School of Social and Political Science

Gary Clapton

Job Title

Reader in Social Work

Photo
Staff member photo

Room number

2.28

Building (Address)

Chrystal Macmillan Building

Street (Address)

15a George Square

City (Address)

Edinburgh

Country (Address)

UK

Post code (Address)

EH8 9LD

Background

Current research, teaching and practice interests

My interests and specialities are children and family social work practice; adoption and fostering; fathers and fatherhood and moral panics.

I am a Committee member of the Fathers Network Scotland www.fathersnetwork.org.uk/ and contribute to their blog, I am advisor to Birthlink www.birthlink.org.uk/ and edit their bi-annual Bulletin.

I have also conducted research, with colleagues, on social work education for many years.

Latest publication: Good practice with fathers in children and family services

'To coincide with the celebration of Father's Day on 18 June 2017, we're delighted to launch our new Iriss Insight - Good practice with fathers in children and family services. Written by Gary Clapton, Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Edinburgh, it explores changes in perceptions of fatherhood over time and the role of fathers.'

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Career History

I have been a qualified social worker since 1977 and worked in Edinburgh and London in the children and families, community care and criminal justice fields. My most recent social work practice was in after-adoption counselling with adopted adults and birth parents. I am also an accredited practice teacher.

Funded research experience

Co-researcher on ESRC Impact Grant-funded Project 'Waiting Better' 2017-2018

Co-researcher on ESRC funded seminar series Revisiting Moral Panics: A Critical Examination of 21st century Social Issues and Anxieties, 2012-2014

Co-researcher on evaluation of ‘Men Care Too’, three training programme run by Kibble Education Care Centre; funded by European Social Fund, 2009–11

Co-researcher on evaluation of ‘Dad’s Work’, Edinburgh-based father’s support group; funded by Big Lottery Fund, 2008

Co-researcher on ‘Learning for Ethical and Effective Practice’ research programme; funded by the Scottish Institute for Excellence in Social Work Education (SIESWE), 2003-2006

Principal researcher on, ‘Evaluation of Learning for Practice’ (BSc/Masters Social Work Programme); also funded by SWSIE, 2005

Principal researcher on evaluation of Adoption Contact Register for Scotland; funded by Scottish Executive, 2003

Recent Publications

2017 'Neglected spaces: General Practice surgery waiting rooms’, British Journal of General Practice (online)

2016 ‘The birth fathers of adopted children: differences and continuities over a 30-year period’, Adoption & Fostering, 40 (2), 153 – 166

2016 ‘Communicating Concern or Making Claims? : The 2012 Press Releases of UK Child Welfare and Protection Agencies’ with Cree, in: Journal of Social Work, 17(1), 71 90

2016 ‘The GP Waiting Room Under Examination’, British Journal of General Practice, 66, 260 

2016 Where's Dad Too?, Edinburgh: Fathers Network Scotland

2016 Here's Dad, Edinburgh: Fathers Network Scotland

2015 Revisiting Moral Panics (with Cree and Smith), Bristol: Policy Press

2015 'A Social Work ‘Academic-in-Residence?' Social Work Education: The International Journal, 34 (4), 391 398

2014 'The birth certificate, 'father unknown' and adoption', Adoption & Fostering, 38 (3), 209 – 222

2013 Social Work with Fathers: Positive Practice, Edinburgh: Dunedin Press

2013 ‘Moral Panics, Claims-Making and Child Protection in the UK’, British Journal of Social Work, 43(4), 803 – 812

2013 ‘Moral Panics and Social Work: towards a sceptical view of UK Child Protection’, Critical Social Policy, 33(2), 197 – 217

2013 Where’s Dad? Father-proofing Your Work, Edinburgh: Fathers Network Scotland http://www.fathersnetworkscotland.org.uk/archive/WheresDad.pdf

2013 ‘Adoption and birth fathers’, Therapy Today, 24 (3), 20 – 26

2013 ‘Minding the Gap: Assisting the Transition from the Academy to the Profession’, Social Work Education, 32 (3), 411 – 415

