Skip to main content

News and Events

11/07/2014 - Part-time Temporary Lecturer in Undergraduate Sociology/Social Policy

11/07/2014 - Part-time Temporary Lecturer in Undergraduate Sociology

09/07/2014 - Congratulations Class of 2014!

DRN to host annual seminar of UK Disabled Child Research Network, 25th June 2014, 9.30am - 4.30pm

Professor Roger Penn presents at ESRI Research Seminar in Dublin, 19th June 2014

Dr John Devaney OBE – Member (MBE)

Joe Duffy wins National Teaching Award

Never Ending Sentences: Criminal Records and Young People, 30th May 2014, 10am to 12 noon

School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work - Personal Tutors for Bachelor of Social Work Students

Veterinarians meet Sociology in Sheffield, Saturday 17th May 2014

Queen's University Belfast - Part-Time Tutor Register

Social Work from the Inside, Wednesday 14th May 2014

Where 'Homelessness' and Social Work Coalesce - a symposium 

JUCSWEC International Sub Committee Annual Seminar (Global Agenda)

International Symposium: Bringing the Social Back into the Sociology of Religion 
Professor Pinkerton: Academy of Social Sciences

Football, Globalization and Nationalism

New book on Truth, Denial and Transition
Dr Andrew Percy invited to join the Editorial Board of the Journal of Adolescence
Professor Penn on dangers of attending World Cup
Professor Penn blogs about Brazil World Cup
Ruari McBride awarded Santander Scholarship
Rights of the Child and social workers
Mental health of Polish migrants highlighted
Queen's Q-Step Centre
Q-Step Job Opportunities
Poverty Research in Ireland: North and South
Social Work Awards
Vacancy: Lecturer in Social Policy (older people)
‘BBC Radio 4’s ‘Thinking Allowed’  features Smyth and McKnight on Belfast mothers’
Practice teachers’ expectations of student social workers
Is Everybody Happy?
New Visiting Research Associate from University of Georgia, USA
Recruitment of Personal Tutors for BSW Social Work Students - closing date 12 noon on Wednesday 19th June
Recruitment of Part-time Tutors - closing date 9am on Monday 10th June
Academic vacancies
Minister of Education John O’Dowd addresses the 2012 Young Life and Times results launch
Sociology MA student delivers paper at British Sociological Association seminar
Joint initiative in social work education
DChild student Carmel Rooney discusses her dissertation methodology and findings at German research workshop
New book authored by ICCR researchers is released
Dr. John Karamichas was invited speaker by LAPS (Loboratorio de Pesquisa Social) at the Department of Sociology, Sao Paulo University.
The  QUB CBT Spring workshop 2013
ESRC success
Dr Azrini Wahidin appointed by HEA
Dr Lisa Smyth to Chair Film Festival debate
Dr Azrini Wahidin invited to House of Commons
Joe Duffy, Lecturer in Social Work, launches International DVD on Service User and Carer Involvement at Titanic, Belfast
The winner of the Leonard E. Gibbs Award 2012
The Guardian featured the QUB/KInSS Social Work Exchange Program in its celebration of World Work Day
Dr Stephen Coulter forges new academic and professional training links in Romania
£235K RCUK Grant Success: Katy Hayward and Teresa Degenhardt are part of a QUB team researching Science, Security and Power in Action
QUB Social Work Delegation in India
PLACE MATTERS: THE RETURN OF COMMUNITY IN SOCIAL WORK by Associate Professor Clarke, California State University Fresno
Ulster GAA uses study on the role of positive coaching
Could you be a peer mentor?
Dr Anne Kouvonen is one of the co-authors of an article published in BMJ (British Medical Journal)
Pauline Prior's book 'Asylums, Mental Health Care and the Irish 1800-2010' gets an excellent review in the Irish Times
Queen’s and NSPCC publish Northern Ireland’s first child death and serious injury review
Dr. John Karamichas was invited as a speaker by the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management
Dr Bronagh Byrne is part of a team which has completed a study of UNCRC implementation for UNICEF-UK
Graduation
International scholar Dr. Barry Mason spends a morning students on the Systemic Practice and Family Therapy Pathway
Dr Berni Kelly and Dr Sandra Dowling were invited speakers at the first in a series of knowledge exchange seminars

Part-time Temporary Lecturer in Undergraduate Sociology/Social Policy
School of Sociology, Social Policy & Social Work
Queen’s University, Belfast
 
Closing date: 4pm on Monday 11th August 2014
Salary: Hourly basis, no. of hours to be agreed on appointment to post, minimum commitment 200 hours
Term: Autumn 2014, and exam period (January 2015)
 
Job purpose: 
Prepare and deliver lectures in Health and Social Care Policy, organise and oversee tutorials, mark and give feedback on students’ work; and respond promptly to queries of students regarding the module.  
 
Major duties (teaching):  
 
1) Routinely communicate complex and conceptual ideas to students using high level skills and a range of media (class size = c. 20 students).
2) Prepare and deliver 22 lectures in Health and Social Care Policy. The lecture topics should follow the module outline for Health and Social Care Policy which has already been developed.  
3) Organise and oversee tutorial sessions, beginning in week 2 of the semester.  
4) Mark coursework (essay) and exam.  The essay is due in November 2014 and the exam will be scheduled for January 2015.  School policy requires staff to provide thorough written feedback on student coursework.  
5) Contribute to the enhancement of quality teaching at undergraduate level. 
 
Essential criteria:
 
1) Primary or higher degree in a social science subject
2) Knowledge of Health and Social Care Policy
3) Understanding of the student experience
4) Effective communicator
5) Effective interpersonal skills
6) Capacity to work as a part of a team
 
Desirable criteria:  
 
1) Experience of tutoring or lecturing at university level or equivalent
2) Subject of MA, PhD and/or subsequent research directly relevant to the sociology of health and social policy 
 
Training:
 
Training will take place on 25th September and the sessions are compulsory for successful applicants.
 
Application:  
 
Interested individuals are requested to submit a full c.v. by email to Patricia Reilly, School Manager, (patricia.reilly@qub.ac.uk) by 4pm on Monday 11th August.
 
Applicants will be interviewed on Friday 15th August and will be notified of their allocated interview time on 13th August by email.

Top of Page

Part-time Temporary Lecturer in Undergraduate Sociology
School of Sociology, Social Policy & Social Work
Queen’s University, Belfast
 
Closing date: 4pm on Monday 11th August 2014
Salary: Hourly basis, no. of hours to be agreed on appointment to post, minimum commitment 200 hours
Term: Autumn 2014, and exam period (January 2015)
 
Job purpose: 
Prepare and deliver lectures in ‘Northern Ireland: conflict, identity and peace’; organise and oversee the delivery of teaching and an educational fieldtrip; mark and give feedback on students’ work; and respond promptly to queries of students regarding the module.  
 
Major duties (teaching):  
 
1) Routinely communicate complex and conceptual ideas to students using high level skills and a range of media (class size = c. 20 students).
2) Prepare and deliver ten 3 hour seminars (a mixture of lecture and tutorial style teaching) in accordance with the module outline for ‘Northern Ireland: Conflict, Identity and Peace’ which has already been developed.  
3) Organise a 4-5 hour fieldtrip for the students in accordance with the programme already developed for the module. 
4) Mark coursework (two essays), as set by the module convenor, within an agreed timeframe.  The first essay is due in November 2014 and the second will be is due in January 2015.  School policy requires staff to provide thorough written feedback on student coursework.  
5) Contribute to the enhancement of quality teaching at undergraduate level. 
 
Essential criteria:
 
1) Primary or higher degree in a social science subject
2) Knowledge of the subject of the Northern Ireland conflict and peace process, and of contemporary sociological and related studies of the subject
3) Understanding of the student experience
4) Effective communicator
5) Effective interpersonal skills
6) Capacity to work as a part of a team
 
Desirable criteria:  
 
1) Experience of tutoring or lecturing at university level or equivalent
2) Subject of MA, PhD and/or subsequent research directly relevant to the sociology of contemporary Northern Ireland, with a particular emphasis on conflict/peace processes.
 
