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Claire Ballard is a Research Assistant on the OPTIMA Programme, led by King’s College London in collaboration with the universities of Nottingham and Southampton. Funded by an NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research, OPTIMA aims to help parents to manage their children’s disruptive and defiant behaviours. The help is delivered via a digital app-based parent training course called STEPS (Structured E-Parenting Support) and is available to parents of primary-aged children recently referred to selected children’s health services. In her current role, Claire facilitates recruitment into the OPTIMA programme for the London site and supports participating parents in using the STEPS app.

Claire has a background in project management in the public sector. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Psychology and an MSc in Child Development. Claire joined the Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry in KCL as an Administrative Assistant and PA to Professor Sonuga-Barke in 2017, with a view to developing a career in child development research.

Research Interests 

  • Child and adolescent mental health
  • Neuro-atypicality and neuro-developmental disorders in children and adolescents
  • Parental wellbeing