Researching Adverse Childhood Experiences in a Domestic Violence service: The role of co-operative inquiry groups in practice development and change
The long-term impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are of increasing interest to researchers and practitioners. While attention is being paid to the effectiveness of screening for ACEs to improve health and social outcomes, how to implement such practices has become key. The Irish study upon which this article is based used an action research approach to implement ACEs routine enquiry within a domestic violence service, while also utilising co-operative inquiry groups for practitioners within the organisation (n=10) and those working in associated fields of infant mental health, child protection and welfare and community support (n=7). This article documents the process of enacting the co-operative inquiry groups and outlines learning points, challenges and lessons. Drawing on Finlay’s (2002a, 2002b) theories on the variants of reflexivity in research processes, six themes emerged on the research process: insider and outsider status; the structure and approach to the groupwork process; participation in the group process; addressing fears; practice concerns; and motivations to act. We conclude with suggestions for effective co-operative inquiry processes and highlight the factors related to groupwork that may contribute to improvements in practice, organisational and community change.
- 2021-12-10 (2)
- 2021-12-03 (1)