3rd Annual Great ACEPHE Christmas Gathering

The third annual Great ACEPHE Christmas Gathering will be held on Saturday, December 17 at 9:30am GMT (UK) / 8:30pm AEDT (Sydney & Melbourne).

Join us for this social Zoom to celebrate the festive season, share collective insights, and reflect on our achievements in 2022.

This event is open to people with lived experience of state and/or informal ‘care’ who are working and/or studying at any level within the higher education sector.

Please email ACEPHE2020@gmail.com to RSVP. You will receive the Zoom meeting link and passcode by email before the event.

New study of care-experienced UK academics

Dr Neil Harrison at the University of Exeter is leading a new research study about care-experienced academics working in higher education in the UK. 

A lot of research with care-experienced people understandably focuses on the challenges that they face, given that society needs to develop better ways of providing support and enabling them to thrive.  However, I believe that it is also important to understand more about the lives and careers of care-experienced people who have become successful.  This gives us different insights into the ways in which care-experienced people have overcome challenges in their lives.

One important group of successful care-experienced people are those who have forged academic careers.  Not only have they entered a highly-competitive profession, but they have also achieved at the highest levels within the education system.  I believe that there is much to learn from these stories of success, especially about how we can collectively support the next generation of care-experienced young people.

The aim of my new study is therefore to discover more about pathways into academic careers for care-experienced people, particularly focusing on the role of school and university.  I will also be exploring how academic careers can require renegotiations of identity and the extent to which universities recognise and support their care-experienced staff.  The study is funded by the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust Small Grants Programme and you can find out more about it here: https://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/education/research/projects/care-experienced-academics/

If you are a care-experienced academic working in higher education in the UK, I would be very grateful if you could complete a very short online questionnaire about your career experience so far: https://exeterssis.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3V6OtJsVham4Ffw 

(At the moment, the focus of the study is just on the UK as I just don’t know how many care-experienced academics there might be!  I may broaden this out to other countries later, depending on the number of responses that I get.)

Thanks for reading and please do get in touch if you have any questions about the study.

happening soon!

The Great ACEPHE Get-Together

Join us on Saturday 28 May 2022 (9.30am UK/6.30pm Sydney time) for an informal gathering and opportunity to connect with other care-experienced people studying – at all levels – and working in higher education.

We’ll share our experiences, exchange ideas, offer advice, and socialise.

Email: acephe2020@gmail.com for the zoom link

ACEPHE Shut Up and Write

From June we’re convening regular writing groups for any care-experienced person who wants to come along, chat for a bit, and then Shut Up and Write.

First session is Tuesday 7 June 2022 (9.30am UK/6.30pm Sydney time) and fortnightly after that.

Email: acephe2020@gmail.com for the zoom link

THIS SATURDAY: The Great ACEPHE Christmas Gathering!

18th December 2021 9-11am GMTClosed to CEP only.The Great ACEPHE Christmas Gathering.
A chance to get together, catch up and reflect on the year gone by …. and Amy and Dee are facilitating the festive fun with a quiz!

To register your interest in this event and receive the zoom link please email: ACEPHE2020@gmail.com

Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on Pexels.com

We hope you can join us!

Care Leavers going to university: supporting the transition.

On the 4th December 2021 9-10.30am GMT we are excited to be hosting an event open to all on the topic of how best to support care-leavers with the transition into and through university.

Dr Jim Goddard, with others experienced in widening the participation of care leavers in higher education – a speaker from the National Network for the Education of Care Leavers (https://www.nnecl.org), and Chris Hoyle, care leaver and a key member of the University of York’s widening participation team – will lead a discussion on the following topic: ‘How can care leavers be welcomed into universities and supported through their undergraduate journey?’. 

This event will be of particular interest to those employed by universities to support care leavers who are making the transition into, and through, university. 

We also, of course, welcome care leavers who are contemplating university study, or currently undertaking undergraduate study, or who have been through the undergraduate degree experience. Indeed, anyone interested in this topic is most welcome!

