My research interests principally connect to areas of child and family social work and children's services more broadly, but I am also interested in how marginalised identities and issues of 'race' and decoloniality are manifested/not manifested in social work practice, teaching and thought.
During my time working in England I developed an increasing interest in/concern about the governance of social work during the period since 2010. As a result I am in the process of co-editing a collection which will take a critical look at the ways in which relevant policy agendas have formed, and policy reforms have been enacted over the last decade in the UK, as well as seeking to identify alternative proposals for social work policy reform in the 2020s.
I'm a lecturer in social work and have previously taught at the Universities of Strathclyde, Sheffield and Dundee. I grew up in the north of England but have been in Scotland since 2000 when I moved to Glasgow to study to be become a social worker. I am also an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield where I continue to co-supervise writing up PhD students. I am a Senior Fellow of the HEA and am currently External Examiner on the MSc in Social Work at Glasgow Caledonian University and the MA in Social Work at the University of Nottingham.
My practice background is as a child and family social worker practising in Scotland, and I am a qualified Practice Teacher in social work. Since moving into the academy I have kept close to practice both by research and teaching activities as well as voluntary activities. In the latter respect, most recently I was on the Global Steering Group of the first Care Experience History Month in 2021; I am on the Steering Group of the Care Review Watch Alliance, a group that undertakes critical scrutiny of the Review of Children's Social Care currently being undertaken in England; and I have recently started volunteering with LGBT Youth Scotland.
I am co-editor, with Dr. Wulf Livingston of Wrexham Glyndwr University, Wales, of Practice: Social Work in Action journal, a journal of the British Association of Social Work. The journal receives contributions from a range of authors at different career stages but has a particular remit to encourage newer authors wanting to write about social work practice. I am also an editorial board member of the British Journal of Social Work.