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Personal profile

Area of academic expertise - outline

I qualified in social work in 1988 and my career has taken me from the far north of the Scottish mainland in Wick to the south of Scotland in Dumfries. My career interests have spanned 23 years in front line practice at practitioner and management grades within the statutory sector. My learning and experience has come from working across the range of client groups; children and families, learning disabilities, mental health, criminal justice as well as learning from leadership challenges in the sector.  


My 23 years of front line social work practice in practitioner and management grades within the statutory sector before coming to the University of the West of Scotland in 2010 offers informed research insights into day to day practice and management issues across the social work caseload.


Current research activities


My research interests in social work practice include the facilitation and support of social work practitioner research to improve local problem solving capacity and innovation.


In addition, research interests are on-going across the social work sphere but particularly within criminal justice social work practice with particular interest on offender assessment and the generation of imaginative outcome focussed responses to service user need.


I am currently researching French probation and social work practices in order to support the transfer of learning between the two countries. To these ends I have created working relationships with french probation services, universities, and trainers. 


With UWS colleagues I am researching need and organisational responses to elederly military veterans.


I am currently involved in developing communities of practice in rural social work to contextualise rural practice within widere rural concerns and to develop further practice and research. 



Within the field of education, my research interests are in preparing students for professional practice and the place of electronic media in education.



Desired research direction


My research goals are:


  • To improve social work practice by offering research insights into day to day practice in collaboration with front-line staff

  • To support social work organisations to develop and maintain a research and innovation culture

  • To support the development of student learning capacity during and post qualification

  •  To offer international insights and knowledge exchange.



Target collaborative companies




Target collaborative organisations

  • Local authorities

  • Third sector organisations

  • French speaking welfare and probation services  



Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Associate, Université de Bordeaux, France

1 Mar 2019 → …

Associate, L’Ecole Nationale D’Administration Pénitentiaire, Agen, France

1 Nov 2018 → …

Associate, Université Champagne-Ardennes, Reims, France

1 Mar 2017 → …

Dumfries and Galloway Branch Chair, Scottish Association for the Study of Offending

9 Jun 2016 → …

Social Work Lecturer of the Year, Scottish Association of Social Workers


Member, La Confederation Francophone de Probation

2014 → …


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