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Personal profile

Research Interests

My research interests are in the areas of service user and carer involvement, social inclusion, citizenship based social work, social justice and the interface between social work and political conflict. I am a Fellow of The Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice and led the 2019 research project: Voices of Social Work through the Conflict in Northern Ireland with colleagues from New York University (NYU), University College Dublin (UCD) and Queen's. This project was funded by the Northern Ireland Association of Social Workers (NIASW) and the Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC).

My research publications, particularly in the field of service user involvement, have informed social work education locally, nationally  and internationally. I am committed to working in partnership with service users as peer researchers and several of my publications evidence this approach. I have established strong international research links with New York, Penn State, Belmont, Alicante and Ljubljana Universities resulting in completed and ongoing research outputs.

My approach to teaching reflects a commitment to transformative and progressive pedagogy. I am particularly interested in the contribution that service users and carers can make to helping students understand the impact of political conflict. Using what I describe as a 'pedagogy of lived experience', a defining aspect of my approach to education involves partnering with service user and carer groups in teaching challenging pedagogical concepts to social work students such as social work values, international social work and political conflict. I have been recently exploring ways in which music, performance and the arts can also assist students in their understanding of difficult topics.

As a former recipient of a US-UK Fulbright All Disciplines Scholar Award 2018-19, the first in the discipline of Social Work in 50 years,  I worked with Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee, New York University Silver School of Social Work and the U.S. Council for Social Work Education to focus on ways in which service user involvement could be developed in social work education in the United States. A particular focus of my work in New York University was the involvement of 9/11 survivors in teaching social work students about the insights and knowledge they require in helping people affected by trauma. This mirrors the pedagogic research I have been involved in working with people similarly affected by the trauma of the Northern Ireland 'Troubles'. I am currently leading the research and development of a Curricular Guide for Service User Involvement in Social Work Education for the United States Council of Social Work Education. This work is due for publication in the Autumn of 2025.

My pedagogic research and teaching have also been recognised by the following Awards:

United Kingdom National Teaching Fellowship Award (NTF), Higher Education Academy (HEA) (October, 2014).


Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Regional Social Work Award (September, 2013)

Queen’s University Teaching Award (July, 2013)

Queen's University Teaching Award (June, 2017) 

US-UK Fulbright All Disciplines Scholar Award (2018-19) (The first Fulbright awarded to Social Work in this Program since 1967)


Select Publications

Coulter, J  & Duffy, J  (2023) “Living Through It, Living After It: Personal Reflections on ‘The Troubles’ in Northern Ireland”, Peace Review, DOI: 10.1080/10402659.2023.2218816

Duffy, J., Sullenberger, S., Hunt, J (2023) ‘Working with service user knowledge to assist social work students in competence development in the United States.’ Social Work Education – The International Journal. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02615479.2023.2221270

Duffy, J., Cameron, C., Casey, H., Beresford, P., McLaughlin, H. (2022) 'Service user involvement and COVID-19 - An afterthought?' British Journal of Social Work https://academic.oup.com/bjsw/advance-article/doi/10.1093/bjsw/bcac007/6527952

Duffy, J. (2022). 'Social Work Education - Taking The Scenic Route' in Cree, V (Ed) 'Becoming a Social Worker' 3rd Edition. Abingdon. Routledge.

Duffy, J. (2021) 'Changed lives: Voices from 9/11 in the classroom' Belfast. Queen's University Policy Engagement. /http://qpol.qub.ac.uk/changed-lives-voices-from-9-11-in-the-classroom/

McCullough, J., Hamilton, R., McKay, E., McKeever, B., Reynolds, J., Bowser, A., Sansome, J., Duffy, J., Burns, P (2021) 'Social work and co-production'. Reflections Series. Belfast. Department of Health.

McCartan, C., Davidson, G., Donaghy, M., Grant, A., Bunting, L., Devaney, J. & Duffy, J (2021) Are we starting to ‘think family’? Evidence from a case file audit of parents and children supported by mental health, addiction and children’s services Child Abuse Review.

Collins, M., Duffy, J., Kim, S.H. (2021) ‘Borders: An International Comparative Analysis of Social Work's Response’. British Journal of Social Work.https://academic.oup.com/bjsw/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/bjsw/bcab134/6354180?redirectedFrom=fulltext

McCafferty, P., Duffy, J., Hayes, D (2021) ‘Permanency Decisions in Child Welfare: A Qualitative Study’ The British Journal of Social Work https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcab095

Grant, A., Devaney, J.,Davidson, G.,Lagdon, S., Duffy, J (2021) ‘Think Family, Think Relationship: Factors Influencing Stronger Professional Relationships with Parents Diagnosed with a Mental Illness. A Qualitative Study’ The British Journal of Social Work, Volume 51, Issue 3, Pages 945–963, https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcab033

Campbell, J., Duffy, J., Tosone, C. and Falls, D. (2021) ‘Just Get on with It’: A Qualitative of Study of Social Workers’ Experiences during the Political Conflict in Northern Ireland, The British Journal of Social Work, https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcab039

McLaughlin, H., Beresford, P., Cameron, C., Casey, H., Duffy, J (2020) Routledge International Handbook of Service User Involvement in Human Services Research and Education. London/New York: Routledge). https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Handbook-of-Service-User-Involvement-in-Human-Services-Research/McLaughlin-Duffy-Beresford-Casey-Cameron/p/book/9781138360143

Duffy, J., Montgomery, L., Murphy, P., Davidson, G., & Bunting, L (2021) Differing Knowledges: Comparing the contribution of drama students and service users in role plays preparing social work students for practice. Social Work Education - The International Journal. Vol 40 (5). pp. 624-640

Duffy, J., Campbell, J & Tosone, C (2020) (Eds) 'International Perspectives on Social Work and Political Conflict'. London/New York. Routledge

Duffy, J., Campbell, J & Tosone, C. (2019) 'Voices of Social Work Through The Troubles'. Belfast. British Association of Social Workers Northern Ireland (BASW NI), Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC). 

