contact / lack of contact on a sample of 200 children currently in the care system. I have presented the initial findings at a number of conferences and submitted a paper to the journal Child: Health, Care and Development, with plans to submit further papers. I would love the opportunity to continue conducting research in the area of child development.

Subjects of Interest