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Dr Ailsa Stewart


Social Work

Personal statement

I joined the Univeristy of Strathclyde in 1997 and am now a Lecturer and Course Leader for the PG Certificate in Mental Health Social Work (MHO) Award in the School of Social Work and Social Policy in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.  I teach on the undergraduate and post graduate qualifying social work programmes with a focus on risk and protection in adult social work including those experiencing mental disorder and learning disability as well as adults at risk of harm.  I have undertaken research across a range of settings including, within the voluntary sector, local authority social work departments, health boards and on behalf of Scottish Government at a policy level.  This work has primarily focused on areas around Adult Social Work including, evaluating effectiveness of models of intervention, exploring the impact of social networks on resilliance, identifying challenges to practice from policy and legislative implementation and gaps in research knowledge.  I have worked on a number of collaborative research teams with colleagues from other academic institutions as well as practice and have been involved in international collaborations.  I am currently writing up my Phd which has focused on the implementation of the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act (2007).


Has expertise in:

    Has expertise in:

    • Learning disability
    • Mental disorder/mental health
    • Adults at risk of harm
    • Participatory models of research


Constructing community to achieve citizenship using recognition theory, recovery and citizenship as a reflective lens : experiences from the US and Scotland
Stewart Ailsa, Black Karen, Benedict Patricia, Benson Victoria
Psychiatric Rehabilitation Skills Vol 20, pp. 234-250, (2017)
Consent or coercion? An exploration of practice within the framework of the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act (2007) (ASP)
Stewart Ailsa
Recognition, Recovery and Citizenship, (2016)
Care management in the 21st century : persistent challenges in implementation in the context of the emergence of self-care
Stewart Ailsa, MacIntyre Gillian
Journal of Integrated Care Vol 21, pp. 91-105, (2013)
Evaluating the effectiveness of service user and carer involvement in post qualifying mental health social work education in Scotland : challenges and opportunities
McCusker Pearse, MacIntyre Gillian, Stewart Ailsa, Jackson Jackie
Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice Vol 7, pp. 143-153, (2012)
Citizenship and adult protection in the UK : an exploration of the conceptual links
Stewart Ailsa, Atkinson Jacqueline
Journal of Adult Protection Vol 14, pp. 163-175, (2012)
For the record : the lived experience of parents with a learning disability – a pilot study examining the Scottish perspective
MacIntyre Gillian, Stewart Ailsa
British Journal of Learning Disabilities Vol 40, pp. 5-14, (2012)

more publications

Research interests

My research interests are focused on Adult Social Work, in particular learning disability, mental health and adults at risk of harm.  I am also keen on ensuring the involvement of those who use supports and their carers in research at all levels by using participatory methodologies.  

Professional activities

American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation (Journal)
Peer reviewer

