Jade Ward

BA (Hons)

  • Research and Participation Assistant


Jade is a recent graduate specialising in children, young people and families and has over 10 years’ experience of working with looked after children. Prior to coming to the University of York Jade worked for a national charity where she was responsible for managing young people’s participation across several projects and as well as contributing to peer research studies as interviewer and interview training facilitator. This included: training young people in participatory research approaches; facilitating a national forum of young people from over 50 Local authorities that came together to lobby local and national government to improve services and outcomes for care leavers; and creating a number of products and information guides on new legislation and guidance for care experienced young people including information on 21+ entitlements and Staying Put.

Jade holds a strong belief in empowering young people to share their views and to provide young people with the opportunities to develop their skills.

External work includes:

  • Research consultant with the Rees Centre for Research in Fostering and Education at the University of Oxford, working on research with vulnerable young people
  • Service Evaluator, Trainer and Facilitator with 'A National Voice', a charity for young people in and from care
  • Freelance Peer Research Trainer and Facilitator with the University of Central London in the Thomas Coram Research Unit, working on research with leaving care services and vulnerable young people


Research interests

  • Looked after children policy and practice
  • Leaving care policy and practice
  • Care leavers and young people’s participation within research
  • Aspirations in higher education for care leavers
  • Peer research – involving young people in research

Current research projects

  • The Right Home Evaluation - the implementation and outcomes of a new accommodation and support project for young people in and at risk of entering care or becoming homeless
  • The House Project - an innovative approach to addressing the housing needs of care leavers
  • Bright Future – Supporting young people from care into Employment

Previous research experience

  • The Step Change Evaluation - exploring the implementation and impact of social care interventions for young people in and on the edge of care across three London Boroughs
  • Brighter Futures – Building consistent relationships with young people in and on the edge of care, families, communities and carers to bring about sustained change
  • Corporate parenting: making the difference?  (Funded by the Big Lottery). Involved in carrying out interviews with care experience young people
  • Right 2 be cared 4 interviewer on Government funded study of care leavers  - led by Loughborough University and NCAS
  • What Makes The Difference Project for children in care and care leavers (Rainer and NCB) Interviewing young people from care

Publications and Presentations

Staying Put: 18+ Family Placement Programme (Peer Research Report) (2012) National Care Advisory Service.

Social Care

European Scientific Association on Residential and Foster Care for Children and Adolescents Conference (EUSARF) 2016, Oviedo Spain, Presentation: The House Project: Putting young people in charge of their transitions to independence from care.

European Scientific Association on Residential and Foster Care for Children and Adolescents Conference (EUSARF) 2016, Oviedo Spain, Poster presentation: Involving young people in research.

Spoke as part of a panel at the National Network for the Education of Care Leavers Conference 2015, December 4th 2015, London Metropolitan University.

European Scientific Association on Residential and Foster Care for Children and Adolescents Conference (EUSARF) 2012, Glasgow. Presentation: What is Peer Research?

Participatory peer research with young people leaving alternative care – Brussels.


SiS Catalyst – children as societal actors for a sustainable future – Ghent.

European Access Network – Access to post-secondary education for looked after children – Canada.

Jade Ward profile photo

Contact details

Ms Jade Ward
Research and Participation Assistant
Social Policy and Social Work
University of York
Room: A/C/107

Tel: +44 (0) 1904 321270