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Families, Welfare and Work policy research team

Policy work by the team

Includes welfareworkpensions and housing.

Kayley Hignell, Head of Policy - Families Welfare and Work


As Head of Policy for Families, Welfare and Work Kayley leads an agenda of policy research on issues ranging from the improving job and income security, job design, reducing the health and disability employment gap, and improving the design and administration of welfare systems.

She is particularly interested in exploring how big picture policy expertise can be combined with insight from the design and implementation of policies to improve outcomes.

Kayley has worked in the Families, Welfare and Work team for the past three years working on a number of topics including insecure jobs, childcare and Universal Credit. Prior to joining the the team Kayley worked at Citizens Advice Leeds for five years in a number of roles including working with families, those with mental health conditions and on local research and campaigns. She has also spent time on secondment at the Department of Work and Pensions where she worked to bring frontline experience into the design of Universal Credit.

Read Kayley's blogs.

Beth Foley, Senior Policy Researcher

Beth is currently engaged in our programme of research into the future development of the welfare system, particularly the ways in which Universal Credit could better respond to the changing needs and circumstances of those who receive it.

Beth joined Citizens Advice from the Work Foundation, where she focused on research into low-wage work and employment support. Prior to this, she worked at the Institute for Employment Studies and the Social Market Foundation. She has carried out qualitative and quantitative research and evaluations on behalf of a range of national and international bodies, including the Department for Work and Pensions, the European Commission, the Trades Union Congress, Acas and the Scottish and Welsh Governments.

Rebecca Jeffrey, Policy Researcher

Rebecca Jeffrey pictureBecky is currently leading our work monitoring of Universal Credit. Before this, Becky worked and volunteered in the Citizens Advice network for seven years carrying out a number of roles, in a number of local offices,  from partnership work to research and campaigns. Immediately before joining the policy team, Becky worked at Citizens Advice York coordinating their research and campaigns. This included local research focused on welfare implementation, as well as a large piece of research and a campaign on the local welfare Council Tax Support.

Lindsey Kearton, Senior Policy Officer Wales

Lindsey Kearton image

Lindsey joined the Families, Welfare and Work team in January 2018, having previously worked in the Wales Policy and Campaigns team for over four years where she lead programmes of work on benefits and financial inclusion. She is currently engaged in our programme of work on Universal Credit and working claimants.

Prior to joining Citizens Advice she worked as a Policy Manager for Consumer Focus Wales. She has been working in consumer advocacy since 2003 and during that time has led programmes of work on financial inclusion, energy issues (including fuel poverty), digital exclusion and nutrition. Her career includes nearly ten years experience in a commercial market research environment where she managed a wide range of projects in both the public and private sector. She is also an associate member of the Market Research Society.

Afzal Rahman, Senior Policy Researcher


Afzal is currently leading our work on disability benefits. Before joining Citizens Advice he worked at the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion researching labour markets and welfare reform for a range of clients. Prior to this Afzal has had roles working in local government and for a Member of Parliament.

Elanor Harwood, Policy Researcher

Ellie joined the Families, Welfare and Work team in April 2018, having previously worked in the Funded Programmes directorate at Citizens Advice. She has a background in research and data analysis of the labour market, with a specialist interest in women’s economic development. She previously spent 6 years researching and evaluating the impact of European Structural Funds in economically deprived areas of Wales, and has carried out independent programme evaluations for a range of third sector clients, including the Welsh Centre for International Affairs, Oxfam Cymru and the British Council in Wales. Her current role involves supporting Research and Campaigns activity in the Citizens Advice network, and contributing to the team’s work on Universal Credit and welfare reform.