March 2015
Dear applicant
Recruitment Process at Grandparents Plus
Thank you for requesting the application pack for the post of Research
Assistant. Please note this is a one year fixed contract post.
This pack contains all the relevant information you will need to successfully
complete the application form:
Job description and person specification
Terms and conditions
Application form (as a separate attachment)
Equal Opportunities monitoring form (as a separate attachment)
Recruitment and selection process at Grandparents Plus
Background information on Grandparents Plus
Closing date for the receipt of completed applications is Monday 13th
April at 5 pm. Interviews will be held at our Bethnal Green office in the
week beginning Monday 27th April.
Please note that we will not accept applications received after the deadline. If
you have any queries about the role or your application please contact us on
020 8981 8001 and ask to speak to Sarah Wellard, Director of Policy and or
via email to [email protected]
Good luck with your application and thank you for your interest in
Grandparents Plus.
Please send your completed application form to
[email protected]
or return it by post to:
Grandparents Plus, 18 Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green, London E2 9PF.
Grandparents Plus Research Assistant
Terms and Conditions
Research assistant , 21 hours per week. Fixed term for one year.
£26,000 (pro rata)
Our office is based at the Young Foundation, 18 Victoria Park Square, London
E2. Bethnal Green tube station (central line) is very close by. We are also on
a number of bus routes and close to Bethnal Green and Cambridge Heath
railway stations.
Working Hours
A full-time working week is 35 hrs excluding lunch breaks. Working days and
hours are to be negotiated.
Flexible working
The normal office hours are 9.30am – 5.30pm but for this role it will be
important to be willing to work flexibly particularly during the data gathering
stage of the project. with the agreement of the Director of Policy and
During the first 6 months a one week notice period will apply on either side,
after that a notice period of one month will apply.
Annual Leave
The holiday year runs from the month of your appointment. Your paid holiday
entitlement will be 30 days per year (pro rata), plus a proportionate amount of
Bank and other Public Holidays. Your holiday accrues on a daily basis.
There is currently no occupational pension scheme.
Grandparents Plus Research Assistant
About Grandparents Plus
Grandparents Plus is a small national charity (charity reg no 1093975)
and we champion the role of grandparents and the wider family in
children’s lives. We do this by:
Campaigning with them for change so that their contribution to
children’s wellbeing and care is valued and understood
Providing evidence, policy solutions, training so that they get the
services and support they need to help children thrive
Advising and supporting grandparents and wider family members
by ensuring that they have access to professional advice, information
and peer support, particularly when they are raising children who are
not living with their parents or providing intensive family support.
Advising, informing and supporting professionals to develop good
kinship practice.
Our vision
To redefine the family to see:
a transformation in the way society thinks about the contribution of
grandparents and the wider family so that their role in family life can be
recognised, valued, supported and celebrated.
Kinship carers and the children they care for get the recognition and
support they need.
Our objectives
We want to make it easier for grandparents who provide childcare and
kinship carers to balance work and care.
We want kinship carers to get the advice, information and support they
We want every local authority to offer a kinship care service.
We want to be sustainable as a high impact, cutting-edge organisation.
Our activities
We carry out research and produce policy briefing papers.
We campaign for change, influencing at the highest level.
We run an advice and information service for grandparents and family
Grandparents Plus Research Assistant
We provide peer support for grandparents and family carers by running
the Grandparents Plus Support Network, which is growing and now
reaches over 5,200 across England and Wales.
We work with social workers to improve their practice and facilitate the
Kinship Care Group of professionals, with over 170 members from
local authorities across London and the South East.
We deliver workshops, seminars and conferences.
Our values
1. The welfare of children is our priority. But often this means we
need to support the grandparents or family members who love them
and are caring for them.
2. We understand and respond to the diversity and complexity of
modern family life and we want wider policy and practice to do the
same. We are challenging, ambitious and radical. But we combine
that with being evidence-based. We take a strategic look at the
world and at what research is telling us.
3. The grandparents and wider family members we work with shape
what we do. We ground our work in their experiences. We create a
platform for them to help amplify their voices. We believe that by
working in collaboration with grandparents, family carers, our partner
organisations and service providers, we are more likely to achieve our
shared aims.
4. We take a professional approach to our work. We expect everyone in
the organisation to meet high standards and we will support them to do
that. We deliver high quality, caring and trusted services for
kinship carers and the children they are raising.
5. We recognise the need to be creative and enterprising. We take
advantage of opportunities as they arise. We are open to change. We
are leading experts in the field but we don’t have all the answers and
are willing to change and learn as we go forward.
6. We listen to each other. We respect each other’s points of view,
the unique perspectives we bring. We care about everyone in the
Grandparents Plus community – the families we work with, our partners
and supporters, our staff, trustees, volunteers and interns. We will do
what we can to support them to contribute to our work.