Training:
 
Training will take place on 25th September and the sessions are compulsory for successful applicants.
 
Application:  
 
Interested individuals are requested to submit a full c.v. by email to Patricia Reilly, School Manager, (patricia.reilly@qub.ac.uk) by 4pm on Monday 11th August.
 
Applicants will be interviewed on Friday 15th August and will be notified of their allocated interview time on 13th August by email.

Top of Page

Congratulations Class of 2014!
Congratulations to all students in the Class of 2014 who graduated from the School today. A wonderful day was had by all and many thanks for your co-operation with the group photographs. 
 
Special congratulations to our Undergraduate Final Year Awards and Prize winners
 
The Brian Rankin Medal and Prize
 
This prize was established in 1978 by his friends and colleagues in memory of Brian Rankin, a distinguished Senator of the University. Prizes are awarded annually on the recommendation of the Social Work Board of Examiners to the best performing students on the Bachelor of Social Work degree.
 
Graduation_090714_Cheevers Graduation_090714_Cheevers_Rankin Graduation_090714_Ramsey_Rankin Graduation_090714_Burke_Rankin Graduation_090714_OConnor_Rankin
 Lori Cheevers (Medal winner)   Elizabeth  Ramsey    Nicola Burke    Shauneen O’Connor 
 
Lockheed Employees' Prize
 
These prizes are financed from a benefaction to the University by the employees of the Lockheed Overseas Corporation, USA, who worked in Northern Ireland during the Second World War. Two prizes were awarded to the students who obtained the highest overall marks in their Bachelor of Arts degrees.
 
Graduation_090714_Moreton Graduation_090714_Moreton(Lockheed) Graduation_090714_Murphy_Lockheed

Abbey Moreton (Criminology) 

 Deborah Murphy (Sociology)

          
McLaughlin Prize
The McLaughlin Prize was founded in memory of Eithne McLaughlin, Professor of Social Policy at Queen’s from 1995-2007. The prize was established by Professor McLaughlin’s family and friends, and colleagues in the social policy community, with the purpose of promoting the understanding of disability.
 
The prize is awarded annually to the undergraduate student (full-time or part-time) studying in the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work who in the view of the examiners has produced the best piece of work on disability. 
   
Graduation_090714_McLaughlin

Christopher Fearon (Social Policy and Sociology) 

Top of Page

DRN to host annual seminar of UK Disabled Child Research Network, 25th June 2014, 9.30am - 4.30pm

The Disability Research Network (DRN) at Queen’s University Belfast is hosting the annual seminar of the UK DISABLED CHILD RESEARCH NETWORK on Wednesday 25th June 2014, 9.30am - 4.30pm in the Great Hall, Queen's University Belfast.  This UK wide network brings together academics and practitioners who are acknowledged experts in the field of disability research with reference to children and young people, as well as early career researchers and PhD students.  The scope of their work is interdisciplinary and firmly grounded in the social, educational and policy context pertinent to disabled children and their families.  There is a strong focus on methodological developments in research within the network.  This free event has been hosted at Universities throughout the UK on successive years (since 2011), with the Network having formed following an ESRC Seminar Series entitled Researching Disabled Children’s Lives.  The full day seminar will present an exciting programme of speakers will be attended by delegates from all over the UK.

Top of Page

Professor Roger Penn presents at ESRI Research Seminar in Dublin, 19th June 2014

Professor Roger Penn presented at the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) Research Seminar: "Children of International Migrants in Europe" on Thursday 19th June 2014 at 16.00 in ESRI, Whitaker Square, Sir Rogerson's Quay, Dublin 2. For more details about the event click here or view a copy of the presentation slides here

Top of Page

Dr John Devaney OBE – Member (MBE)

Congratulations to Dr John Devaney, Senior Lecturer in Social Work Queen's University, Belfast. For services to Social Work in Northern Ireland, (Saintfield, Down). Full details here or view Birthday Honours 2014: the Prime Minister's list, page 54.

Top of Page

Joe Duffy wins National Teaching Award

Congratulations to Joe Duffy, Lecturer in Social Work, for the National Teaching Award announced today. Full details here.

Top of Page

Never Ending Sentences: Criminal Records and Young People, 30th May 2014, 10am to 12 noon

Professor Elena Larrauri from the University of Pompeu Fabra Barcelona, an international expert on criminal records, will speak at a seminar being held in the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work on the 30th May 2014. The event will explore the implications for young people of the new ‘filtering’ arrangements for criminal records introduced by the Department of Justice in April of this year. Under this new system a young person’s involvement in a diversionary youth conference may be subject to disclosure in a criminal record check.  Prof. Larrauri describes the system in Northern Ireland as ‘difficult to understand, very complex, and very broad’.  Dr Nicola Carr, one of the organisers of the seminar says that ‘one of the difficulties arising is that young people may not be fully aware that involvement in youth justice conferences can appear in a future criminal record check’.

The seminar will also include contributions from INCLUDE YOUTH’s ‘Give and Take’ Scheme, an employability programme for young people aged 16-21, and from Pat Conway, Director of Operations and Public Affairs with NIACRO .

The seminar will be held in the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, 6 College Park, Room G/026 on Friday 30th May from 10am to 12noon.

To reserve a place please contact: n.carr@qub.ac.uk

Download a flyer here

Top of Page

School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work - Personal Tutors for Bachelor of Social Work Students

Applications are sought for Personal Tutors for the Bachelor of Social Work Degree at the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work.   The main role of the personal tutor is to provide pastoral support to a group of approximately 12 students over the course of their programme at Queen’s. Tutors will play a particularly important role in supporting students in their practice learning. 

We wish to compile a list of suitably qualified individuals to undertake tutoring during the next academic year, however we must state that there is no guarantee of work. 

Appointments will be made for a 2 or 3 year period in the first instance.  If you are qualified for more than two years and have an interest in working with social work students within an academic and practice environment, you are eligible to apply for these part-time positions. Further details can be found here.

Closing date: 12 noon on Tuesday 3rd June 2014

Applications are via a full CV emailed to the School Manager, Patricia Reilly (patricia.reilly@qub.ac.uk).

Interviews will be held on Monday 9th June at the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work.  Applicants will be contacted by email with regard to interview.

Small Group Teaching Training will take place on Thursday 25th September. This is compulsory for all successful applicants.

For Further information, please contact: Mandi MacDonald at m.macdonald@qub.ac.uk

 

 

Top of Page

Veterinarians meet Sociology in Sheffield, Saturday 17th May 2014

On May 17th, Sally Shortall was an invited speaker at the Veterinary Public Health Association’s (VPHA) annual conference in Sheffield. The Association was formed in 1960 to represent veterinarians and allied professionals, such as environmental health officers, in the field of veterinary public health. It covers all aspects of animal disease, food production and other enterprises that have any interaction with the human population. It is through the lobbying role of the Association that it is able to influence Government policy, and the formation of new or updated advice and guidance focused on greater consumer protection. The VPHA is committed to the protection of the consumer and the environment, and to the promotion of animal welfare.

Sally Shortall was asked to speak about how to influence government policy, and how to engage with various knowledge provider groups such as practitioners, industry, stakeholders, and policy makers to ensure effective policy and good public health policy. She used examples from her work with the Food Standards Agency and the European Parliament. After the event Sally remarked that ‘veterinarians are very aware of the social science aspects of their work, and the need to engage social science to effectively achieve public health’. 

Top of Page

Queen's University Belfast - Part Time Tutor Register

Applications are invited from suitably qualified persons to enable the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work to compile a register of Tutors.  A list of subject areas for which applications are invited is set out below.

Successful applicants will be fully responsible for the delivery of teaching and conduct of assessment to agreed standards.  They will be engaged under a contract for services and will not be employees of the University.

Subject areas:

Criminology

Social Policy

Social Work

Sociology

Payment:  This will be at the rate of £33 per hour (to include all duties specified in the further information documentation). 

Application

Interested individuals are requested to submit a full C.V. by email to Patricia Reilly, School Manager, (patricia.reilly@qub.ac.uk) by 12 noon on Friday 13th June 2014. 

Applicants will be interviewed on Thursday 26th June and will be notified of their allocated interview time by email.

