Skip to content Skip to footer

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 overseeing our programme of research into the future development of the welfare system, particularly the ways in which it could better respond to the changing needs and circumstances of its users.

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.

Read Beth's blogs.

Katy O’Malley, Senior Policy Researcher

Katy is currently leading on our employer solutions work which is one of the aspects of income security research programme..

Before joining Citizens Advice, Katy spent three years as a freelance social researcher. Prior to this, she worked at Ipsos MORI’s Social Research Institute for eight years. Here she worked across a range of policy areas for almost every government department. She specialised in qualitative methods, including large-scale deliberative events, stakeholder engagement and working with seldom heard / hard to reach groups.

Read Katy's blogs.

Afzal Rahman, Senior Policy Researcher


Afzal joined the Families, Welfare and Work team in 2015 and is currently doing policy research on income security. 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, including the DWP and Local Government Association. Prior to this Afzal has had roles working in local government and for a Member of Parliament.

Rebecca Jeffrey, Policy Researcher

Becky joined the Families, Welfare and Work team in late 2015 and is currently working on a project looking at Universal Credit. Before this, she 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.

Read Rebecca's blogs.

Jackie Kinnear, Policy Research Assistant

IMG_0101 (3).JPG

Jackie assists the researchers with their various projects and is also working with the team to help support the network with their research and campaigns work.

In 2014 Jackie began her involvement with local Citizens Advice as a Research & Campaigns volunteer and a Gateway Assessor.   She joined the Families, Welfare and Work team in January 2016.