Grandparents Plus Research Assistant
Grandparents Plus has a reputation for commissioning and producing high
quality research on both kinship care and broader grandparent care. For
example we have recently completed a four year project with King’s College
London Institute of Gerontology on grandparenting in Europe, involving
analysis of pan European data.
In 2014 we secured funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation for a major two
year study of outcomes in adulthood and transitions in adolescence for young
people growing up in kinship care.
Further information about our organisation and previous research is available
on our website
Grandparents Plus Research Assistant
Recruitment and Selection Process
Please read the following carefully before completing your application form.
1. Selecting the best person for the job
As part of our commitment to equal opportunities and diversity all candidates
are treated equally throughout the recruitment and selection process.
It is important that you take care to complete the application form as fully as
possible. We cannot make assumptions about your skills and experience,
please give us examples.
2. Job description and person specification
The job description describes the duties of the job. It sets out the range of
responsibilities and tasks.
The person specification describes the person we are looking for by
outlining the abilities, skills and experience needed to do the job. We will be
looking at your application form to see the extent to which you have the
abilities skills and experience that we need.
3. The application form
Personal details
Please make sure that your contact details are clearly displayed. If you move
house or change phone numbers between sending us your form and being
interviewed, please let us know.
At least one referee must be known to you in a work capacity and should
ideally be either your current or most recent employer. We won’t take up
references prior to interview.
Present and previous employment
Starting with your current or most recent employer, list all the employers you
have worked for, the job titles and, briefly, the main duties of the post. Please
do this in date order.
Education and training
Include all formal and informal training, qualifications you have and also any
training that may give you transferable skills which help you meet the
requirements of the person specification and job description.
Job description and person specification
Please use this space to explain how you meet the requirements of the job
description and person specification. Please give examples.
Grandparents Plus Research Assistant
Personal statement
Please use this space to explain why you are interested in the role and want
to work for Grandparents Plus and to give us any other information about you
that you feel is relevant to your application.
4. Equal opportunities monitoring form
Please complete the form and return it to us. We will only use it for monitoring
purposes. It will be separated from your application.
Grandparents Plus is committed to equal opportunities. We strive to ensure
fairness and equity of treatment for all who work with and for our organisation,
and for those who use or are beneficiaries of our services. This is irrespective
of gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, disability, age, sexuality, sexual
orientation, religion or belief, marital status and social class.
5. The interview
All shortlisted candidates will be contacted by telephone and the interview
confirmed by letter or email. You will be informed of the time, date and
location of interview as well as given notice of any test or exercise you may
need to complete.
Candidates will be asked questions that relate to the job description and
person specification and the panel will take notes during the interview. Please
be prepared to talk about your experience at the interview, giving examples
that illustrate your ability to do the job.
6. Feedback
All unsuccessful candidates who have attended an interview will be contacted
by telephone. It is possible to receive feedback if required.
7. The Asylum and Immigration Act 1996
(amended 1 May 2004)
The Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 makes it a criminal offence to employ a
person who is not entitled to work in the UK. In order to comply with this,
Grandparents Plus is obliged to ask all prospective employees to produce
appropriate documentation listed in the Home Office regulations before we
can make any offer to employment, including part-time, temporary, sessional
or casual appointments. In doing so, we emphasise that we do not
discriminate against any applicant on the grounds of their race, nationality or
ethnic origin and we will continue to uphold equal opportunities in recruitment
and selection in line with the Race Relations Act 1976. This is why we are
informing all potential job applicants of this requirement right at the start of the
recruitment process. We feel it is fair to alert all potential job applicants to this
situation as soon as possible so that anyone who needs a document can
make arrangements to get one well in advance.
For the purpose of the Asylum and Immigration Act, you will need either
one document from List 1 OR two documents from List 2.
Grandparents Plus Research Assistant
List 1
• A passport showing that the holder is a British citizen, or has a right of abode
in the United Kingdom.
• A document showing that the holder is a national of a European Economic
Area country* or Switzerland. This must be a national passport or national
identity card.
• A residence permit issued by the Home Office to a national from a European
Economic Area country or Switzerland.
• A passport or other document issued by the Home Office which has an
endorsement stating that the holder has a current right of residence in the UK
as a family member of a national
from a European Economic Area country or Switzerland who is resident in the
• A passport or other travel document endorsed to show that the holder can
stay indefinitely in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay.
• A passport or other travel document endorsed to show that the holder can
stay in the UK, and that this endorsement allows the holder to do the type of
work offered, if without a work
* The following countries are part of the European Economic Area: Austria,
Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France,
Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia,
Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland,
Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, UK
List 2 (first combination)
• A document giving your name and permanent National Insurance number.
This could be a: P45, P60, National Insurance card, or a letter from a UK
Government agency.
Together with ONE of the following:
• A full birth certificate issued in the UK, which includes the names of your
• A birth certificate issued in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Republic
of Ireland.
• A certificate of registration or naturalisation stating that you are a British
• A letter issued to you by the Home Office indicating that you can stay
indefinitely in the UK, or have no time limit on your stay.