To register your interest in this event and to receive the zoom link please email ACEPHE2020@gmail.com

We look forward to seeing you there.

You can read Jim’s own reflections on his higher education journey here.


Photo by William Fortunato on Pexels.com

Researcher skills for care-experienced people

An enormous THANK YOU to Dr Amy Conley Wright and Dr Betty Luu of the Research Centre for Children and Families at the University of Sydney for providing an abundance of useful advice on Saturday 16th October! We had an engaging discussion between research students, early career and more experienced researchers on building a research career.

Some top tips from Amy and Betty include:

Networking

  • Is all about building relationships and expanding your knowledge;
  • Consider what you have to offer others;
  • Rely on introductions from your supervisors to make new contacts;
  • Make use of social media – follow other academics whose work aligns with yours;
  • Use your time at university to build networks – with peers, and with staff;
  • Don’t ask for anything at the beginning of the relationship.

Collaborations:

  • It can be intimidating but it’s also rewarding;
  • Take the initiative if you can;
  • Communicate clearly & succinctly (avoid long emails).

Presentations:

  • Are about the audience, not the content;
  • Stick to 3-5 points you want to make (people can’t process more than that);
  • Leave space for questions and conversation;
  • Give yourself time to prepare, rehearse, pare back.

Publication

  • Articles are ‘soundbites’ whereas books are more like a conversation (if you’re doing a PhD you’re effectively writing a book);
  • Be clear what your argument is, what your key message is, what you are adding to the knowledge bank;
  • Be succinct;
  • It’s ok to pushback if reviewers are wanting something you disagree with – but do so respectfully and with a clear explanation of your position;
  • Australian sociologist Raewyn Connell has an excellent series, Writing for Research. You can read online or download the booklet.

Project Management

  • Plan! Plan! Plan!
  • Set milestones – daily, weekly, monthly, annual ones;
  • You can use technology, post-it notes, journaling to keep track – but keep track of what you’ve been doing and where you’re at according to your plan;
  • Write regularly;
  • Outline before you write, and stop when you still have an idea to expand on, so that you know where to begin next time.
  • If you’re working in a team, keep in regular contact about what you’ve been doing.

Save the dates: ACEPHE Events October – December 2021 

To register your interest in these events please email ACEPHE2020@gmail.com and let us know which sessions you’d like to join. We will then share with you the zoom details closer to the date.

16th Oct 2021
10.30 BST
Closed to CEP only.Researcher skills for care-experienced people.
Further information is available here
6th November 2021
8.30-11.30 GMT
Closed to CEP only.Virtual Writing Retreat.
Anybody with experience of care is welcome to join us… This is not just for those at University! This session is an opportunity to work on a writing project in a supportive and accountable space.
You can work on:
A private writing project.
An assignment for university.
A dissertation chapter.
A book.
An academic paper.
Anything else that you can think of writing!
4th December 2021
9-10.30am GMT
Open to everyone.Care Leavers going to university: supporting the transition.
This event will be of particular interest to people who are working to support care-leavers with the transition into and through university.

Further details to follow.
18th December 2021 9-11am GMTClosed to CEP only.The Great ACEPHE Christmas Gathering.
A chance to get together, catch up and reflect on the year gone by …. and have a bit of fun!

Further details to follow.

We hope you can join us!

You said… We did! Developing key academic skills.

At the heart of ACEPHE are the folks who let us know what they want out of the group. One request was to provide a session on giving effective presentations. We are delighted to let you know that Dr Amy Conley Wright and Dr Betty Luu are joining us to share some tips for presentations amongst other skills relevant to studying, working and researching, inside and outside of academia. So, if you are care-experienced and want to learn more about presentations, preparing publications, project management, networking, and collaborating with other researchers- then this event is for you!

Join us on 16th October 2021 at 10.30 am BST/ 8:00 pm Adelaide and 8.30 pm Sydney/Melbourne for a virtual meet-up.