more professional activities


Baseline study
MacIntyre, Gillian (Principal Investigator) Stewart, Ailsa (Co-investigator)
Period 05-Jan-2016 - 31-Mar-2016
People Powered Health and Well-Being
Stewart, Ailsa (Principal Investigator)
Period 14-Apr-2015 - 31-Dec-2015
Citizenship Measure Project
Stewart, Ailsa (Principal Investigator) Knifton, Keith Lee (Co-investigator) MacIntyre, Gillian (Co-investigator) Quinn, Neil (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2015 - 30-Jun-2017
Vulnerable parents with and without a learning disability – long term outcomes for families involved in a parenting skills programme
Stewart, Ailsa (Principal Investigator) MacIntyre, Gillian (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Jan-2015 - 29-Feb-2016
GE Gillian MacIntyre Yale University
MacIntyre, Gillian (Academic) Stewart, Ailsa (Academic) Quinn, Neil (Academic) Knifton, Keith Lee (Academic)
This request for funding will allow us to further develop our relationship with colleagues from the Programme for Recovery and Community Health. The programme of work outlined here represents the outcome of a series of conversations and development meetings both virtually and in person at the University of Yale and the University of Strathclyde. The programme of work outlined below contains three strands and offers the potential for further income generation. We seek funding for two academic members of staff and two service users to travel to Yale University to meet with colleagues to develop the proposed work outlined here and to begin to identify areas of learning and good practice that we can replicate in Scotland. We also seek funding to host a two day “sandpit” event in Glasgow during the return visit of colleagues from the states. We do not seek travel and subsistence for this event. 1. Mental Health and the Arts In Scotland, an extremely successful mental health and arts festival has been established over the last ten years. This work has attracted international recognition and interest and colleagues from Yale wish to travel to Scotland to learn from our experiences as they establish their own festival in New Haven. We do not seek funding for this activity although it forms an important part of our collaboration. Aim: to share learning in relation to the development of an international mental health arts and film festival Objectives: • to identify key learning points and good practice in the development of a mental health and arts film festival • to consider the extent to which these can be transferred to different contexts • to evaluate the impact that such a festival can have on attitudes towards mental health and recovery 2. Staff and Service User Exchange An important element of the work involves facilitating a staff and service user exchange in order to learn from good practice that has already been established in the United States. This exchange visit will also allow us to progress point three below. Colleagues from the Scottish Recovery Network and Turning Point Scotland will seek match funding to facilitate the inclusion of additional partners. Colleagues from Yale University will seek funding to facilitate a visit to Scotland. Aim: to facilitate shared learning via a staff and service user exchange Objectives: • to identify and understand the advantages and disadvantages of different models of working collaboratively to undertake research, training and evaluation in relation to recovery and social inclusion • to provide a learning opportunity for service user partners in recognition of the contribution they make to work within academia • to consider the potential that different ways of working together have to facilitate recovery and promote social inclusion 3. Development of a collaborative research project Colleagues at Yale University have developed a mental health and citizenship scale in order to identify the range of factors that contribute to social inclusion and one’s ability to contribute to society as an active citizen thus promoting the recovery of those who have experienced mental illness We propose replicating this work within a Scottish context in order to understand which factors are important in promoting social inclusion within a different context. Newhaven and Glasgow share a number of demographic similarities in terms of levels of poverty and deprivation therefore such a comparison is likely to be fruitful. The funding we seek will allow us to make significant progress in developing this research proposal and will enable us to seek research funding to carry out this important work. Aim: to share ideas and expertise in order to develop a research funding bid to carry out comparative research in Newhaven, Connecticut and Glasgow Objectives: • To understand the process involved in developing the mental health citizenship scale in the United States • To identify the factors that contribute to citizenship within this context • To consider the extent to which these factors might apply within the Scottish context • To establish a research funding bid outlining aims, objectives, research methods and roles and responsibilities It is important that the relationship is sustainable and that you have a plan in place to support this, for example by addressing joint funding opportunities (please detail what these are), or developing other forms of collaboration. 1) Short term outcomes • Gained greater awareness and understanding of work being carried out at University of Strathclyde and Yale University • Continued development of emerging relationships between colleagues at both institutions • Development of collaborative working relationships between colleagues across disciplines at the University of Strathclyde and external partners from the Scottish Recovery Network and Turning Point Scotland • Greater involvement of and recognition of the contribution made by people who use services and their families to the work of the University • To work with colleagues in RKES to identify appropriate funding bodies for this international work 2) Longer term outcomes • Development of a shared plan to evaluate the impact of the arts on public attitudes towards mental health and recovery including the identification of potential funders for this work • Development of a research proposal to consider the applicability of a mental health citizenship scale within an American and Scottish context • Application for a research grant to undertake this work • Development and signing of a memorandum of understanding between the School of Social Policy and Social Work and the Programme for Recovery and Mental Health at Yale University
Period 11-Sep-2014 - 11-Sep-2015
Evaluation of Aberlour Family Service
MacIntyre, Gillian (Principal Investigator) Stewart, Ailsa (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Apr-2014 - 01-Jun-2015

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