I began my career intially wanting to be an actor and spent 3 years at drama school. However, due to my interest in current issues I decided in a change of career. During my degree I focussed on domestic violence and undertook research in the community on the relationship between domestic violence and child abuse. At this time recogniton of the link was becomming recognised. After graduating from univerisity I worked as a family support worker for Dudley Children's Services. I realised that I wanted to be a social worker, from working alongside social workers on a daily basis.
During my Masters, for my dissertation I looked at social workers responses to domestic abuse when safeguarding children. The results were varied from social workers being afrraid to confront perpetrators and the focus on women to protect their children. I undertook 2 placements during the Masters course; the first one for MIND, this involved supporting adults with mental health issues. The second placement was in an independant family assessment unit. This placement was residential and involved assessing whether parents could safely care for their children in the community.
My first role as a social worker was in Child Protection for Sandwell County Council. This involved detailed assessments. This was challenging and rewarding at the same time. I worked in child protection for 2 years.
In 2008 I moved to Cumbria and worked for Cumbria County Council as a fostering social worker. My area of expertise was in kinship care. From 2010 I started having students as a practice educator. I enjoyed having students so much I decided to apply to be a lecturer in the university.
My employment at the univeristy commenced in 2016. I have taught on varied courses, including module leader for a multi-professional course. I am also the recruitment tutor for the social work team.
Qualifications and memberships
BA Hons Sociology and Social Policy 1999 2:1
MA Social Work 2006
Level 2 Practice Educator Award
PgC Higher Education
HCPC registered social worker
Academic and research interests
Immigration, especially unaccompanied asylum seeker children
Law and Social Policy in relation to safeguarding and child care law
Child Sexual Exploitation
Kinship care fostering and special guardinship
Global issues relating to social work in a global world