2012 Adoption and Fostering in Scotland, Edinburgh: Dunedin Press

2012 ‘Scottish fathers: an absence in Scottish policies’ In Scotland: the best place in the world to bring up children?, Edinburgh: Parenting across Scotland http://www.parentingacrossscotland.org/media/253972/pas-the-best-place…

  • Clapton, V.E., Cree, V.E. (2016), 'Communicating Concern or Making Claims?: The 2012 Press Releases of UK Child Welfare and Protection Agencies', Journal of Social Work, 0(0) 1ñ20.
    DOI: 10.1177/1468017316637228
  • Clapton, G., Cree, V.E., Smith, M. (2012), 'Moral Panics and Social Work: towards a sceptical view of UK child protection', Critical Social Policy, Published online before print September 6, 2012.
    DOI: 10.1177/0261018312457860
  • Smith, M., Cree, V.E., Clapton, G. (2012), 'Time to be heard: Interrogating the Scottish Government's response to historical child abuse', Scottish Affairs, Vol. 78, Winter, 2012: 1-24.
    DOI:
  • Cree, V.E., Clapton, G., Smith, M. (2012), 'The Presentation of Child Trafficking in the UK: An Old and New Moral Panic?', British Journal of Social Work, Published online: August 16, 2012.
    DOI: 10.1093/bjsw/bcs120
  • Clapton, G., Forbes, R. (2009), 'Barefoot Tutors? Navigating the barriers between student, university and field in social work education', The Journal of Practice Teaching and Learning, 9(1): 5-19.
    DOI: 10.1921/146066909X481420
  • Clapton, G. (2009), 'How and Why Social Work Fails Fathers: Redressing an Imbalance, Social Work's Role and Responsibility', Practice: Social Work In Action, 21 (1): 17-34.
    DOI: 10.1080/09503150902745989
  • Clapton, G. (2009), ''Yesterday's Men': The Inspectors of the Royal Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, 1888-1968', British Journal of Social Work, 39(6): 1043 -1062.
    DOI: 10.1093/bjsw/bcn031
  • Clapton, G., Cree, V.E., Allan, M., Edwards, R., Forbes, R., Irwin, M., MacGregor, C., Paterson, P., Brodie, I., Perry, R. (2008), 'Thinking 'Outside the Box': A New Approach to Integration of Learning for Practice', Social Work Education: The International Journal, 27 (3): 334-40.
    DOI: 10.1080/02615470701379826
  • Clapton, G. (2008), 'Donor assisted conception and after: parallels and differences in the development of thinking, policy and practice in adoption', Journal of Fertility Counselling, 15 (3): 33-39.
    DOI:
  • Clapton, G., Daly, M. (2007), 'Bridging the Theory - Practice Gap: Student Placement Groups Co-Facilitated by Lecturers and Practice Teachers', Groupwork, 17 (3): 60-75.
    DOI: 10.1921/19634
  • Clapton, G. (2007), 'The Experiences and Needs of Birth Fathers in Adoption: What We Know Now and Some Practice Implications', Practice, 19 (1): 61-71.
    DOI: 10.1080/09503150701220515
  • Clapton, G. (2006), 'Mediated Contact: Reflections on a Piece of After-adoption Intermediary Practice', Adoption and Fostering, 30 (4): 53-63.
    DOI:
  • Clapton, G, Cree, V.E, Allan, M., Edwards, R., Forbes, R., Irwin, M., Paterson, W., Perry, R. (2006), 'Grasping the Nettle: Integrating Learning and Practice revisited and re-imagined', Social Work Education, 25 (6): 645-56.
    DOI: 10.1080/02615470600833634
  • Clapton, G. (2001), 'Birth fathers' lives after adoption', Adoption & Fostering, 25 (4): 50-59.
    DOI:
  • Clapton, G. (2000), 'Perceptions of fatherhood: birth fathers and their adoption experiences', Adoption & Fostering, 24 (3): 69-70.
    DOI:

Research interests

Research themes

Research interests

Adoption and fostering, fathers and fatherhood, children and families social work practice, moral panics

Topics interested in supervising

Anything on fathers, or adoption (especially after-adoption issues).

