Unit of Assessment C20:
Social Work & Social Policy

Over 94% of research outputs were of a quality that is recognised internationally in originality, significance, and rigour, with 49% of that figure deemed internationally excellent. Impact case studies were recognised for their social impacts in terms of their significance and reach, with one case study considered outstanding and achieving a 4* rating.

Impact Case Study 1: Homelessness in Wales

What is it about?

Welsh Government-funded investigations into the public policy and services available to address homelessness and those who are homeless after leaving the Secure Estate in Wales.

Who was involved?

The Criminology and Criminal Justice team worked with Welsh Government and various external higher education partners and local authorities.

What was done?

The team conducted extensive research into the state of the current provisions to tackle homelessness in Wales. This included evaluating the Housing Act, work with stakeholders (service providers and beneficiaries), and engaging policy makers and practitioners. The research found shortcomings in the preventative measures currently in place.

What was the impact?

Based on the recommendations formed from the research, the topic of homelessness is now more recognised, with publications providing resources for training programmes and campaigns. Specific recommendations from the evaluations were accepted by Welsh Government and funding was granted for six new co-ordinators to work within the National Probation Service Local Delivery Units across Wales. New monitoring systems were developed, a new Accommodation Officer was employed, and a new Senior Project officer post was also created.

References to research

Evaluation of Homelessness Legislation (Part 2 of the Housing Act (Wales) 2014): final report

Evaluation of homelessness services to adults in the secure estate

Review of priority need in Wales

Introduction: Homelessness Prevention in an International Policy Context

Preventing homelessness among women prison leavers in Wales

Impact Case Study 2: Contribution Analysis for Alcohol and Drug Policy Strategy Evaluation

What is it?

Contribution Analysis is a type of qualitative methodology used to evaluate Welsh Government’s implementation of their Alcohol and Other Drugs policy.

Who was involved?

Members of the Social Science and Criminology team worked with Figure8 Consultancy and Welsh Government.

What was done?

The researchers won a Welsh Government tender to evaluate the Alcohol and other Drugs policy implementation. Contribution Analysis was adopted to evaluate Wales’ devolved substance misuse policy, which included 27 devolved Treatment Frameworks and Guidance documents and four Delivery Plans.

What was the impact?

Welsh Government used the research as a foundation for a consultation document leading to the next Delivery Plan, particularly advocating for the inclusion of service users and partnership working. Welsh Government used the five evaluation strands outlined in the research in the new Delivery Plan to shape the way alcohol and drug service provision has been delivered since the review. The Contribution Analysis report also recommended the adoption of minimum pricing for alcohol and a revision to the way data and research is hosted on Welsh Government’s website – both recommendations were advanced by Welsh government, with the minimum pricing Bill commencing in 2020.

References to Research

Welsh Government (2019) Substance Misuse Delivery Plan 2019-2022 Consultation Document, Number: WG38273

Welsh Government (2019) Substance Misuse Delivery Plan 2019-2022

Adapting existing behaviour: Perceptions of substance switching and implementation of minimum pricing for alcohol in Wales

Research into the potential for substance switching following the introduction of minimum pricing for alcohol in Wales


Ahmed, A., Madoc-Jones, I., Gibbons, A., Jones, K., Rogers, M., & Wilding, M. (2020). Challenges to implementing the new homelessness prevention agenda in Wales. Social Policy and Society19(1), 157-169.

Galvani, S., Livingston, W., & Morgan, H. (2016). The relationship between sight loss and substance use: Users’ perspectives. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy23(6), 476-483.

Gorden, C., Stanton-Jones, H., Harrison, J., & Parry, H. (2021). Experiences of young people with harmful sexual behaviours in a residential treatment programme: a qualitative study. Journal of Sexual Aggression27(2), 153-166.

Greene, A. M., & Robbins, M. (2015). The cost of a calling? Clergywomen and work in the Church of England. Gender, Work & Organization22(4), 405-420.

Livingston, W. (2014). Towards a comprehensive typology of knowledge for social work and alcohol. Social work education33(6), 774-787.

Livingston, W. (2017). Learning about alcohol: Personal experiences taken into social work practice. Practice29(1), 3-18.

Livingston, W., Holloway, K., May, T., Buhociu, M., Madoc-Jones, I., & Perkins, A. (2021). Adapting existing behaviour: Perceptions of substance switching and implementation of minimum pricing for alcohol in Wales. Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs38(1), 22-34.

Livingston, W., Madoc-Jones, I., & Perkins, A. (2020). The potential of Contribution Analysis to alcohol and drug policy strategy evaluation: an applied example from Wales. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy27(3), 183-190.

Madoc-Jones, I., Ahmed, A., Hughes, C., Dubberley, S., Gorden, C., Washington-Dyer, K., ... & Wilding, M. (2020). Imaginary homelessness prevention with prison leavers in Wales. Social Policy and Society19(1), 145-155.

Madoc-Jones, I., Hughes, C., Gorden, C., Dubberley, S., Washington-Dyer, K., Ahmed, A., ... & Wilding, M. (2018). Rethinking preventing homelessness amongst prison leavers. European Journal of Probation10(3), 215-231.

Madoc-Jones, I., Jones, D., Parry, O., & Dubberley, S. (2015). “Dangerous conversations”: a case study involving language. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal.

Madoc-Jones, I., Lloyd-Jones, N., Owen, E., & Gorden, C. (2018). Assessing and addressing domestic abuse by Ex-armed service personnel. Probation Journal65(2), 201-218.

Rogers, M., Ahmed, A., Madoc-Jones, I., Gibbons, A., Jones, K., & Wilding, M. (2020). Interrogating the prevention approach of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 for people with mental health needs who are homeless. Social Policy and Society19(1), 109-120.

Wilding, M., Madoc-Jones, I., Ahmed, A., Gibbons, A., Jones, K., & Rogers, M. (2020). Policy transfer and part 2 of the Housing Act (Wales) 2014. Social Policy and Society19(1), 171-182.