• An Immigration Status Document issued to you by the Home Office with an
endorsement indicating that you can stay indefinitely in the UK, or have no
time limit on your stay.
Grandparents Plus Research Assistant
Research Assistant
The project
Grandparents Plus, in collaboration with Professor Elaine Farmer from the
University of Bristol, is conducting a major two year study funded by the Paul
Hamlyn Foundation to explore transitions in adolescence and outcomes in
adulthood for young people who have grown up in kinship care. This is a
groundbreaking study which has the potential to have far reaching
implications for the placement and support of young people who are unable
to live with their birthparents because of serious family difficulties.
Between 200,000 and 300,000 children in the UK are being raised by
grandparents, older siblings, aunts and uncles and other family members due
to serious difficulties such as parental drug or alcohol misuse, abuse and
neglect, imprisonment and domestic violence, parental death, serious illness
or disability. Research indicates that the children have similar high needs to
those who are in stranger foster care, yet their carers often struggle get
financial or practical support. Even more importantly, at the moment there is a
lack of evidence on these young people's experience of transitions to
adulthood or how kinship carers deal with adolescents, even though in
stranger foster care teenagers are seen as challenging to deal with and cared
for by foster carers with specialist training.
In our study we are conducting face to face interviews with 60 young people
aged 16 to 25 who have grown up in kinship care and 60 kinship carers to
plug this gap and to explore how well young people are doing, whether they
are still living with or being supported by their kinship carers. Are they at risk
of similar negative outcomes to children who grown up in the care system
(e.g. experiencing unemployment or mental health problems, or involvement
in crime,) or are they doing better because of the stability they generally
experience in kinship care? What factors contribute to them making
successful transitions and what are the risk factors for negative outcomes?
The role is an exciting opportunity for a researcher at any early stage in their
career to gain wide ranging experience, including in conducting interviews,
using standardised psychological assessment tools and both qualitative and
quantitative analysis using Nvivo and SPSS, learning from a senior academic
and an experienced policy and research director who are regarded
internationally as leaders in the field.
Grandparents Plus Research Assistant
Job Description
Recruiting potential young people and kinship carers to the study, by
telephoning people for whom we have contact details.
Responding to enquiries about the research from potential participants,
by phone and email.
Interviewing kinship carers and young people by phone about their
circumstances, collecting basic data for example on demographics, to
enable a structured sample to be recruited, and recording this
Arranging interviews, making travel arrangements and booking
accommodation for interviews.
Conducting semi-structured interviews with kinship carers and young
people aged 16 to 25, administering measures and writing summaries
for each interview.
Checking transcriptions of recorded interviews for accuracy.
Development and management of databases for study data and data
Creating databases in SPSS and NVivo and inputting data into these
Assisting in the analysis of the interviews, using both quantitative and
qualitative dataScoring the WEMWBS ,PBI and other responses and
inputting scores into SPSS.
Conducting statistical analyses of the quantitative data from the
Writing and communications
Assisting with conducting a literature review.
Writing up the findings of the study
Writing content for reports and web pages.
Working with young people and film maker to produce a short film.
Arranging launch event – booking venue, inviting participants and
Work closely with the Director of Policy and Research (line manager)
and other colleagues as required.
Supervise volunteers or interns as required.
Maintain effective working relationships with collaborators and other
organisations in the sector.
Any other tasks that may be required.
Grandparents Plus Research Assistant
Research Assistant
Person specification
Good degree with substantial research methods element.
Experience of conducting interviews with young people and adults.
Excellent interpersonal and oral communication skills.
Sensitive manner in working with vulnerable people.
Experience of conducting literature reviews.
Experience of quantitative statistical analysis using SPSS.
Familiarity with analysing qualitative date, preferably using NVivo or
similar software.
Ability to write clearly and concisely for practitioners, policy makers,
academic and user audiences.
Report writing skills and experience.
Proven ability to research complex information and communicate this in
an easily understandable way.
Meticulous and systematic approach to work.
Awareness of the importance of confidentiality and following good
practice on safeguarding issues.
The ability to work flexibly, collaboratively and effectively as part of a
small team.
Experience of organising and prioritising a busy workload without close
supervision and ability to work independently.
Willingness to travel and be away from home overnight throughout the
data collection phase and at other times as needed
Willingness to apply for ‘Enhanced Disclosure’ from the Criminal
Records Bureau.
A commitment to the vision, mission and values of Grandparents Plus.
A demonstrable commitment to equality of opportunity.
Qualification in psychology, social work or a related field.
Additional training in research methods.
Master’s or PhD.
At least one year’s recent experience of research work in an academic
Experience of using NVivo for qualitative analysis.
Experience of using standardised tools.
Broad understanding of family and friends care/ substitute care for
children unable to live with birth parents and the challenges children
and carers face.
Experience of working with socially excluded or marginalised people
and their families.
Knowledge of child development and its application in research.
Grandparents Plus Research Assistant
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