I am currently supervising three PhD students, the first of whom is looking at the experiences and needs of unaccompanied asylum-seeking minors in Greece, the second is studying the relationship between organisational culture and the lived experiences of child protection practitoners and my third student is exploring the use of social media by children in care.

If you are interested in being supervised by Gary Clapton, please see the links below (opening in new windows) for more information:

Works within

Publications by user content

Publication Research Explorer link
Simpson JE, Clapton G. A brief history of contact in fostering and adoption: Practice and power, and the coming of the mobile phone. Adoption and Fostering. 2020 Oct 1;44(3):272-284. https://doi.org/10.1177/0308575920945173
Clapton G. The tyranny of outcomes. Practice: Social Work in Action (Practice). 2020 Aug 11. https://doi.org/10.1080/09503153.2020.1800621
Clapton G. Child protection anxieties and the formation of UK child welfare and protection practices. In Tsaliki L, Chronaki D, editors, Discourses of Anxiety Over Childhood and Youth Across Cultures. 1 ed. Palgrave Macmillan. 2020. p. 75-98
Clapton G. Against all odds? Birth fathers and enduring thoughts of the child lost to adoption. Genealogy. 2019 Mar 29;3(2). https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy3020013
Clapton G. Good Practice with Adults in Adoption. 43 ed. Iriss, 2018. 20 p. (Insights; 43).
Clapton G. Close relations? The long-term outcomes of adoption reunions. Genealogy. 2018 Oct 2;2(4):1-13. 41. https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy2040041
Clapton G, Spence K. Gender Balance in the Childcare Workforce: Why having more Men in Childcare Is Important. In Trevarthen C, Delafield-Butt J, Dunlop A-W, editors, The Child's Curriculum: Working with the Natural Values of Young Children. Oxford University Press. 2018. p. 234-249
Clapton G. Language is never neutral: A critical analysis of the language surrounding adoption in the UK. Adoption and Fostering. 2018 Jul;42(2):122-134. https://doi.org/10.1177/0308575918773038
Clapton G (Photographer), Reid L (Photographer), Coyle F (Photographer), Lawy J (Photographer). Introduction to Connect Here, Connect here Signposting & Its Third Sector Use University of Edinburgh. 2018.
Clapton G, Reid L, Coyle F, Lawy J. ESRC Impact grant narrative report: ‘Waiting Better’. University of Edinburgh, 2018. 6 p.
Clapton G. Social Work with Children and Families. In Cree V, Smith M, editors, Social Work in a Changing Scotland. 1 ed. Routledge. 2018. (Student Social Work).
Cree VE, Morrison F, Clapton G, Levy S, Ingram RM. Selecting social work students: Lessons from research in Scotland. Social Work Education. 2018 Feb 2;37(4):490-506. https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2017.1423050
Clapton G. The General Practice Health Waiting Area in images: Threshold, borderland, and place of transition in the sense of self. Forum: Qualitative Social Research. 2018 Jan 4;19(1):1-17. https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-19.1.2896
Clapton G. Scottish fathers and family services. Scottish Affairs. 2017 Oct 30;26(4):460-477. https://doi.org/10.3366/scot.2017.0210
Clapton G. Good practice with fathers in children and family services. Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRISS). 2017 Jun 8;(38):1-16.
Cree VE, Smith M, Clapton G. Standing up to Complexity: Researching Moral Panics in Social Work. In Lorenz W, Shaw I, editors, Private Troubles or Public Issues?: Challenges for Social Work Research. Routledge. 2017. 4
Clapton G, Reid L. Neglected Spaces: General Practice Surgery Waiting Rooms. British Journal of General Practice. 2017 Feb 14;1-11. https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgpopen17X100641
Cree V, Clapton G, Smith M. Standing up to complexity: Researching moral panics in social work. European Journal of Social Work. 2016 Jul 3;19(3-4):354-367. https://doi.org/10.1080/13691457.2015.1084271
