Public bodies have certain legal duties to provide health, social care and other services for disabled children, but families can find it difficult to access these services. With this in mind, Cerebra has awarded a research grant to the School of Law, University of Leeds to run a research programme called “Delivering legal rights: practical problem solving”. Professor Luke Clements leads the programme. The research programme started at Cardiff Law School in 2013 and moved to the University of Leeds in January 2016, where Professor Clements is the Cerebra Professor of Law and Social Justice.
The research aims to identify the common legal problems that prevent families getting access to services and to find ways of solving those problems. There are 4 main strands to the research:
- Our Legal Entitlements and Problem-Solving (LEaP) Project, which provides legal advice to families who are having problems accessing health, social care or other services.
- Our student researchers at the University of Leeds carry out research projects on some of the common themes arising from the LEaP casework.
- The programme is underpinned by broader research that looks at “what works” in terms of solving the problems families face – the research team will analyse the effectiveness of different problem-solving techniques and use these results to refine the type of support we give to families.
- The team is developing an innovative education and dissemination programme, which has included recruiting Family Research Ambassadors, publishing the Accessing Public Services Toolkit and running workshops.