I am a qualified social worker with a passion for social work education and working with children and their families.
I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and teach across postgraduate and undergraduate courses. I have a keen interest in practice and research informed teaching that is experiential and I am interested in developing scholarship in the area of learning and teaching. My teaching interests include child and family social work, community social work, and social work skills and values. These values are reflected in the work I did with colleagues for the Review of Social Work Eduction, Inquiry Area 4: Philosophies of Learning in Social Work Education. My book A Guide to Therapeutic Childcare, co-authored with Dr Ruth Emond and Dr Laura Steckley, draws on my practice and teaching experiences and illustrates my practical and research informed approach to teaching and writing.
Much of my research to date has focused on developing understanding of the needs of people with care experience in Scotland and theoretical models for thinking about the dynamics and imperatives that drive social work decision making in the field of Children and Families. I have expertise in using mixed methods, action research and case studies to explore the multi-dimensional nature of many practice problems.
I have just completed the Froebel Trust funded project - Supporting migrant and BME children’s transitions to primary school project with partners Dr Fiona Morrison, Dr Christina McMellon and the MCFB.
I am also working to further develop the Empathy Network , an interdisciplinary network exploring the meaning and practice of empathy with students, practitioners and academics which is linked to the Centre for Creative Relational Inquiry.
I am Co-Editor for the journal Families, Relationships and Societies.