Selection Criteria:

For shortlisting purposes, it is essential that applicants have:-

  • A minimum of a 2.2 hons degree or equivalent in a discipline relevant to subject area applied for.
  • A PhD (or be in the process of completing a PhD) in a relevant discipline to subject area applied for or relevant industrial/professional/teaching experience in subject area applied for.
  • Applicants in the process of doing a PhD must have passed their differentiation.
  • It is envisaged that successful candidates will have excellent oral and written communication skills, and presentation skills.

Training:

Training will take place on Thursday 25th September from 10am to 5pm at the School premises. Training is compulsory for all successful applicants.

Front Door of Sociology Building, 6 College Park

Top of Page

Social Work from the Inside, Wednesday 14th May 2014

On Wednesday 14th May 2014 the School welcomed over 100 future social work students to an event showcasing "Social Work from the Inside". The event was aimed at individuals who have been offered a place to study social work at Queen's, and was designed to help individuals prepare for commencing their studies in September 2014.

Opening the evening Dr John Devaney, Director of Education, commented on the high volume of high quality applications for places received this year, and that individuals offered places have demonstrated a strong commitment to social work as a career, and a high level of academic ability.

The evening contained presentations from staff about the structure and content of the degree programme across the three pathways, and students talking about their experiences of the course. Those in attendance also heard from two users of services about the ways in which their experiences of social work services are being used to further enhance the learning of students.

A copy of the main presentations given on the evening are available here.

Top of Page

Where ‘Homelessness’ and Social Work Coalesce – a symposium
Where ‘Homelessness’ and Social Work Coalesce – a symposium. Photograph of speakers from left: Man Kong Choi; Declan Morris (Simon Community NI); Gerry Skelton (Belfast Metropolitan College and Director of the Homelessness Awareness Panel); Fionnuala Kennedy (Playwright); Deirdre Coyle (Health & Social Care Board); John Devaney (Queen’s University); Ricky Rowledge (Council for the Homeless NI); Grace Price; Tony Rogers (Health & Social Care Board).
Speakers from left: Man Kong Choi; Declan Morris (Simon Community NI); Gerry Skelton (Belfast Metropolitan College and Director of the Homelessness Awareness Panel); Fionnuala Kennedy (Playwright); Deirdre Coyle (Health & Social Care Board); John Devaney (Queen’s University); Ricky Rowledge (Council for the Homeless NI); Grace Price; Tony Rogers (Health & Social Care Board).

 

On Tuesday 8th April 2014 the School of Sociology, Social Policy & Social Work hosted a major symposium on homelessness and the social work response. The event was organised by Gerry Skelton, Lecturer in Social Work at Belfast Metropolitan College, and hosted by John Devaney, Director of Social Work Education at Queen’s. The event was addressed by policy makers, senior managers and providers of services from within homelessness and social work in Northern Ireland. At the event individuals who had experience of homelessness spoke of their experiences, and a reading of excerpts from the play ‘Hostel’ by local playwright Fionnuala Kennedy added a further way of understanding this often misunderstood issue. The audience comprised delegates from England, Ireland and Northern Ireland, including staff and social work students from the University of Central Lancashire who were on a visit to Queen’s. A key message from the event is that home is both a place and a part of one’s identity, and that social workers have a particular role in working to address the issue of homelessness.

Speaking before the event Gerry Skelton said:

“I am personally and professionally delighted to have been asked by Queens University to deliver this Homelessness Awareness Panel Event, and the audience turnout is excellent. This is yet another fabulous endorsement of the work I, and my co-panellists, have been doing in striving to ensure homelessness is elevated from its often marginalised position within social work, and given due consideration and prioritised accordingly. Today’s event would not be possible without the encouragement and commitment of Dr. John Devaney and I am especially grateful to him for this and his ongoing support”. 

Opening the event, Tony Rogers said:

"Having somewhere to call home is a fundamental right and need, and the holding of this event and the championing on this issue by Gerry Skelton serves well to remind us of what we need to do."

After the event John Devaney stated:

“It was good to see such a strong turnout and positive feedback for this event – there is an increasing awareness that social workers have a vital role in both preventing homelessness, and in responding to those in housing crisis. We were delighted to be able to host this annual event at Queen’s this year on behalf of social work educators in Northern Ireland.”

Top of Page

Invitation to JUCSWEC International Sub Committee Annual Seminar (Global Agenda)

Global Capital versus Human Needs: Challenging the Privatisation of Social Services

Professor Iain Ferguson

9th May, 2014

School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work

Room 01/035, 6 College Park

1.30pm to 4.00pm

The demand for privatisation of public services has been a key plank of the neoliberal ideology which has now held global sway (albeit with considerable resistance) for more than two decades. In this seminar I shall attempt to do five things. Firstly, I shall provide a general overview of the extent to which global capital and global multinationals have penetrated the sphere of social work and social care. Secondly, I shall measure the claims of privatisation to provide greater efficiency, increased choice and less bureaucracy against the realities on the ground. Thirdly, I shall suggest that the relationship between the State and the private sector is more complex and contradictory than is sometimes suggested in the critical social policy literature; there is frequently a gap between the rhetoric and reality of neoliberalism. Fourthly, I shall examine the impact of privatisation on social work and social care practice. Finally, I shall examine the extent to which and the ways in which social work practitioners might combat the effects of privatisation, both in their daily practice and as part of wider collective movements and the implications for social work education and research.

RSVP Dr Janet Carter Anand j.anand@qub.ac.uk by the 8th May, 2014  

Top of Page

INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM: BRINGING THE SOCIAL BACK INTO THE SOCIOLOGY OF RELIGION

Friday 2 May 2014, Queen's University Belfast (Senate Room)

 

09.00 – 09.30  Welcome and introduction by symposium organisers

Véronique Altglas, Eric Morier-Genoud and Matthew Wood

 

09.30 – 10.45  Understanding Faiths and Theologies

Christophe Monnot (University of Lausanne, Switzerland)

Does being a good sociologist of religion mean being a specialist in a specific faith?


Gwendoline Malogne-Fer (Groupe Sociétés, Religions, Laïcités, CNRS, France)

Protestant churches and the ‘marriage for all’: ‘theological’ criteria and the sociological approach

 

10.45 – 11.15  Break for refreshments

 

11.15 – 12.30  Understanding Mysticism and Spirituality

Alix Philippon (Institut d'Études Politiques d'Aix-en-Provence, CHERPA, France)

Essentialization, idealization and vilification: a reassessment of axiological neutrality in the sociological study of 'mystical' and 'political' Islam in Pakistan


Véronique Altglas (Queen's University Belfast, UK)

Spirituality and discipline: not a contradiction in terms

 

12.30 – 13.30  Lunch

 

13.30 – 14.30  Ethnographic film: Laatoo: Dance and Spirituality in Pakistan

                        Directed by Alix Philippon and Faizaan Peerzada (2003)

 

14.30 – 15.45  Understanding Emotions and Behaviours

Yannick Fer (Groupe Sociétés, Religions, Laïcités, CNRS, France)

Studying religious emotions as a social fact: from pre-notions to the (re)shaping of a sociological object


Matthew Wood (Queen's University Belfast, UK)

Congregational studies, worship, and region behaviour

 

15.45 – 16.15  Break for refreshments

 

16.15 – 17.30  Understanding Mission and Secularisation

Eric Morier-Genoud (Queen's University Belfast, UK)

Reverse mission? A critical approach


Christopher Bunn (University of Glasgow, UK)

Foucault’s neglected secularisation: new pastoralism, confession and messianic managerialism

 

17.30 – 18.45  Ethnographic film: Bread or Coconut: Moorea and the Two Traditions

                        Directed by Yannick Fer and Gwendoline Malogne-Fer (2010)

 

18.45 - 19.00   Closing remarks

Top of Page

Professor Pinkerton: Academy of Social Sciences

Professor John Pinkerton has been awarded the title, Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences, by order of the Council.

Head of School, Professor Mike Tomlinson, commented: "This is an important mark of distinction for John and the School, and recognises the enormous contribution John has made as Professor of Child and Family Social Work on the island of Ireland and well beyond."


