Blakey, Rachael

Rachael Blakey
Start date:
October 2016
Research Topic:
Delivering effective family mediation in the context of a changing family justice system
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Dr Leanne Smith
Supervising school:
School of Law and Politics,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

This project will examine the needs of individuals using family mediation services as a means of resolving family breakdown issues and ways in which mediation services are evolving to meet those needs.

I will use a mixed-methods approach to collect qualitative and quantitative data, using semi-structured interviews and surveys. My thesis aims to explore:

  1. The information that clients have available to them prior to and throughout mediation and the impact of this on their experience;
  2. How the environment has evolved and what challenges this creates for mediators when trying to effectively engage with clients;
  3. How mediation providers have responded to this new environment, such as the expansion of mediation methods;
  4. The experiences and outcomes of clients using mediation services.

My PhD is preceded by a Masters dissertation on the accessibility of information on family mediation. This will look at the complexity of language used, and whether sources reflect a changing mediation process providing tailored services. The overall aim of my 1+3 studentship is to inform the development by local providers of effective, tailored mediation intervention packages.