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      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.


      Frequent Journals

      • Child and Family Social Work

        ISSNs: 1356-7500

        Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1365-2206


        Scopus rating (2016): CiteScore 1.1 SJR 0.705 SNIP 1.067


      • Families, Relationships and Societies

        ISSNs: 2046-7435

        Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 2046-7443

        The Policy Press

        Scopus rating (2016): CiteScore 0.57 SJR 0.379 SNIP 0.466


      • Adoption & Fostering Journal

        ISSNs: 0308-5759

        Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1740-469X

        British Association for Adoption & Fostering

        Scopus rating (2016): CiteScore 0.48 SJR 0.398 SNIP 0.724


      • Child Care in Practice

        ISSNs: 1357-5279

        Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1476-489X


        Scopus rating (2016): CiteScore 0.53 SJR 0.228 SNIP 0.512


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      Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

      ID: 56848