Further details on the Academy of Social Sciences can be found here.

Top of Page

Football, Globalization and Nationalism

Football, Globalization and Nationalism: A comparison of the Premier League and Serie A. by Professor Roger Penn is now published on the Sporting Metrix site.

The article exlores the trajectories of football in England and Italy since 1930. The analysis is situated within the debate about the relative strengths of nationalism/nationality and processes of globalization. It involves an examination of patterns of national origins amongst football players, managers/coaches and owners in the two countries during the ‘longue durée’ of high modernism.

The article reveals that these trajectories differ significantly between the two countries. Italy is far less ‘globalized’ than England today. There was strong evidence that the proportion of foreign coaches in Italy has declined significantly since the 1930s and also that there were large numbers of overseas players in Serie A in the 1930s.

The paper concludes that there is no evidence of an overarching, unilinear trend towards the globalization of football in England and Italy. National templates and contexts continue to have salience, albeit to a greater degree in Italy than in England.

Top of Page

New book on Truth, Denial and Transition

Cheryl Lawther's book on Truth, Denial and Transition: Northern Ireland and the Contested Past was published this week. Given the inconclusive Haas process, the book makes a unique and timely contribution to the transitional justice field. Drawing on the case study of Northern Ireland, the book examines the opposition to a formal 'truth recovery process' from unionist political elites, loyalist ex-combatants and members of the security forces. Based on empirical research, their opposition is unpicked and interrogated at length. Critically exploring notions of national imagination and blamelessness, the politics of victimhood and the tension between traditions of sacrifice and the fear of betrayal, this book is the first substantive effort to concentrate on the opponents of truth recovery rather than its advocates.

Further details are available from the publisher.

Top of Page

Attitudes towards same-sex relationships

Attitudes towards same-sex relationships in Northern Ireland have softened over the past two decades, according to researchers at Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Ulster.

Interpreting data from the 2012 Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey (NILT), which uses a random sample of 1,200 people living across Northern Ireland, the researchers found a growing tolerance of same-sex (or lesbian and gay) relationships among the people sampled.

The proportion of survey participants who believe that same-sex relations are “always wrong”, for example, dropped from 76 per cent in 1989 to 28 per cent in 2012.

The survey was carried out by ARK, a joint resource between Queen’s University and the University of Ulster. The survey records public attitudes to a wide range of social issues.

Researchers Siobhan McAlister and Nicola Carr, from Queen’s School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, and youth worker Gail Neill, have been interpreting the trends from the NILT and will be discussing their findings at a public seminar at NICVA in Belfast on 25th February.

Speaking on BBC Northern Ireland's Good Morning Ulster ahead of the event, Dr Nicola Carr, said: “Over half of the survey’s respondents expressed support for same-sex marriage, however, over one third disapproved of gay adoption and also to lesbians having access to fertility treatment on the same basis as heterosexual women. At least one in four people did not believe that a lesbian or gay parent or parents with a child constituted a ‘family’.

“The survey also found that, in general, females and those aged under 65 were more likely to report positive attitudes to same-sex relationships.”

Dr Siobhan McAlister said that in terms of parenting and family life, attitudes were found to have changed less. She added: “Respondents declaring a Protestant affiliation were more likely to report negative attitudes towards same-sex marriage than Catholics, or people declaring ‘no religion’. For example, while the majority of those who presented as having no religion (74 per cent) or as Catholic (66 per cent) supported same-sex marriage, less than half (45 per cent) of those defining as Protestant were in support of it.

The Queering the Family: Attitudes Towards Lesbian and Gay Relationships and Families in Northern Ireland seminar takes place at NICVA, 61 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast, on February 25, from 12pm-1pm, with lunch afterwards. The seminar is free and everyone is welcome, but places should be booked at info@ark.ac.uk or by telephoning 028 71675513.
 

 

 

Top of Page

Dr Andrew Percy invited to join the Editorial Board of the Journal of Adolescence

Dr Andrew Percy, Senior lecturer in Criminology has been invited to join the Editorial Board of the Journal of Adolescence. The Journal is a leading international, broadly based, cross-disciplinary, peer-reviewed journal addressing issues of professional and academic importance to people interested in adolescent development. The aim of the journal is to encourage research and foster good practice through publishing both empirical and clinical studies as well as integrative reviews and theoretical advances (for more information please visit: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-adolescence/).

 

Top of Page

Professor Penn on dangers of attending World Cup

Professor Roger Penn's research into the dangers of attending the World Cup in Brazil this summer was highlighted on James Phillips's 'Football Show' live from Sixfields (BBC Radio Cumbria 18th February). In the interview Professor Penn drew on the research that was summarized on the School site last week and which was published by Sporting Metrix. He talked about the high homicide rate in Brazil, particularly in Manaus and Belo Horizonte, where England face their first two opponents in June. He also talked about the high levels of deaths in police custody and the endemic failure of the Brazilian police to control football games in Brazil over recent years. When asked if he would tell fans to stay away he replied that England fans should certainly go if they can afford it but should be very careful in Brazil, particularly after dark.

Top of Page

DEL Strategic Priority PhD Studentship (2014-2017)

The School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast, is offering a full-time DEL Strategic Priority Studentship leading to the award of a PhD. This studentship will support research which strengthens the evidence-base regarding outcomes for children in care in Northern Ireland. Funding is available for three years and will cover university fees and pay a stipend. In addition to completing the application form on-line, applicants must attach a provisional, methodological strategy (1,500 words) that addresses the outline research proposal below. 

Project Title:Comparing outcomes for children in statutory and independent foster care in Northern Ireland

First Supervisor: Dr Dominic McSherry (Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work)

Second Supervisor: Professor Carol McGuinness (School of Education)

Start Date: 1st October 2014

End Date: 30th September 2017

Concerns regarding the wellbeing of children in care are widespread.  Attempts have been made to improve the statutory provision of care across the UK, but the evidence base for positive improvements is limited.  More recently, there has been a growth in independent foster care provision as an alternative to the statutory model.  However, to date there has been no comparative examination of the wellbeing of children in independent foster care placements. 

The Northern Ireland Care Pathways and Outcomes Study (McSherry et al., 2013) has been following a population (n=374) of children through the care system in Northern Ireland since 2000.  The third phase of the study, the Children’s Perspective, has recently been completed and examined the health and wellbeing of children in a range of placements, including foster care (n=35), as provided by the HSC Trusts.  A number of standardised measures informed perspectives on the children’s health and wellbeing.  Furthermore, the research team developed a ‘me-book’ to facilitate a qualitative interview with the children.

The proposed project would examine a similar number of independent foster care placements, and compare the same range of coping indicators for the children, quantitatively and qualitatively.  Furthermore, as was the case in the Care Pathways and Outcomes Study, perspectives would be gained from the foster carers in terms of the extent to which they feel that these placements are supported by the independent agency. 

How to apply:

Applicants, at the time of first registration, must have a 2:1 undergraduate degree or equivalent (a 2.2 degree plus master’s scoring 60% or above is deemed equivalent) and a master’s degree, completed or near completion, preferably in a social science or cognate area.  Training in research methods is also desirable. Selection will include an interview. Applications will be appraised using the University’s selection criteria.

For a full award (fees and stipend), applicants must have been resident in the UK for three years. Details of PhD studentships covering tuition fees and maintenance for home and EU students (subject to the Department for Employment and Learning UK residency rules), can be found here http://go.qub.ac.uk/N8bbc. Successful applicants must meet the DEL criteria.

The deadline for application is the 7th March, 12.00pm. To apply, applicants should access the University’s on-line application system http://go.qub.ac.uk/pgapply.

 

Top of Page

Professor Penn blogs about Brazil world cup

In a blog for Sporting Metrix, Professor Roger Penn warns of 'the real dangers' of the World Cup in Brazil.

Professor Penn warns that 'Brazil is the most dangerous country in the world for urbanized homicide'. There were 615 homicides in Sao Paolo in the first six months of 2013. Further, football matches and stadia are occasions and places of violence: more than 150 people have been killed in clashes in and around stadia over the past 25 years.

