I am a Reader in Childhood Studies at QUB. I am affiliated to the NSPCC working within the Institute of Child Care Research (ICCR) in the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work at Queen’s University Belfast.
I have an agreed programme of work that supports the NSPCC strategic outcomes which is focused around two main areas of research interest. One deals with ‘vulnerability, violence and abuse’, with particular emphasis on domestic and sexual violence, high risk families, child deaths and suicide, and health, wellbeing and emotional health. This theme is underpinned by debates around risk and resilience, ‘salutogenesis’, stress and domestic violence in pregnancy and older age, and the multiple stressors associated with abuse such as alcohol abuse, social exclusion and inequality. The core outcome is to identify protective factors that can be enhanced by multi-professional interaction and practice.
A second research theme concentrates on the development of ‘theoretical and methodological models of evaluation of health and social care’. These two areas come together in the obvious fact that the theoretical frameworks and multi-methodologies underpin all research and publication outputs, for both the university and the NSPCC. On this topic, I have a strong record of collaborations with other disciplines, such as: social work, medicine, dentistry, nursing and midwifery, child care, education; and the community, and voluntary sectors, such as: NSPCC, Contact, Save the Children, Barnardos, Women’s Aid, and the Probation Board for Northern Ireland.