Dr Hayley Alderson

Dr Hayley Alderson

Senior Research Fellow (Embedded) – ARC Supporting Children and Families theme and Children and Families Social Care Local Clinical Research Network (LCRN)

Hayley Alderson (PhD) is a Senior Research Fellow in the Children and Families theme of the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) North East and North Cumbria (NENC). 


Prior to academia, Hayley worked as a practitioner for 12 years within substance misuse services across criminal justice and voluntary third sector organisation. Whilst in a practitioner role, Hayley developed an interest in how stakeholders could be involved in service design and this led to undertaking a PhD exploring stakeholder engagement in alcohol service commissioning.

Before joining the ARC NENC as an embedded researcher, Hayley was Research Associate at Newcastle University. In this role, she was project co-ordinator for an NIHR-funded pilot feasibility randomised controlled trial which developed interventions to decrease risky substance use (drugs and alcohol) and improve mental health of Looked After Children and Care Leavers aged 12 -20 years.

Hayley’s research to date has been conducted in or has closely aligned with social care settings, inclusive of social work teams and seeks to benefit highly vulnerable populations such as families on the edge of care, children in care/care leavers, individuals experiencing intimate partner violence and abuse and substance misusing parents and their children. Hayley’s research has a strong focus upon translational research which is driven by a commitment to improving outcomes for vulnerable children and families.

Areas of interest

Hayley is interested in, and can help you with:

  • Research within social care and with vulnerable/marginalised groups.
  • Qualitative research methods.
  • Development and evaluation of complex interventions (specialist knowledge in substance misuse interventions)
  • Patient and Public Involvement


Alderson H, Kaner E, O’Donnell A, Bate, A. (2022) A qualitative exploration of stakeholder involvement in decision-making for alcohol treatment and prevention services. International Journal of Environment Research and Public Health.

Spencer L, Addison M, Alderson H, McGovern W, McGovern R, Kaner E, O’Donnell A (2021) ‘The drugs did for me what I couldn’t do for myself’: A qualitative exploration of the relationship between mental health and amphetamine-type stimulant (ATS) use. Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment.

Smart D, Jackson K, Alderson H, Foley TJ, Foreman S, Kaner B, Kaner E, Lancaster H, Lingam R, Rowlands G, Rankin J, Robinson H, Spencer L, McGovern R. (2021) What influences parents and practitioners’ decisions to share personal information within an Early Help (Social Care) context? Implications for practice in sharing digital data across sectors. British Journal of Social Work.

Alderson, H. Spencer, L. Scott, S. Kaner, E. Reeves, A. Robson, S. Ling, J (2021) Using behavioral insights to improve the uptake of services for drug and alcohol misuse. Drugs: Education, prevention and Policy. International Journal of Environment Research and Public Health.

 Lynch, A. Alderson, H. Kerridge, G. Johnson, R. McGovern, R. Newlands, F. Smart, D. Currie, G.  (2021) An Inter-Disciplinary Perspective on Evaluation of Innovation to Support Care Leavers’ Transition. Journal of Children’s Services.

Alderson, H. McGovern, R. Copello, A. McColl, E. Kaner, E. Smart, D. McArdle, P. Lingam, R. (2021) Implementation factors for the delivery of Alcohol and Drug Interventions to Children in Care: Qualitative Findings from the SOLID Feasibility Trial.  International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

McGovern, R. Smart, D. Alderson, H. Araujo-Soares, V. Brown, J. Buykx, P. Evans, V. Fleming, K. Hickman, M. Maccleod, J. Meier, PS and Kaner, E. (2021) Psychosocial interventions to improve psychological, social and physical wellbeing in family members affected by an adult relative’s substance use: a systematic search and review of the evidence. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Alderson, H. Kaner, E. McColl, E. Howel, D. Fouweather, T. McGovern, R. Copello, A. Brown, H. McArdle, P. Smart, D. Brown, R & Lingam, R. (2020) A pilot feasibility randomized controlled trial of two behaviour change interventions compared to usual care to reduce substance misuse in Looked after Children and Care Leavers aged 12-20 years: the SOLID study. PLOS one.

Alderson, H. Brown, R, Kaner, E, Howel, D. McColl, E. Smart, D. McGovern, R. Copello, A. Fouweather, T. McArdle, P. Vale, L. Brown, H & Lingam, R. (2020) SOLID (Supporting Looked after Children and Care Leavers in Decreasing Drugs and alcohol) Final report.  Public Health Research.

Alderson H, Brown R, Smart D, Lingam R, Dovey-Pearce G (2019) ‘You’ve come to children that are in care and given us the opportunity to get our voices heard’. The journey of looked after children and researchers in developing a Patient and public involvement group. Health Expectations. 22(4): 657–665.

Alderson H, Brown R, Copello A, Kaner E, Tober G, Lingam R, McGovern R (2019) Supporting Looked After Children and Care Leavers In Decreasing Drugs, and Alcohol (SOLID): The key therapeutic factors needed to deliver behavioural change interventions to decrease risky substance use (drug and alcohol) for looked after children and care leavers: a qualitative exploration with young people, carers and front line workers.  BMC Medical Research Methodology, 19:38.

Brown R, Alderson H, Kaner E, McGovern, Lingam R (2019) “There are carers and carers who actually care”; Conceptualisations of care among looked after children and care leavers, professionals and carers. Child Abuse and Neglect. 92, 77-84.

McGovern R, Gilvarry E, Addison M, Alderson H, Geijer-Simpson E, Lingam R, Smart D, Kaner E. (2018) The Association Between Adverse Child Health, Psychological, Educational and Social Outcomes, and Nondependent Parental Substance: A Rapid Evidence Assessment. Trauma, Violence, and Abuse. Epub ahead of print 1-14. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/1524838018772850

Alderson, H. McGovern, R. Brown, R. Howel, D. Becker, F. Carr, L. Copello, A. Fouweather, T. Kaner, E. McArdle, P. McColl, E. Shucksmith, J. Steele, A. Vale, L. & Lingam, R. (2017) SOLID (Supporting Looked After Children and Care Leavers In Decreasing Drugs, and alcohol): a pilot feasibility randomised controlled trial of interventions to decrease risky substance use (drugs and alcohol) and improve mental health of Looked After Children and Care Leavers aged 12 -20 years (protocol). Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 3(25) doi: 10.1186/s40814-017-0138-7.

Get in touch
Email: hayley.alderson@newcastle.ac.uk
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4674-561X