Researcher skills for care-experienced people in higher education.
with Dr Amy Conley Wright and Dr Betty Luu of the Research Centre for Children and Families at Sydney University.
Join us for an informal discussion on how to develop skills for an academic career.
Topics will include tips for effective presentations, preparing publications, project management, networking, and collaborating with other researchers. This discussion is open to all higher education students and faculty with lived experience of out-of-home care.

To sign up for the event and receive a link to the session on Zoom please email us at: acephe2020@gmail.com.

We look forward to seeing you all on the 16th of October 2021!

ACEPHE and the summertime

Thank you to everyone who has supported ACEPHE over the past 12 months! 

It has been a very busy year across Higher Education, for students and staff. We have been so lucky to re/connect with so many people with care-experience and real allies who are willing to volunteer their time and expertise to share with ACEPHE members. 

In the next two weeks we are lucky to be hosting two virtual events- we hope you can join us.

If you wish to join either of the sessions below please email: acephe2020@gmail.com. (Yes, we do have a brand new central email address! Please can you add us to your contacts as sometimes the emails end up being filtered into spam folders.):

27 July 2021Closed (CEP only)8.30am-10am UK: Shut Up and Write (last session until September) – Share your writing goals & Write.
31st July 2021Open to Everyone10am UK: Joanna Humphries talking on the Raising Expectations Program in Australia, a program to encourage Care Leavers into Higher Education.

These are the last two events before the ACPEHE Team take a brief break in August, to reflect, rest and recharge ourselves for the year ahead of us!  

We will be back in September, and we look forward to sharing some of the plans for Sept-Dec as soon as we can!

How to feel like you belong: Understanding and Navigating Imposter Syndrome

A huge THANK YOU to Dr Stephanie Carty, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, for joining us on 15th May 2021 and talking us through what Imposter Syndrome is and how we can learn to reduce its negative impact.

As one of our attendees said:

“I think it made a real difference that [Stephanie was] the presenter. I’m sure others can talk about imposter syndrome in general terms, but I doubt they could have generated such a powerful and positive response from those attending … We could all tell from the comments how rewarding everyone found it.”

We learnt, using the analogy of a cat cared for lovingly at home vs a cat on the streets, about how many of us will be often/continually in ‘survival mode’ which is core to Imposter Syndrome. And when we’re in survival mode, we won’t be attending to evidence that we’ve done well, but to old programming that we don’t fit in etc. This might cause us to ‘shut down’, as an attendee realised was common for her, or even give up or put in minimal effort, as another reflected.

It pays, said Stephanie, to step back a bit and think about what triggers Imposter Syndrome (eg public speaking) and use some grounding techniques to soothe our bodies (put feet on the floor, focus on breathing, bring shoulders down). This was particularly helpful advice to one participant who said “… tapping in to your own physical needs, never mind emotional needs, as we are always caring for someone else. I hadn’t thought it in this context before…”

Also very helpful was the idea of not giving over the driving of our bus through life to unhelpful, even demanding passengers (eg thoughts of being undeserving or incapable) but to keep on going without giving them much, if any, attention. This metaphor is courtesy of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy and can be found online here.

As one person said, thanks to Stephanie’s presentation “There is light at the end of the tunnel and fear can be conquered.” And for another, it was comforting to realise she is not alone, that Imposter Syndrome is quite common.

“…hearing those that are further down the line in education and academia was immensely reassuring and offered hope. 

Future Dates for your diaries:

15 June 2021Closed (CEP only)8.30am-10am UK: Shut Up and Write (fortnightly sessions) – Share your writing goals & Write.
26 June 2021Closed (CEP only)10am UK: Catch Up & Check In
29 June 2021Closed (CEP only)8.30am-10am UK: Shut Up and Write (fortnightly sessions) – Share your writing goals & Write.
31st July 2021Open to Everyone10am UK: Joanna Humphries talking on the Raising Expectations Program in Australia, a program to encourage Care Leavers into Higher Education.
TBC Closed (CEP only)Giving Effective Presentations