What explains this? To find out, visit Sporting Metrix.

Top of Page

World Social Work Day 2014

Social Work 2014‌‌

Top of Page

MRes student wins Science Shop award

Catherine with supervisor Dr Karamichas

Catherine with Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof. Tony Gallagher

As part of her Masters in Social Research Methods in the School, Catherine Ward worked with Dr John Karamichas, her supervisor, and Pol Mc Cormack from St John Bosco GAA in Newry conducting research into the role of positive coaching in retaining players post 18 years of age in the GAA.  She concluded that positive coaching was important to maximise player potential and ensure that players continue to engage with the club longer term.  She recommended that GAA clubs might consider developing further training resources for their volunteer coaches and using student placements to help bring in fresh ideas and give students hands on experience.  She also suggested online training for coaches as a way of enabling volunteers to carry out this training at a time to suit them. 

 

Catherine received her award at a celebratory event at City Hall on 23rd January, hosted by Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, who said: “The work carried out by the Science Shop projects is fantastic and has such a positive impact on our local communities. Not only do our communities benefit from the projects, the students also benefit from implementing the skills they have learnt during their degree studies. The Science Shop should be immensely proud of their achievements over the last 25 years.”

 

The Science Shop at Queen’s University is funded by the Department for Employment and Learning through their Higher Education Innovation Fund.

Top of Page

Fast food and obesity

Fast food consumption predicts obesity – that's the finding of Dr Anne Kouvonen's study published in Bulletin of the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/92/2/13-120287.pdf?ua=1). This study, which was led by Dr Roberto De Vogli (University of California, Davis), showed that fast food consumption is an independent predictor of mean BMI in high-income countries and that market deregulation policies may contribute to the obesity epidemic by facilitating the spread of fast food. The Bulletin is one of the top 10 public and environmental health journals with an impact factor of 5.250. Anne Kouvonen was interviewed by Today FM on 3rd February 2014 (http://www.todayfm.com/Irish-people-eat-more-fast-food) The study has been covered also by a large number of other media outlets, including: The Independent, NBC News, Fox News, RT, CBS, The Irish Times, Al Jazeera America, The Daily Mail, The Economic Times, Reuters (UK); among others.

 

Top of Page

Ruari McBride awarded Santander Scholarship

Doctoral student Ruari McBride has been awarded a Santander Mobility Scholarhip (2013/14).  This will support his visit to Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), Brazil, later this year. He will collobarate with Dr. Maria de Lourdes de Souza and Dr. Walter Ferreira of the UFSC Public Health Department on a research project relating to chemical dependency. He will present his own research findings and hold a workshop regarding mental health issues in prison.

Top of Page

DEL Strategic Priority Studentship (2014-2017)

The School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast, is offering a full-time DEL Strategic Priority Studentship leading to the award of a PhD. This studentship will support research which strengthens the evidence-base regarding outcomes for children in care in Northern Ireland. Funding is available for three years and will cover university fees and pay a stipend. In addition to completing the application form on-line, applicants must attach a provisional, methodological strategy that addresses the outline research proposal below.  In addition to an initial review of the relevant literature, this strategy document should highlight the method to be used, the sampling approach, how data will be acquired and analysed and will consider pertinent ethical issues (1,500 to 2,000 words).

Project Title:Comparing outcomes for children in statutory and independent foster care in Northern Ireland

First Supervisor: Dr Dominic McSherry (Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work)

Second Supervisor: Professor Carol McGuinness (School of Education)

Start Date: 1st October 2014

End Date: 30th September 2017

Concerns regarding the wellbeing of children in care are widespread.  Attempts have been made to improve the statutory provision of care across the UK, but the evidence base for positive improvements is limited.  More recently, there has been a growth in independent foster care provision as an alternative to the statutory model.  Lowe (1999) indicated that foster carers felt better treated by independent fostering agencies.  However, Sellick et al. (2004) noted that there were no studies available that compare the health and wellbeing of children in statutory and independent foster placements.  To date, there has been no comparative examination of the wellbeing of children in independent foster care placements. 

The Northern Ireland Care Pathways and Outcomes Study (McSherry et al., 2013) has been following a population (n=374) of children through the care system in Northern Ireland since 2000.  The third phase of the study, the Children’s Perspective, has recently been completed and examined the health and wellbeing of children in a range of placements, including foster care (n=35), as provided by the HSC Trusts.  A number of standardised measures informed perspectives on the children’s health and wellbeing.  These were: the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire; the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment; the Piers-Harris Children’s Self-Concept Scale; and the British Picture Vocabulary Scale.  Furthermore, the research team developed a ‘me-book’ to facilitate a qualitative interview with the children.

The proposed project would examine a similar number of independent foster care placements, and compare the same range of coping indicators for the children, quantitatively and qualitatively.  Furthermore, as was the case in the Care Pathways and Outcomes Study, perspectives would be gained from the foster carers in terms of the extent to which they feel that these placements are supported by the independent agency.  This would provide the first evidenced-informed comparison of children’s coping in statutory (HSC Trust) and independent agency foster care.

How to apply:

Applicants, at the time of first registration, must have a 2:1 undergraduate degree or equivalent (a 2.2 degree plus master’s scoring 60% or above is deemed equivalent) and a master’s degree, preferably in a social science or cognate area.  Training in research methods is also desirable. Selection will include an interview. Applications will be appraised using the University’s selection criteria.

For a full award (fees and stipend), applicants must have been resident in the UK for three years. Details of PhD studentships covering tuition fees and maintenance for home and EU students (subject to the Department for Employment and Learning UK residency rules), can be found here http://go.qub.ac.uk/N8bbc. Successful applicants must meet the DEL criteria.

The deadline for application is the 10th February, 4.00pm. To apply, applicants should access the University’s on-line application system http://go.qub.ac.uk/pgapply.

 

Top of Page

Department of Employment and Learning (DEL) Core PhD Studentships

The School has a number of core DEL studentships to allocate for 2014/15 and welcomes proposals on topics relating to the School’s research priorities and themes.  These priorities and themes are reflected in the School’s research clusters and groupings and can be categorised as follows: (a) contemporary social issues and policy (b) family policy and child welfare (c) identities, lifestyle and culture (d) social divisions and conflict (e) life-course research and (f) the experience and social impact of disability.  Applicants are advised to explore the School’s website to obtain further details of the staff’s research interests in the above areas.

Applicants, at the time of first registration, must have a 2:1 undergraduate degree or equivalent (a 2.2 degree plus master’s scoring 60% or above is deemed equivalent) and a master’s degree, preferably in a social science or cognate area.  Training in research methods is also desirable. Selection will include an interview. Applications will be appraised using the University’s selection criteria.

For a full award (fees and stipend), applicants must have been resident in the UK for three years. Details of PhD studentships covering tuition fees and maintenance for home and EU students (subject to the Department for Employment and Learning UK residencey rules), can be found here http://go.qub.ac.uk/N8bbc. Successful applicants must meet the DEL criteria.

The deadline for application is the 10th February, 4.00pm. To apply, applicants should access the University’s on-line application system http://go.qub.ac.uk/pgapply. A research proposal (1,500-2,000 words) must be attached to the application. It should outline the aim of the research, the questions to be answered, some of the relevant literature, and the research design.

Top of Page

Legal Options for Implementing Children’s Rights in Northern Ireland

Dr Bronagh Byrne and Prof Laura Lundy (School of Education) were invited speakers at the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People’s (NICCY) Annual Conference. They presented their findings from a collaborative ESRC Knowledge Exchange project with NICCY. The project sought to enhance the implementation of children’s rights in Northern Ireland, and was intended to inform the development of children’s rights legislation here through stakeholder engagement and critical analysis of the existing evidence base and literature around the implementation of the CRC in domestic law. The project culminated in a paper which sets out the legal options for implementing children’s rights in Northern Ireland.

