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.
Willingness to take PhD students
- Adoption, kinship care, leaving care
- Parenting capacity
Research output: Book/Report › Book
Research output: Book/Report › Commissioned report
Research output: Book/Report › Scholarly edition
Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1365-2206
Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 1.77 SJR 0.895 SNIP 1.126
Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 2046-7443
The Policy Press
Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 1.1 SJR 0.431 SNIP 0.67
ISSNs: 1357-5279, 1476-489X
Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1476-489X
Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 0.61 SJR 0.27 SNIP 0.46
Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1740-469X
British Association for Adoption & Fostering
Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 0.51 SJR 0.248 SNIP 0.427
Activity: Other activity types › Other
Activity: Talk or presentation types › Oral presentation
Activity: Talk or presentation types › Invited talk
Contribution to conference papers, events and activities