Kim Dearing, Freelance Policy and Research Advisor

Kim has a background rooted in the third sector, supporting adults with learning disabilities. Over 13 years, she worked up from being a support worker to managing care homes before developing the community services and outreach arm of the organisation. This included developing and implementing services, determining models of service delivery, increasing business volumes, managing staff (30+), and the day-to-day management of individual support for community support services (40+) users. Further, Kim took on a development role, which included setting up a work programme.

Frustrated at the policy approach to employment for people with learning disabilities, Kim entered full-time education in 2013 and completed a BA(Hons) in Sociology and Education Studies (first-class) at the University of Worcester. She then took an MSc in Social Science Research Methods at Cardiff University before beginning a PhD in 2017, which is now near completion. Her PhD explores the relationship people with a learning disability can have with work and employment. Kim has shared her research findings at sector-specific learning disability conferences, academic conferences, peer-reviewed academic journal articles, and a policy briefing.

Kim currently works for The Open University as an Associate Lecturer, as a Graduate Tutor in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University, and on two research projects at Cardiff University. As a Policy and Research Advisor, Kim offers Social Firms Wales specialist knowledge informed by research and data analysis and considers the potential impacts of policy decisions in an ever-changing landscape.



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