 

For more information see Children’s Rights in Northern Ireland: Past, Present and Future

 

A copy of the ‘options’ paper by Bronagh and Laura can be downloaded here:

 

 

 

Top of Page

Part-time Temporary Lecturer in Undergraduate Sociology Position

Part-time Temporary Lecturer in Undergraduate Sociology

School of Sociology, Social Policy & Social Work

Queen’s University, Belfast

 

Closing date:             4.00pm - Wednesday - 11th December

Salary:                        Hourly basis, minimum of 230 hours (22 lectures and up to two tutorial groups)

Term:                          Spring 2014, and exam period (June 2014)

 

Job purpose:

Prepare and deliver lectures in the Sociology of Work, tutorials, and mark students’ work. 

 

Major duties (teaching): 

 

1) Routinely communicate complex and conceptual ideas to students using high level skills and a range of media

2) Prepare and deliver 22 lectures in the Sociology of Work. The lecture topics should follow the module outline for the Sociology of Work which has already been developed. 

3) Organise and oversee tutorial sessions, beginning in week 2 of the semester. 

4) Mark coursework (essay) and exam.  School policy requires staff to provide thorough written feedback on student coursework. 

5) Contribute to the enhancement of quality teaching at undergraduate level.

 

Essential criteria:

 

1) Primary or higher degree in a social science subject

2) Knowledge of the sociology of drugs

3) Understanding of the student experience

4) Effective communicator

5) Effective interpersonal skills

6) Capacity to work as a part of a team

 

Desirable criteria: 

 

1) Experience of tutoring or lecturing at university level or equivalent

2) Subject of MA, PhD and/or subsequent research directly relevant to sociology or criminology

 

 

Application: 

 

Interested individuals are requested to submit a full c.v by email to Patricia Reilly, School Manager, (patricia.reilly@qub.ac.uk) by 4pm on Wednesday 11th December.

 

Applicants will be interviewed on Tuesday 17th December and will be notified of their allocated interview time on Friday 13th December by email.

 

Top of Page

PhD Studentships (2013-2016) on the Themes of Ageing and Capacity Building in the Ageing Sector - closing date 2nd January 2014

Applications are invited for 2 PhD Studentships (2013-2016) on the Themes of Ageing and Capacity Building in the Ageing Sector

The School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast, is offering two full-time studentships leading to the award of a PhD. Both studentships will support research which strengthens the evidence-base underpinning the Ageing Sector in Northern Ireland. Funding is available for three years and will cover university fees and pay a stipend. In addition to completing the application form on-line, applicants must attach a provisional, methodological strategy that addresses the research question in one of the two studentships below (500 words maximum). The strategy should highlight the method to be used, the sampling approach, how data will be acquired and analysed and will consider pertinent ethical issues.

Topic 1: Age-friendly society and communities

This studentship will focus on the following research question: ‘Is Northern Ireland an age-friendly society’?It should address whether our society and communities are age-friendly, especially for older people.  In particular, projects exploring one or more of the following themes (which are not mutually exclusive) would be welcomed:

  • Attitudes to, and experiences of, ageing and ageism
  • Poverty, health inequality and human rights of older people
  • Ageing, independence  and  technology (such as ehealth and assisted living)
  • Applying and developing new theoretical models of ageing
  • Risk, safety and relationships in older age (such as adult protection; fear of crime; promoting positive family, intergenerational and community relationships; addressing loneliness and social isolation)
  • Living and ageing well (physical, psychological, financial and spiritual wellbeing)
  • Diversity in ageing (culture, gender, disability and  sexuality)

It is envisaged that this research will be relevant to, and inform, policy and practice in Northern Ireland.  Between the two supervisors, there is experience in quantitative and qualitative research methods, and so mixed-methods approaches would be welcome.  Proposals that involve the quantitative analysis of secondary datasets will be looked on favourably, as will those that directly involve older people in the research.  Whilst the projects will mainly focus on older people, life course approaches are also welcome. 

Topic 2: Older women living with domestic violence - alcohol and substance misuse

From a public health perspective the link between alcohol and substance use/misuse and domestic violence (DV) has attracted increasing research attention in the past decade. There is a clear link between DV and women who misuse alcohol and other drugs as they are more likely to have been abused, both in childhood and adult life, than women generally.  Research on younger women shows that the substance misuse seems more likely to be in response to the DV, rather than a causal factor, and it is suggested that women who have experienced DV may turn to alcohol or other substances as a way of coping and deadening the pain: a self-prescribed medication. To date, the extensive literature on DV and substance misuse has focused almost exclusively on younger women and little is known about how older women use/or misuse alcohol and substances while living with DV, even though around 15% of women aged over 50 years have experienced some DV and this can occur well into later life. Older women’s voices are virtually absent from the research literature as service providers and policy makers often assume that DV stops at around age 50 years.

Study Aims

This research study aims to bridge this evidence gap by increasing our knowledge and understanding of:

-        How ‘older women’ use/ or misuse alcohol and substances while living with DV and how it affects their health and wellbeing.

-        The views and experiences of professionals and service providers working to support older women experiencing domestic violence and how they work in partnership with other agencies.

Research Questions:

The study will address the following key research questions:

-        How do older women define domestic violence/substance use/misuse?

-        How does domestic violence affect their mental health and wellbeing?

-        What coping mechanisms do they use?

-        Do they use/misuse alcohol/substances as a coping mechanism?

-        What support interventions do they access or have knowledge of?

-        What are the gaps in research, practice and service delivery?

The selection process will include an interview. 

How to apply:

Applicants should apply via Queen’s University’s online application system which can be found at http://go.qub.ac.uk/pgapply

All applications will be appraised according to the University/School selection criteria for admission to post-graduate research.  These criteria include a 2:1 undergraduate degree or higher (or the equivalent), and a master’s degree, preferably in the social sciences.  DEL eligibility criteria on residence, nationality and academic qualifications also apply ( http://go.qub.ac.uk/N8bbc ) .Previous research training (e.g. research methods) is desirable and should be highlighted in the application

Closing Date for Applications:

2nd January 2014

 

Top of Page

Rights of the Child and Social Workers

Dr. Karen Winter’s article ‘The UNCRC and social workers’ relationships with young children’ has been named as one of the Top 10 most downloaded articles in the journal Child Abuse Review for the year 2012. The article focuses on the quality of social worker relationships with young children, which has been a particular concern in recent reports regarding the deaths of children known to social services. A common theme emerging from the many reports is that the children involved are often rendered invisible, voiceless and silent by practice that can sometimes tend to focus on the parents. The article illustrates by way of practical examples how the UNCRC, together with the more detailed advice and guidance contained in the UNCRC General Comments, provides the best framework for developing effective social work relationships with, and safeguarding, young children. 

 

Top of Page

Q-Step Job Opportunities

Further details available here

Top of Page

Dr Anne Kouvonen has had an article published in PLOS ONE

Dr Anne Kouvonen has had an article published in PLOS ONE (impact factor 3.730) (http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0077178). This large record-linkage study showed that obesity increases the risk of occupational injuries in all socioeconomic groups.

Top of Page

Mental health of Polish migrants highlighted

Tuesday's Irish Times (15th October 2013) featured research carried out by Dr Anne Kouvonen, Dr Michael Donnelly and Dr Justyna Bell (UKCRC Centre of Excellence for Public Health). The Irish Times article draws on the results of the QUB research discussing mental health challenges faced by Polish migrants in Northern Ireland. It also mentions the close collaboration of the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work and the CoE with the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities (NICEM) in establishing the scope of research in the field of migrant mental health. 

Justyna Bell has been studying Polish migrants since she was an undergraduate, and has continued her research at Queen’s. She says mental health is a persistent issue.

“There is a notion of shame of going back to Poland when you’re a failed migrant, because you want to get this great job and then you become unemployed,” she says. “They prefer to stay here and suffer than to go back and show they failed.”

Top of Page

ARK Ageing Programme

New ARK Ageing Programme supports engagement between the age and academic sectors http://www.ark.ac.uk/ageing/

Top of Page

Nearly £20 million in funding to improve quantitative skills in UK: new Queen's Q-Step Centre

Q-Step is a £19.5 million programme designed to promote a step-change in quantitative social science training. Over a five-year period from 2013, fifteen universities across the UK are delivering specialist undergraduate programmes, including new courses, work placements and pathways to postgraduate study. Expertise and resources will be shared across the higher education sector through an accompanying support programme, which will also forge links with schools and employers.