McLaughlin, H., Duffy, J., McKeever, B., Sadd, J (2018). Service User Involvement in Social Work Education. London/New York. Routledge.

Tanner, D., Littlechild, R., Duffy, J and Hayes, D. (2017) ‘Making it real’: evaluating the impact of service user and carer involvement in social work education. British Journal of Social Work. Vol 47(2). pp.467-486

Duffy, J., Gillen, P., Agnew, C., Casson, K., Davidson, G., McGlone, A and McKeever, B. (2017) Personal and Public Involvement (PPI) and its impact. Monitoring, measuring and evaluating the impact of PPI in Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland. Belfast. Public Health Agency and Patient and Client Council. http://www.knowledge.hscni.net/Topics/Index/823. 

Dill, K., Montgomery, L., Davidson, G., Duffy, J (2016) ‘Service User Involvement in Social Work Education: The Road Less Travelled’.Field Education Journal. Vol 6.2. p. 1-11

Duffy, J., Collins, M and Sook Hyun Kim (2016) 'Linking Family Engagement with a Rights Perspective: Macro Factors Influencing Practice' European Journal of Social Work. DOI: 10.1080/13691457.2016.1255925

Campbell, J., Duffy, J & Simpson, M. (2016) Political conflict and social work education. Routledge International Handbook of Social Work Education. Taylor, I., Bogo, M., Lefevre, M. & Teater, B. (eds.). New York: Routledge, p. 275-286

Duffy, J., Davidson, G and Kavanagh, D. (2016) 'Applying the Recovery Approach to the interface between Mental Health and Child Protection Services'. Child Care in Practice. Vol 22(1). pp. 35-49.

Duffy, J., Caldwell, J and Collins, M (2016) Reflections on the impact of the Children (NI) Order 1995. Child Care in Practice. 22(4) 327-335.

Duffy, J., Basu, S., Davidson, G and Pearson, K. (2015) Review of Legislation and Policy Guidance relating to Adult Social Care in Northern Ireland. Belfast. Commisioner for Older People in Northern Ireland (COPNI). https://www.copni.org/media/1138/review-of-legislation-and-policy-guidance-relating-to-adult-social-care-in-ni.pdf

Duffy, J (2006) Participating and Learning - Citizen Involvement in Social Work Education in a Northern Ireland Context. London. Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE). www.scie.org.uk/publications/misc/citizeninvolvement.pdf 

Campbell, J and Duffy, J (2008) Social work, political violence and citizenship in Northern Ireland. In Shulamit Ramon (Ed) Social Work in the Context of Political Conflict (IASSW/BASW). pp 57 – 76. Birmingham: Venture Press.

Duffy, J (2008) Looking Out from the Middle: User Involvement in Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland. London. Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) www.scie.org.uk/publications/reports/report18.asp

Duffy, J (2009) Citizens as Social Work Educators in a Post-Conflict Society: Reflections from Northern Ireland. Revista Alternativas. Cuadernos de Trabajo Social (Alternatives. Notes on Social Work) No 16. Pp.53-63. Alicante. University of Alicante, Spain.

Agnew, A and Duffy, J (2010) Innovative Approaches to Involving Service Users in Palliative Care Social Work Education, Social Work Education - the International Journal, Vol, 29(7). pp. 744 -759.

Duffy, J (2011) Explicit Argumentation as a Supervisory Tool for Decision Making in Child Protection Cases Involving Human Rights Issues. Practice, Vol 23(1). pp 31-44 (Special Edition on Human Rights and Social Justice).

Duffy, J.,Basu, S and Pearson, K (2012)  Older people and legal advice – the need for joined up and creative approaches. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law , Vol. 34 (1): 31-47.

Duffy, J and Mc Keever, B (2012) Looking out from the middle: Influencing policy change through user involvement. In (eds) Marian Barnes and Phil Cotterell. Critical Perspectives on User Involvement. Abingdon: The Policy Press.

Duffy, J (2012) Service user involvement in teaching about conflict – an exploration of the issues. International Social Work (Special Edition on Social Work and Armed Conflict).Vol 55(5) pp. 720 - 739.

Duffy, J., Das, C. & Davidson, G (2012): Service User and Carer Involvement in Role-plays to Assess Readiness for Practice, Social Work Education - The International Journal. Vol 32(1). pp 39-55.

Duffy, J. and Hayes, D. (2012) Social Work Students Learn About Social Work Values from Service Users and Carers, Ethics and Social Welfare. Vol 6(4). pp 368-386.

Duffy, J.,Ramon, S.,Guru, S.,Cemlyn, S.,Lindsay, J and Nuttman-Shwartz, O (2013). Developing a social work curriculum on political conflict – Findings from an IASSW funded project. European Journal of Social Work. Vol. 16(5).pp. 689-707

International DVD

Duffy, J., Martinez-Roman, M.A and Zavirsek, D. (2013) International Messages on Service User and Carer Involvement. International Association of Schools of Social Work(IASSW). https://mediasite.qub.ac.uk/Mediasite/Play/c4444bd8d7064875ac9166b2279792cd1d






Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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