News & Views

20th Nov, 2018

Barnardo's NICCO Supporting Veterans Families

Introducing Leonie Harvey-Rolfe, our newly appointed Research Officer who is exploring the needs of Veterans Families.

In September, Leonie started in post as our new Research Officer for NICCO. Her background is in Applied Anthropology, combining participatory research with community work in Spain, Mexico and the UK. She also has lots of experience working frontline with vulnerable individuals including young people, refugees/asylum seekers and women with complex needs. Before Barnardo’s she worked for a project called Golden Key in Bristol funded by the Big Lottery focussing on the needs of adults with complex needs (homelessness, offending, substance misuse, mental health). Leonie worked with the same fifteen women for three years, coordinating the services around them, providing practical and emotional support and conducting action research to explore what helped or hindered them to navigate the system and maintain lasting change.

Leonie is really excited to bring together all this expertise in complex needs, frontline work, youth work and participatory research into her role as Research Officer. Her focus will be conducting a needs assessment of veterans in custody, their families and children. This research has been granted funding by the Forces in Mind Trust after identifying a gap in current research in exploring the needs and impact of parental imprisonment for this specific group of offenders which make up between 3.5 – 6 % of the male prison population. We want to explore what specific needs veterans in custody, their families and children have due to the unique context of transitioning from military to civilian life. Research and former Barnardo’s projects (e.g. FVSS in South Wales) have shown there are significantly higher risks around finance, housing, substance misuse and domestic violence. Collectively, these issues are known to increase the risk of offending and of course, have just as much impact on the families/children, as on the veterans themselves.

Leonie’s current task is finding research participants! Her main focus at the moment is identifying families/children of veterans in custody or ex-offenders. This can even include families/children who aren’t having contact with their fathers in prison/the community. This is no small task and involves a lot of creative thinking to find people who might be willing to be interviewed for the research. If anyone can help with this first round of interviews please get in touch! All interviews will be kept anonymous for the final report and can be conducted where the family feels most comfortable, in person or on the phone.

Contact details: leonie.harveyrolfe8@gmail.com / 07702011050

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The Centre is delivered by Barnardo’s in partnership with Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS).
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