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Sociology×

Institute of Technology, Carlow Masters Degrees in Sociology

We have 4 Institute of Technology, Carlow Masters Degrees in Sociology

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A growing body of research calls for the recognition of the complex, multi-faceted and gender-specific nature of homelessness (Barrow and Lawinski, 2009; Mayock and Sheridan, 2012; Mayock et al, 2015a; Savage, 2016). Read more

A growing body of research calls for the recognition of the complex, multi-faceted and gender-specific nature of homelessness (Barrow and Lawinski, 2009; Mayock and Sheridan, 2012; Mayock et al, 2015a; Savage, 2016). This project will apply a gender lens to the issue of housing and homelessness in Ireland in order to:

  • evaluate if and how contemporary housing legislation and policies (e.g. the Housing Act, 2009; Rebuilding Ireland, 2016) in Ireland reflect and respond to the specific needs and realities of women at risk of and experiencing homelessness
  • examine how contemporary housing policies impact on the provision of services for women experiencing homelessness
  • distinguish between the experiences of women with and without children with respect to the provision of homeless and housing services.

Methodology proposed

The following qualitative research methods will be employed:

  • a discourse analysis of relevant housing policy
  • semi -structured interviews with housing service providers and advocacy organisations
  • semi -structured interviews with women accessing homeless services

Expected outcomes: (e.g. deliverables & strategic impacts)

  • Article in a social policy/gender studies journal (e.g. Critical Social Policy)
  • Conference presentation at Social Care Ireland
  • Policy recommendations on gender-sensitive housing policies


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CORU was established as Ireland’s multi profession regulator under The Health and Social Care Professionals Act (2005). CORU is made up of the Health and Social Care Professionals Council, and Registration Boards for each of the professions (currently 15) named in the HSCP Act. Read more

CORU was established as Ireland’s multi profession regulator under The Health and Social Care Professionals Act (2005). CORU is made up of the Health and Social Care Professionals Council, and Registration Boards for each of the professions (currently 15) named in the HSCP Act. The primary remit of CORU is to protect the public by promoting high standards of professional conduct, education, training, and competence (CORU, August 2016).

The Social Care Workers Registration Board (SCWB) was formed in March 2017 to undertake the required preparatory work to allow professional registration of qualified social care practitioners, currently scheduled to commence in 2020. As part of the pre-registration process CORU is engaging with practitioners and all parties involved in the education, training and employment of social care workers. Public consultation topics to date include Standards of Proficiency for Social Care Workers (SCWRB, May 2017) and Criteria for Education and Training Programmes (SCWRB, May 2017).

This study will explore the perspectives of Irish social care students in relation to the role and requirements of CORU registration and the implications for their profession and their professional practice. There appears to be no research to date which addresses social care students’ knowledge, understanding and perspectives on what CORU registration will mean for individuals and the wider profession. The input of students into the consultation process about the future of their profession would seem to be essential if the final agreed standards of proficiency and content of education and training programmes is to reflect and take on board the valuable insight and feedback from those currently undertaking professional training. This research aims to address the current gap in the literature by exploring the perspectives of social care students and presenting evidence on student perspectives for inclusion in the CORU consultation process.

Methodology proposed

A mixed methods approach. Stage one to consist of a survey of final year level 7 and level 8 social care students at three Institutes of Technology in Ireland. Stage two to explore issues arising at stage one in more depth. This will consist of semi-structured qualitative interviews with level 7 and level 8 social care students from the same three Institutes.

Expected outcomes: (e.g. deliverables & strategic impacts)

Deliverables:

Peer -reviewed journal publications and conference presentations. A contribution to ensuring that student perspectives are included in the CORU consultation process. These will be invaluable as educational providers make adjustments to align current educational provision with regulatory requirements.

Strategic impact:

Evidence based research on the content and criteria for education and training programmes in professional social care



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Men with the poorest health outcomes are, paradoxically, the least likely to engage with community-based health promotion programmes (CBHPPs). Read more

Men with the poorest health outcomes are, paradoxically, the least likely to engage with community-based health promotion programmes (CBHPPs). Despite this, few ‘men-friendly’ settings-based health promotion interventions have been developed or evaluated. The exponential growth of Men’s Sheds in Ireland presents a unique opportunity to address this gap. ‘Sheds’ combine principles of health promotion and community development and provide an alternative space in which to engage so-called ‘hard-to-reach’ men in CBHPPs. This study will in vestigate the impact of ‘Sheds for Life’ (SFL), a CBHPP conducted in Shed settings, on a range of health outcome and health behaviour change measures among participating ‘Shedders’.

Methodology proposed

A preliminary study has established that the focus of SFL ought to be on creating and embedding a bottom up, grassroots, sustainable model for SFL, whereby ‘Shedders’ independently engage with health in their own Shed environment, on topics which they choose.

The proposed project will offer health screening as an initial ‘hook’ and thereafter offer Shedders a suite of health interventions, delivered in collaboration with community partners. While some process evaluation has previously been conducted on some of these interventions feasibility and effectiveness have not previously been evaluated in this setting. The study will adopt a cluster randomized control design across a sample of the 400 sheds across Ireland. Outcome measures will vary according to the intervention component chosen by Shedders and will include physiological measures, behaviour change, happiness, wellbeing, social capital, and use of community resources.

Expected outcomes: (e.g. deliverables & strategic impacts)

Findings will inform best practice approaches to CBHPPs targeted at ‘hard-to-reach’ men and will have an important bearing on public health/men’s health policy. Findings will be disseminated through national/international conference presentations, peer-reviewed publications and knowledge-translation activities (Sheds publications, social media, toolkits). The study will strengthen relationships with project partners (HSE, Irish Heart) and will advance the strategic objectives of healthCORE.



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