Q-Step was developed as a strategic response to the shortage of quantitatively-skilled social science graduates. It is funded by the Nuffield Foundation, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). For more information go to www.nuffieldfoundation.org/q-step.

The Queen's Q-Step Centre is a collaboration between the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy and School of Mathematics and Physics.

Centre Co-ordinators are Prof Mike Tomlinson and Dr Emma Calvert in the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work (qstep@qub.ac.uk).

Top of Page

Poverty Research in Ireland: North and South

This conference, which is being organised on a collaborative basis by the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast, the Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin and the Geary Institute, University College Dublin, will provide an overview of recent research relating to poverty and social exclusion North and South and provide a platform for researchers and policy makers to discuss the potential for comparative North-South work. The contributions will draw on the infrastructure for poverty and social exclusion research provided by databases such as the UK Poverty and Social Exclusion survey (PSE) and the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions survey (SILC). In the context of the profound economic and social changes associated with the Great Recession, the topics covered will include the relationship between, patterns and determinants of deprivation, poverty and household work intensity, multidimensional poverty and deprivation in childhood and trends in economic vulnerability.

Speakers include: Dorothy Watson (Economic and Social Research Institute), Bertrand Maître (ESRI), Christopher Whelan (QUB & UCD), James Williams (ESRI), Aisling Murray (ESRI), Simonetta Ryan (Assistant Secretary, Department of Social Protection), Helen Russell (ESRI), Mike Tomlinson (QUB), Paddy Hillyard (QUB), Dave Rogers (Head of Statistics and Research in OFMDFM) and Grace Kelly (QUB).

Top of Page

Social Work Awards


Joe Duffy and David Hayes, both lecturers in the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, received a prestigious Northern Ireland Social Work Award at a ceremony held at the Guildhall, Derry/Londonderry on Friday 20th September.

The Awards, this year hosted by the Western Health and Social Care Trust, are organised in partnership with the Health and Social Care Board, the Northern Ireland Social Care Council and the local Health and Social Care Trusts.  They promote and celebrate excellence in social work with awards being made in seven categories (four team awards and three individual awards) and an overall winner being selected from the seven award winners.

Duffy and Hayes received the Learning and Development Team award for an innovative teaching project which engages service users and carers in a meaningful way to assist first year social work students with their understanding of the complex and contested topic of social work values.  The project involves small groups of students visiting service user and carer groups in their own community settings with a set of pre-agreed questions designed to prompt discussion of how values are translated into practice.

Results from an evaluation of the project were published in the international journal 'Ethics and Social Welfare' in 2012. As the following quotes evidence, the project had a positive impact on both students, in terms of their understanding of social work values, and the participating service user and carer groups in terms of enabling them to make a meaningful contribution to the education and practice of future social workers:

"Hearing first hand accounts of the impact of both positive and negative social work practice on service users had a huge influence on my understanding of the importance of good values" (Student)

"We feel that we played an active role in helping the students understand values and to relate them to real life and working with young people" ( Young People's Group)

"It had a huge impact on me and raised issues about things like respect that I will never forget" (Student)

"We helped the students a lot.  They stopped seeing us as learning disability people and saw us as equals...they learnt that a person with a learning disability is an individual" (Learning Disability Group)

The project has been running since 2006 and has benefitted some 550 students and involved 14 different service user and carer groups.  It is supported by annual funding from the Northern Ireland Social Care Council to facilitate service user and carer involvement in the social work curriculum.

Duffy has developed this project internationally and has completed a DVD production in which service users and carers from Spain, Slovenia and Northern Ireland, in discussion with students, share their thoughts about social work values and how these are demonstrated in practice.  Duffy and Hayes have also transferred this model of learning into the next stage of the social work programme in order to help students with their understanding of empathy as a core social work skill.  They are also involved in a longer term project evaluating the impact of service user and carer involvement in social work education on subsequent professional practice.

For further information contact:

Joe Duffy: joe.duffy@qub.ac.uk  Tel. 028 9097 5909

David Hayes: d.hayes@qub.ac.uk  Tel. 028 9097 5971

Top of Page

Dr Berni Kelly launches a new research report: ‘Don’t Box Me In: Disability, Identity and Transitions to Young Adult Life’.

Dr Berni Kelly presented findings from a research study of disabled young people’s transitions to young adult life at a seminar on 20th September 2013 at Queen’s University Belfast.  The seminar was entitled ‘Moving On: Young Disabled People and Transitions’. Other speakers included: Dr Tobias Buchner from the University of Vienna; Dr Sonali Shah from the University of Glasgow; Rosemary Murray from the Disabled Children and Young People’s Participation Project (DCYPPP); Teresa Stewart from the DCYPPP; and Iolo Eillian from the Health and Social Care Board and Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership . The event was over-subscribed and attended by: academics; senior managers, social workers and transition workers from across service sectors in Northern Ireland; and relevant voluntary and community agencies. The research report, published in partnership with Barnardo’s NI, is available on the following link: http://go.qub.ac.uk/BerniKelly.  A DVD based on the findings has also been developed with members of the Disabled Children and Young People’s Participation Project (DCYPPP) and is available at: http://www.cypsp.org/young-people-disability.htm.

Top of Page

Dr Berni Kelly and Dr Bronagh Byrne launch the new Disability Research Network at Queen’s University Belfast.

Dr Berni Kelly and Dr Bronagh Byrne launched the new Disability Research Network on 20th September 2013 at Queen’s University Belfast. The Disability Research Network is a new multi-disciplinary initiative aimed at enhancing collaboration between academics, policymakers, practitioners and community and voluntary sector organisations with an interest in disability studies and research. It provides a unique opportunity for members to share knowledge and disseminate the growing body of disability research being carried out in Northern Ireland, stimulate debate about disability issues and develop collaborative partnerships for future disability research and further development of disability policy and practice. Further information is available at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/DisabilityResearchNetwork

 

 

 

Top of Page

Dr Dominic McSherry - key-note address at a Regional Adoption and Fostering Taskforce (RAFT) seminar on the 17th September 2013, in the Waterfoot Hotel, Derry

Dr Dominic McSherry gave a key-note address at a Regional Adoption and Fostering Taskforce (RAFT) seminar on the 17th September 2013, in the Waterfoot Hotel, Derry.  The seminar was entitled ‘To Infinity and Beyond: Promoting Permanence for Looked After Children’.  Dr McSherry focused on the findings from the third phase of the Care Pathways and Outcomes Study.  Other speakers included: Mr Robert Tapsfield, Chief Executive of the Fostering Network; Dr Janet Boddy, Director of the Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth (CIRCY) at the University of Sussex; and Ms Priscilla McLoughlin, Director of BAAF Northern Ireland.  The event was very well attended by senior managers and social work staff across the five HSC Trusts in Northern Ireland, NIGALA, and voluntary agencies.     

Top of Page

New research provides crucial insight into lives of children in care


The findings from one of the most comprehensive long-term studies ever undertaken into children in care were revealed at Queen’s University Belfast on Wednesday 11 September.

The Care Pathways and Outcomes Study is one of only a small number of studies worldwide that has taken a long-term comparative approach, providing vital information for practitioners. It followed a group of 374 children in care in Northern Ireland, over a 10 year period from 2000 to 2010.

The study’s findings have been published in a book entitled Comparing long-term placements for young children in care, authored by Dominic McSherry, Montserrat Fargas Malet, and Kerrylee Weatherall. The book reports on the most recent phase of the study, which involved interviews with 77 children aged 9-14 and their parents or carers in adoption, foster care, on residence order or living with their birth parents. The British Association for Adoption and fostering (BAAF) have published the book.

