My research interests scan the life course of people with learning disabilities and people with mental health issues, from early transitions to death and bereavement. The primary focus of my research has been to further advance the social inclusion of vulnerable adults through social networks and social support. My PhD (University of Wales Bangor) explored the social networks of people with long-term mental health problems as they moved out of hospital into the community. I then moved to the University of Kent's Tizard Centre to investigate community care outcomes and costs of people with mental health problems and people with intellectual disabilities - funded by the UK Department of Health, also working with colleagues from the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) and the University of Durham. Whilst at Kent I gained a PGCert, PGDip and Master's in Higher Education (Distinction) and became the first female Master of Rutherford College. I was also appointed to the role of Director of the Tizard Centre. Latterly I was Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Policy (CASP) and Head of Department at the University of Bath. I am now the Director of the School of Health Studies, Western University, Canada. As a qualified Barrister, I am also interested in legal issues in relation to vulnerable groups.