Dr Nick Axford joins PenCLAHRC this week as Associate Professor in Health Services and will be working on a variety of projects with a focus on child health and implementation science.
Nick comes to PenCLAHRC from the Dartington Social Research Unit (DSRU), where he held the post of Senior Researcher and Head of What Works. Whilst at the DSRU he specialised in developing and evaluating evidence-based interventions and defining and measuring child well-being.
Nick’s work has always had a cross-disciplinary emphasis, reflecting the DSRU's focus on children's services, including social care, health, education and youth justice. In the last five years he has focused largely on public health subject areas such as attachment, bullying, child maltreatment and child social-emotional development. He has extensive experience in working with service providers to design new interventions and adapt successful programmes from the US for use in the UK and Ireland.
Nick said of his new role:
“I’m delighted to have joined the PenCLAHRC team and excited about working on new projects that are scientifically valuable and have the potential to improve frontline practice in children's services and the lives of children and families. I’ve enjoyed collaborating with members of the team in recent years, learning a lot in the process, and very much look forward to working more closely with them and others in the near future.”
During his first year at PenCLAHRC, Nick will be spending some of his time bringing three randomised controlled trials to conclusion. The trials are evaluating three interventions to help prevent young people aged 8-14 from becoming involved in antisocial behaviour and the criminal justice system.
He will also continue to lead the Family Nurse Partnership ADAPT (Accelerated Design And Programme Testing) project, which involves adapting aspects of an evidence-based home visit programme for disadvantaged young mothers, and testing and refining those adaptations in an iterative process.
Nick is recognised nationally for his work in prevention and implementation science - he is a member of the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) Evidence Panel and an advisor to the Board of the European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR). He is a co-recipient of the Kamerman and Kahn Award from the International Society for Child Indicators, which recognises excellence in the field of comparative research on child indicators and child welfare.
Nick was Co-Editor of the Journal of Children’s Services from 2006 to 2015. He holds an MSc in European Social Policy Analysis from the University of Bath, and a PhD in Advanced Social Work and Probation Studies from the University of Exeter.