I joined the University of Strathclyde in October 2015 as Course Leader for the BA Education and Social Services. After completing my PhD at Durham University in 2009 I was awarded an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, which I undertook at the University of Edinburgh. From 2010 to 2013 I worked as a lecturer in the Department of Applied Social Sciences at Durham University supporting the delivery of the MA Social Work and BA Sociology programmes and in the position of Acting Programme Director for the Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Social Work with Children, Young People, their Families and Carers. Immediately before my move to Strathclyde University I was a lecturer in the NSPPC/University of Edinburgh Child Protection Research Centre.
My research is concerned with the intersection of state policies, welfare practices and family relationships. I have a particular interest in the experiences and outcomes of looked-after children who have expereinced abuse and neglect. I am currently PI on a study focusing on the sibling relationships of children in foster care and adoption. Other projects recently completed include a study of the views of maltreated deaf and disabled children and young people about the child protection system, a mapping review of UK child protection research published 2010-14; a critical review of integrated theories of the aetiology of child sexual abuse and child physical abuse and a collaboration between the universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Strathclyde, the Fostering Network and Quarriers exploring barriers and enablers of permanency for disabled children.
I am a member of the ESRC Peer Review College and the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) Research Group Advisory Committee. I am a Trustee of the Adoption and Fostering Alliance and an advisor for Adoption UK. I am co-founder of Stand Up For Siblings, a collaboration between a number of agencies promoting sibling relationships of children in public care.