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Personal profile

Research Interests

My main research interests are in respect of Looked After and adopted children. I am particularly interested in: the care planning process; social work interaction with the Courts; the needs and rights of looked after children; and the experience of family life in permanent placements.

I have carried out research and published articles on post-adoption contact, adoptive parenthood, kinship foster care and informal kinship care.

I am interested in the use of qualitative research methods, particularly the development of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis in social work research.

I am a member of the Centre for Social Research on Children and Young People at Queens University and a member of the CoramBAAF research group advisory committee.

I am a qualified social worker with 11 years experience in statutory children’s services in Belfast working as a social worker and senior social worker in family support and child protection teams, and, most recently, in permanence and adoption.

I joined Queens University as a lecturer in social work in 2010. I am currently programme director for the undergraduate route of the Bachelor in Social Work degree.


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Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2012 2013

Research Output 2011 2019

Activities 2011 2019

Kinship Foster Care: Keeping it in the Family – Opportunities and Challenges

Mandi MacDonald (Participant)
19 May 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

6th Annual Social Work and Social Care Research in Practice Conference

Lorna Montgomery (Speaker), Mandi MacDonald (Speaker), Helen Dunn (Advisor), Stanley Houston (Contributor)
06 Mar 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

The Potential Introduction of Open or Semi-Open Adoption in Ireland

Mandi MacDonald (Recipient)
13 May 2019

Activity: Other activity typesOther

Kings College, London, Social Care Workforce Research Unit, Seminar series

Mandi MacDonald (Invited speaker), Lorna Montgomery (Invited speaker)
26 Feb 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


Birth Family Contact After Adoption: Learning from the Northern Irish Experience

Mandi MacDonald (Advisor)
07 Jan 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk