Jo Dixon

Contact details

Type of addressPostal address
Postal codeYO10 5DD
CountryUnited Kingdom
Address lines
  • Social Policy and Social Work
    University of York
    YO10 5DD

Phone: (01904) 321275

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Miss. Jo Dixon

Research Fellow

Research interests

  • leaving care policy and practice
  • transitions and outcomes for young people from foster and residential care
  • innovative approaches to working with young people in care and on the edge of care
  • young people's participation in research through peer research, consultation, co-production and dissemination
  • qualitative and quantitative research methods including the use of RCTs in social care research. 

Please find complete information on my research activities on my  spsw profile.



Jo Dixon has been a researcher in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work at York since 2000.  Prior to that, she carried out research on depression in mothers at the Department of Psychiatry (University of Manchester) and on stepfamilies and changes in children’s lives at Thomas Coram Research Unit (University of London).

Since coming to York her research has focused on policy and practice related to the experiences and outcomes for young people in care, leaving care and on the edge of care.  This includes national studies of leaving care in England and Scotland, research on the implementation of Special Guardianship and of innovative interventions such as Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care and the use of residential units to provide short stays for adolescents on the edge of care.

Between September 2010 and December 2014 Jo was seconded to Catch22’s National Care Advisory Service as research manager on the Big Lottery funded study of Corporate Parenting for young people in and from care, which involved working with care leavers as peer researchers.

Recently completed research includes two studies of preventive services for adolescents on the edge of care (Action for Children's Step Change programme and Calderdale's Right Home Project); the national evaluation of the New Belongings programme for care leavers;  an evaluation of the Stoke-on-Trent House Project, which developed an accommodation programme based on co-operative principles for care leavers; and an evaluation of the York Cares’ Bright Futures Project, which offered work experience and employability skills to young people in and leaving care in York.

Jo's current research includes the development and piloting of a mental health training package for social workers and personal advisors working with young people in and from care; the evaluation of phase 2 of the House Project; the evaluation of three DfE Staying Close pilot projects for young people leaving residential care; and the evaluation of Bradford’s Positive Pathways programme, in collaboration with the Rees Centre for Research in Fostering and Education at Oxford University. 

Jo is committed to ensuring that young people play an active role in research through opportunities to train as peer researchers, research advisers and co-presenters.  Jo was involved in developing and evaluating the Starting Blocks project to provide work placements to care experienced young people in York, which won national recognition as a model for the government’s FromCare2work programme.  She was Book Reviews Editor for the journal of Child and Family Social Work  and is an adviser on several research steering committees.