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Dr Laura Steckley

Senior Lecturer

Social Work

Personal statement

My research interests broadly involve deepening our understanding of key areas of practice in order to improve the experiences and life chances of children and young people in residential child care.  I am currently involved in research looking to identify potential threshold concepts in education for residential child care practitioners.  My largest study to date involved in-depth exploration and theorisation around physical restraint in residential child care.


My teaching is mostly on residential child care, with supporting research, theory and social policy related to child development and the impact of trauma and other forms of adversity on that development.  I lead up the MSc in Advanced Residential Child Care and serve as Vice Convener on the University's research ethics committee.


I joined the University of Strathclyde in 2003 and am simultaneously part of the School of Social Work & Social Policy and CELCIS (the Centre of Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland).  Before coming to the University, I worked in direct practice, management and training in residential treatment for adolescents in the United States and residential child care here in Scotland.


Catharsis, containment and physical restraint in residential child care
Steckley Laura
British Journal of Social Work Vol 48, pp. 1645-1663, (2018)
The Core of Care Ethics [Book Review]
Steckley Laura
Ethics and Social Welfare Vol 11, pp. 413-415, (2018)
Parallel processes : getting it write?
Emond Ruth, Steckley Laura, Roesch-Marsh Autumn
Journal of Social Work Practice, pp. 1-28, (2017)
Leadership in residential child care : a relationship-based approach [Book review]
Steckley Laura
Journal of Social Work Practice, pp. 1-2, (2016)
A Guide to Therapeutic Child Care : What You Need to Know to Create a Healing Home
Emond Ruth, Steckley Laura, Roesch-Marsh Autumn
Threshold learning in residential child care practice
Steckley Laura, McPheat Graham
Building a Community of Practice, (2016)

more publications

Professional activities

The Residential Child Care Project's Biannual Instructors' Retreat for Therapeutic Crisis Intervention
The Residential Child Care Project's Biannual Instructors' Retreat for Therapeutic Crisis Intervention
Scottish Institute for Residential Care Conference 2018
Keynote/plenary speaker
Changing the Narrative
Keynote/plenary speaker
Social Care Ireland's National Conference
Keynote/plenary speaker
2010 International FICE Congress

more professional activities


Identifying and Exploring Threshold Concepts in Crisis Intervention
Steckley, Laura (Principal Investigator)
This study employs concept mapping, focus group interviews and individual interviews to identify and explore potential threshold concepts in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention. Findings will likely have implications for the wider consideration of responding to children and young people when they are in crisis.
Period 16-Apr-2018
JARA Studentship - Lee Hollins
Steckley, Laura (Principal Investigator) MacIntyre, Gillian (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2017 - 30-Sep-2022
Digital Storytelling, Accomodated Children and Children's Hearings
Heron, Gavin (Principal Investigator) Steckley, Laura (Co-investigator)
Period 27-Jun-2015 - 25-Sep-2015
Threshold concepts in RCC
Steckley, Laura (Principal Investigator) McPheat, Graham (Co-investigator)
Period 21-Oct-2013 - 31-Dec-2014
Holding the Space Evaluation
Steckley, Laura (Co-investigator)
Period 12-Jan-2009 - 31-Dec-2010

more projects