Clapton G, Clifton J. The birth fathers of adopted children: Differences and continuities over a 30-year period. Adoption and Fostering . 2016 Jul 1;40(2):153-166. https://doi.org/10.1177/0308575916641616
Cree V, (ed.), Clapton G, (ed.), Smith M, (ed.). Revisiting Moral Panics. Bristol: Policy Press, 2016. 316 p. (Moral panics in theory and practice).
Clapton G. Out of Hours: The GP waiting room under examination. British Journal of General Practice. 2016 May 1;66(646). https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgp16X685033
Clapton G, Cree V. Communicating Concern or Making Claims? The 2012 Press Releases of UK Child Welfare and Protection Agencies. Journal of Social Work. 2016 Mar 11;1-20. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468017316637228
Clapton G, Clifton J. Birth fathers yesterday and today: differences and continuities over a 30-year period. Adoption and Fostering. 2016.
Smith M, Clapton G, Cree V. Moral panics and beyond. In Cree VE, Clapton G, Smith M, editors, Revisiting Moral Panics. Bristol: Policy Press. 2015. p. 261-269
Clapton G. A Social Work ‘Academic-in-Residence’? Social Work Education. 2015 Feb 16;34(4). https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2015.1009885
Cree V, Clapton G, Smith M. Preface. In Cree VE, Clapton G, Smith M, editors, Revisiting Moral Panics. Bristol: Policy Press. 2015. p. xi-xvi
Clapton G. The birth certificate, 'father unknown' and adoption. Adoption and Fostering. 2014 Oct 1;38(3):209-222. https://doi.org/10.1177/0308575914543231
Cree VE, Clapton G, Smith M. The Presentation of Child Trafficking in the UK: An Old and New Moral Panic? . British Journal of Social Work. 2014 Mar 1;44(2):418-433. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcs120
Cree V, Clapton G, Smith M. Moral Panics, Jimmy Savile and Social Work: a 21st century morality tale. Discover Society. 2014 Jan.
Clapton G. Birthlink’s Adoption Services for Adults: What they are and why we provide them. Edinburgh: Birthlink, 2014. 32 p.
Clapton G, Cree V, Smith M. Moral Panics, Claims-Making and Child Protection in the UK. British Journal of Social Work. 2013 Jun;43(4):803-812. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bct061
Clapton G, Cree V, Smith M. Moral Panics and Social Work: Towards a Sceptical View of UK Child Protection. Critical Social Policy. 2013 May;33(2):197-217. https://doi.org/10.1177/0261018312457860
Clapton G. Social Work With Fathers: Positive Practice. Dunedin Academic Press, 2013. 114 p.
Clapton G. Milestones in Adoption and Fostering Research: Policy, Law, Theory, Research and Practice. In Davies MB, editor, Social Work with Children and Families: Policy, Law, Theory, Research and Practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillian. 2012. p. 216-229
Smith M, Cree V, Clapton G. Time to be Heard: The Scottish Government and the Construction of a Myth of Historical Child Abuse. Scottish Affairs. 2012;78(Winter):1-24.
Clapton G. Minding the Gap Assisting the Transition from the Academy to the Profession: Assisting the Transition from the Academy to the Profession. Social Work Education . 2012. https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2012.657173
Clapton G, Hoggan P. Adoption and Fostering in Scotland. Dunedin Academic Press, 2011. 107 p.
Clapton G, Smith M, Schinkel M. Skilling Up: Educating & Training for Residential Child Care. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh, 2011.
Clapton G. Is it OK to send Christmas cards to service users? Community Care. 2010 Dec.
Clapton G. ‘Yesterday's Men’: The Inspectors of the Royal Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, 1888–1968. British Journal of Social Work . 2009 Sep;39(6):1043-1062. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcn031
Clapton G. How and Why Social Work Fails Fathers: Redressing an Imbalance, Social Work's Role and Responsibility. Practice: Social Work in Action (Practice). 2009 Mar;21(1):17-34. https://doi.org/10.1080/09503150902745989
