My research interests centre around how social workers make critical decisions in practice, particularly in respect of assessments of parenting, the use of self and reflection and personal vulnerability. I am also interested in how systems and organisational culture, both in social work education and practice, facilitate or hinder this process.
I am interested in attachment theory and trauma and the role they play in the individual development of social workers. Linked to this, Crittenden’s Raising Parents (2008) and Van Der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Score (2015) have been inspirational.
I am currently involved in a research project that considers how vulnerability of social workers in children’s services may manifest and impact upon their practice.
Approach to teaching
I like to bring social work practice to life. As such I tend to connect past and present experiences to the taught content – using real life examples to enable students to understand how theory relates to practice, offers value, and can enable new insight and perspectives to be developed. I primarily teach developmental theory and use case studies and problem solving tasks to enhance the learning experience.
I am an enthusiastic teacher, who is keen to encourage students to engage critically with their own knowledge and that being taught to them. I am particularly interested in developing students’ ability to use themselves and reflect upon the learning process.
I am a registered Social Worker with experience of children and families social work, having previously worked for Brighton and Hove City Council, including within an adolescent team focussing on child sexual exploitation. I joined the University of Brighton as a part-time lecturer in 2016 and I continue to practice as an independent social worker; undertaking parenting and risk assessments, kinship care assessments, adult attachment interview coding and one-to-one domestic abuse perpetrator work. I have specialist training in Attachment Theory, Video Interaction Guidance, Solution Focussed Therapy and working with perpetrators of domestic abuse. Prior to qualifying as a social worker I worked in residential children’s homes and as a teaching assistant within schools for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties.
Associate for Independent Social Work Matters
2017 → …
Independent Social Worker
2016 → …
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