Victoria Stafford, Brief Biography

Victoria Stafford

Affiliation: Victoria Stafford, University of Leicester, The Greenwood Institute, Westcotes Drive, Leicester, LE3 0QU

Bio: I am a research assistant at the Greenwood Institute of Child Health, University of Leicester, working with Dr. Michelle O’Reilly and Dr. Khalid Karim. My two primary areas of research are the psycho- educational needs of parents with children who have been diagnosed with Autism, and communication in initial assessment (triage) appointments at Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

The first area involves research into the psycho- education provided for parents whose children have been diagnosed with ASD. Through interviewing parents about their experiences we are trying to find out how we can better meet their psycho- educational needs around the time of their child’s diagnosis. This will hopefully lead to the development of an information tool aimed at these parents, to help them better understand their child’s diagnosis and the support available to them, in an easily accessible and readily available format.

My other research involves looking at the triage appointments at CAMHS, using qualitative methods. In these appointments clinicians screen children and young people who are referred for possible mental health concerns, to assess whether CAMHS is the right service to offer support, and indeed whether there is a mental health concern present. We are primarily interested in how this happens throughout the appointment, and how decisions are made, by looking at the interactions within it.
I am also a part time PhD student at the Greenwood Institute.

My research uses conversation analysis to explore the organisation of access to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services that occurs during the triage appointments mentioned above. I am particularly interested in the variety of ways children and their families present their concerns as warranting CAMHS intervention, and the subsequent ‘negotiation’ between them and the clinicians as to whether there is a problem and the appropriate follow up options.


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