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Social Work: People


Toyin Adenugba-Okpaje

Toyin Adenugba-Okpaje
Toyin Adenugba-Okpaje
Kirkcaldy Nigeria KY1 1GJ
Research Interests
Citizenship, Support for young people with a care history, profession of social work, Outcomes-based approach, Teenage mothers and identity, Dementia

Teenage motherhood among looked after girls in Scotland, as in the rest of the United Kingdom (UK) has been the source of considerable debate in both media and policy settings. However, figures are not readily available about the rate of pregnancy among teenage mothers with a care-experience. Figures from 2017 however show a declining trend in teenage pregnancies among the general population in comparison to 2007. In 2017, 4,276 teenage mothers (<20) were recorded in contrast to 9,362 in 2007.

Although previous research indicates that young people and children with a care-experience are particularly vulnerable to early pregnancy, however, research knowledge is limited in the area of young mothers who have experienced the phenomena of state care and teenage pregnancy. Noteworthily, teenage pregnancy among care-experienced mothers does not necessarily signify difficulties, however, the reality is that a negative narrative is more prevalent in both academic and policy discourses. 

As such, this qualitative research will aim to follow a diverging route by using participants’ experiences of teenage mothering to explore the connections and linkages to time in care. The participants (interviewees and research advisory group) will be teenage mothers who have experienced ‘corporate parenting’ by a Scottish Local Authority and an exploratory holistic approach will be employed to develop knowledge about these women. 

An outcomes-based approach is used by health and social care to appraise service intervention provided to people in Scotland. However, the use of this approach is not comparative among services; methods of measurement and what is measured vary across services. Additionally, outcomes measurement appears more focused on performance indicators for services rather than the changes or improvements experienced by the people who use the services. As such, the research will focus specifically on these women’s lives and the factors that have influenced these, with particular attention paid to the contribution of social work using an outcomes-based approach, in their past and present lives. 

To develop a more participatory and empowering approach to knowledge creation, three teenage mothers will be invited to contribute to the development of the interview questions and act as an advisory group as emerging data will be analysed. Data will be collected from approximately 25 individuals through semi-structured interviews.