My name is Susan Kay-Flowers, I am a Senior Lecturer, trained Social Worker, and now author.
I have always been interested in children’s relationships and family circumstances, particularly hearing their ‘voice’ about their everyday experiences. My interest stems from my own family (I have three adult children) and my previous career, when I worked as a Family Court Advisor with the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS). This led to a longstanding interest in children’s experience of loss through parental separation and divorce. Later, I became a Trustee for Rainbows GB a national charitable organisation that supports children and young people through loss and grief, a role I continue to hold. As an academic I work at Liverpool John Moores University, where I am Programme Leader for the MA Leadership in Education, MA Inclusion, SEN and Disability and Advanced Education Practice programmes. I undertake PhD supervision and teach on the EdD programme, as well as lecture on the Education and Early Childhood Studies undergraduate degree programmes. Here is a link to my Liverpool John Moores University home page: https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/about-us/staff-profiles/faculty-of-education-health-and-community/school-of-education/susan-kay-flowers
Following research into issues raised by young children who have experienced parental separation in the early years (Kay, S. (2006) Where do very young children and their parents derive support during parental separation, Family Court Journal, 4 (1), pp 29-35),(access to this is not currently online) I realised young adults’ views on their childhood experience of parental separation and divorce was a gap in the current research. This became the subject of my doctoral study ‘Recalling childhood experiences of parental separation and divorce: an internet-based phenomenology of young adult voices’ – completed at the University of Sheffield in January 2015 and accessible through the following link: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/7863/
This research underpins my book, Childhood experiences of separation and divorce; reflections from young adults, which was published by Policy Press in March 2019. The use of case studies bring young adult’s accounts to life https://policy.bristoluniversitypress.co.uk/childhood-experiences-of-separation-and-divorce
The research provided insights into young adults’ experiences and the different ways in which they ‘accommodate’ parental separation over time. This led to the creation of a framework for understanding children’s experience of separation and the changes it brings. The framework can be found in my book and accessed through the following link: https://policy.bristoluniversitypress.co.uk/asset/7308/kay-flowers-appendix-six-in-colour.pdf
It has been shared with practitioners working with children and young people in schools and youth settings. The next stage of my work is to assess its usefulness in supporting practitioners working with children of separated parents.
I hope that you find my book enlightening, informative, and useful.