Clapton G, Forbes R. Barefoot Tutors? Navigating the Barriers between student, university and field in social work education. Journal of Practice Teaching in Social Work and Health. 2009 Jan 1;9(1):5-19. https://doi.org/10.1921/146066909X481420
Clapton G. Relatively Clear: Search Guide for Adopted Adults. Edinburgh: Birthlink, 2009.
Clapton G. The right to information in practice: adoption records, confidentiality and secrecy. In Clark C, McGhee J, editors, Private and confidential? Handling personal information in the social and health services. Bristol: Policy Press. 2008. p. 129-148
Clapton G. ‘Donor assisted conception and after: parallels and differences in the development of thinking, policy and practice in adoption’. Journal of Fertility Counselling. 2008;15 (3):33-39.
Clapton G, Cree V, Allan M, Edwards R, Forbes R, Irwin M et al. Thinking 'Outside the Box': A New Approach to Integration of Learning for Practice. Social Work Education. 2008;27(3):334-340. https://doi.org/10.1080/02615470701379826
Clapton G, Daly M. Bridging the theory-practice gap: Student placement groups co-facilitated by lecturers and practice teachers. Groupwork. 2007 Jan 1;17(3):60-75. https://doi.org/10.1921/19634
Clapton G. ‘Mediated contact: reflections on a piece of after-adoption intermediary practice’. Adoption and Fostering. 2007;30 (4):53-63.
Clapton G. "Don't airbrush fathers out of the lives of children". Community Care. 2007.
Clapton G. ‘The Experiences and Needs of Birth Fathers in Adoption: What We Know Now and Some Practice Implications’. Practice: Social Work in Action (Practice). 2007;19 (1):61-71.
Clapton G, Cree V, Allan M, Edwards R, Forbes R, Irwin M et al. ‘Grasping the Nettle: Integrating Learning and Practice revisited and re-imagined’. Social Work Education. 2006;25(6):645-56.
Clapton G. “Leep over the Learning Gap”. Community Care. 2005.
Clapton G. Relatively Unknown: a year in the life of the Adoption Contact Register, Edinburgh: Family Care , 2003.
Clapton G. How Do You Remember Your Father? How Will Your Children Remember You? Stirling: Aberlour Trust , 2003.
Clapton G. Birth fathers and their adoption experiences. London: Jessica Kingsley, 2003.
Clapton G. ‘Birth fathers’ lives after adoption’. Adoption and Fostering . 2001;25 (4):50-59.
Clapton G. In Praise of the Process Recording. In Cree VE, Macaulay C, editors, The Transfer of Learning in Professional and Vocational Education. London: Routledge. 2000
Clapton G. ‘Perceptions of fatherhood: birth fathers and their adoption experiences’. Adoption and Fostering . 2000;24 (3):69-70.
Clapton G. ‘I can still smell my baby’s scent. It’s always with me.’. The Guardian . 2000.
Clapton G. ‘Birth fathers, the adoption process and fatherhood’. In Hill M, Shaw J, editors, Signposts in Adoption: Policy, Practice and Research Issues. London: British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF). 1998
Clapton G. ‘Mind the Gap’. In Learning for Competence. London: CCETSW. 1997
Clapton G. ‘Birth fathers, the adoption process and fatherhood’. Adoption and Fostering . 1997;21 (1):29-36.
Clapton G. ‘No more secrets and lies’. Community Care. 1996.
Clapton G. ‘A cache of feelings buried in a time capsule’. The Scotsman. 1996.
Clapton G. ‘Anti-discriminatory practice teaching; power and powerlessness’. Journal of Training and Development. 1993;3 (2):39-49.
Clapton G. The Satanic Abuse Controversy; social workers and the social work press, London: University of North London Press, 1993.
Clapton G. ‘A badge too far’. Social Work Today . 1992.
Clapton G. ‘Survival of the Newest’. Social Work Today . 1991.
Clapton G. Anti-discriminatory practice teaching: a reference guide. London: National Organisation for Practice Teaching, 1991.
Clapton G. `Who Are We Protecting?'. Community Care . 1991.
Clapton G. Implementing Accreditation. London: National Organisation for Practice Teaching, 1990.
Clapton G. ‘Colour sensitive not colour blind’. Social Work Today . 1989.
Clapton G. ‘Mutual Support’. Social Work Today . 1989.
Clapton G. Support groups for individual practice teachers. London: National Organisation for Practice Teaching, 1989.