The launch of the book was attended by a mixture of senior managers, service leads, practitioners, academics and children’s advocates. Priscilla McLoughlin, Director of BAAF in Northern Ireland, hosted the event. Health and Social Services Minister Edwin Poots gave the keynote speech, which was followed by a presentation of the findings given by Dominic McSherry. Some of the study participants also spoke at the event. These were Patrick, a foster parent, and his daughter (subject to a residence order), Shannon, and Lorraine, an adoptive mother, and her adopted son, Adam. They gave moving accounts of their personal experiences. Greg Kelly, a recently retired senior social work lecturer who was a member of the research team, addressed some of the key implications for practice arising from the findings of the study. This was followed by a panel discussion. The panel included the research team (Dominic McSherry, Montserrat Fargas Malet, Kerrylee Weatherall and Greg Kelly), the study participants, Una Lernihan (Commissioning Lead for Adoption and Permanence, Health and Social Care Board), Frances Nicholson (Social Services Officer, DHSSPS), and Patricia Nicholl (Chief Executive, NIGALA). The concluding remarks were given by Barbara Hudson, Director of BAAF Scotland.

Commending the research team, the Minister said: “As Minister with responsibility for children and young people who are in the care system, I want to be assured that the quality of care provided for them is of the highest standard; that we are offering them the best chance of permanence and stability; that they are being enabled and facilitated to take part in decisions about their care and that they are being afforded the same opportunities as children and young people outside the care system.

“I want to congratulate the research team at Queen’s University for undertaking this important study. It is vital that we carefully consider the key messages emanating from such research to inform future policy and determine best practice on how to meet the long term needs of children in care.”

Priscilla McLoughlin, Director of BAAF in Northern Ireland said: “BAAF is privileged to publish the Care Pathways and Outcomes Study. The study is hugely important because those who make decisions about looked-after children’s long-term care need to understand how the children fare in each of the long-term care placements. It is also crucial in that it follows a group of children in Northern Ireland and takes account of how our unique demographic, social and structural issues. Its longitudinal nature is also important, providing an opportunity to consider the long-term implications of care options for children and for their parents and carers.”

Dr Dominic McSherry, a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Child Care Research at Queen’s School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, said: “This study reveals a number of crucial insights and patterns about the lives of young children in care. They are important signposts for the professionals involved in the sector, and for parents and guardians.

“For example, until now adoption was considered the gold standard in long-term care placements. One of our key findings, however, is that from the children’s perspective, it doesn’t appear to matter significantly what the placement is, be it fostering, adoption, kinship care, residence order or returning to birth parents. It is the longevity of placement that appears to be the most important factor in achieving positive outcomes for these children, so long as they enter long-term placements at an early age.”

Findings included in the book, relating to the group of 9-14 year olds and their parents and carers, are:

  • Within Northern Ireland, the Southern and Northern Health Trusts have the highest numbers of adoptions, the Western has the highest number of children in foster care and the South Eastern Trust, the highest levels of children returning home to their birth parents.
  •  Despite a positive level of openness between parents/carers and their children across placement types, adoptive parents and some foster and kinship carers found it difficult to talk to children about their birth families and past history. Birth parents also found it difficult to talk to their children about the past.
  • Many adoptive parents highlighted a sense of being isolated after the adoption order, without access to a formalised support mechanism.
  • Eight of the 77 children interviewed had been diagnosed with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), and 5 of these were in the adopted group.

The new book Comparing long-term placements for young children in care is funded by the Public Health Agency (PHA) in Northern Ireland. Professor Bernie Hannigan, Director of Health and Social Care Research and Development, a division of the PHA, said: “While this study provides a positive contribution to the experiences and outcomes of looked-after children, it also focuses on those areas which require significant attention from policy makers; service managers and practitioners. It provides an evidence base for decision making in relation to the health and wellbeing of young children being looked after.”

Comparing long-term placements for young children in care is priced £14.95 and is available from the British Association for Adoption and Fostering.

Top of Page

Vacancy: Lecturer in Social Policy (Older People)

The School has a vacancy for a Lecturer in Social Policy. The successful applicant will be an expert in the field of social policies pertaining to older people and will contribute to our social policy teaching, preferably in the areas of social security, social care and mental health. Other social policy areas will also be considered. 

Full details and online application may be accessed from: http://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/QUBJobVacancies/AcademicOpportunities/

The closing date is 7th October 2013.

Top of Page

Poverty Research in Ireland: North and South

Poverty Research in Ireland: North and South

Thursday 3 October 2013
Old Staff Common Room
Lanyon Building
Queen’s University Belfast

This conference, which is being organised on a collaborative basis by the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast, the Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin and the Geary Institute, University College Dublin, will provide an overview of recent research relating to poverty and social exclusion North and South and provide a platform for researchers and policy makers to discuss the potential for comparative North-South work. The contributions will draw on the infrastructure for poverty and social exclusion research provided by databases such as the UK Poverty and Social Exclusion survey (PSE) and the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions survey (SILC). In the context of the profound economic and social changes associated with the Great Recession, the topics covered will include the relationship between, patterns and determinants of deprivation, poverty and household work intensity, multidimensional poverty and deprivation in childhood and trends in economic vulnerability.

Attendance at the conference is free but prior registration is necessary and places are limited to 35. Those wishing to attend should contact Eileen Gray at e.gray@qub.ac.uk

If you require internet access for the day, send your name and institutional affiliation to Grace Kelly (g.p.kelly@qub.ac.uk) by 27th September. 

 

The Spirit Level Revisited: Reflections on the Finding of the GINI (Growing Inequalities’ Impacts) Projects

 Friday, 4th October 2013
Old Staff Common Room
Lanyon Building
Queen’s University Belfast

The GINI FP7 project which ran from 2009-2012 project focused on  inequalities in income/wealth and education and their social, political and cultural impacts. It combined an integrated interdisciplinary approach, improved methodologies, an enhanced understanding of inequality (at the bottom/middle/top/very top of the distribution), with a wide country coverage, a clear policy dimension and a broad dissemination of the results. The research exploited differences between and within countries in inequality levels and inequality trends to understand their impacts and tease out the implications for policy and institutions. It reviewed potential effects of individual distributional positions and increasing inequality for a host of ‘bad outcomes’ (both societal and individual) and allows feedback from these impacts to inequality itself in a frame of policy-oriented debate and comparison across 25 EU countries, the USA, Japan, Canada and Australia.

The social impacts considered include educational access and achievement, individual employment opportunities and labour-market behaviour, household joblessness, living standards and deprivation, family and household formation or breakdown, housing and intergenerational social mobility, individual health and life expectancy, and social cohesion versus social and economic polarisation. Politico-cultural impacts investigated are: Do increasing income/educational inequalities widen cultural and political ‘distances’, alienating people from politics, globalisation and European integration? Do they affect individuals’ participation and general social trust?

In this seminar we consider some of the main findings of the project, the implications for Wilkinsona and Pickett’s treatment of the social impact of inequality in the Spirit  Level and the implications for miltidimensional perspectives on Social Stratifcation.

Attendance at the seminar is free but prior registration is necessary. Those wishing to attend should contact Eileen Gray at e.gray@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

‘BBC Radio 4’s ‘Thinking Allowed’ features Smyth and McKnight on Belfast mothers’

‘BBC Radio 4’s ‘Thinking Allowed’  features Smyth and McKnight on Belfast mothers’

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0368fwt

Top of Page

Temporary Part-time Lecturer post in Undergraduate Sociology

Closing date:             4pm on Monday 5th August

Salary:                        Hourly basis, no. of hours to be agreed on appointment to post, minimum commitment 200 hours

Term:                          Autumn 2013, and exam period (January 2014)

 

Job purpose:

Prepare and deliver lectures in the Sociology of Drugs, organise and oversee tutorials, and mark students’ work. 

 Major duties (teaching): 

 1) Routinely communicate complex and conceptual ideas to students using high level skills and a range of media (class size = c. 25 students).

2) Prepare and deliver 22 lectures in the Sociology of Drugs. The lecture topics should follow the module outline for the Sociology of Drugs which has already been developed. 

3) Organise and oversee tutorial sessions, beginning in week 2 of the semester. 

4) Mark coursework (essay) and exam.  The essay is due in November 2013 and the exam will be scheduled for January 2014.  School policy requires staff to provide thorough written feedback on student coursework. 

5) Contribute to the enhancement of quality teaching at undergraduate level.

 Essential criteria:

 1) Primary or higher degree in a social science subject

2) Knowledge of the sociology of drugs

3) Understanding of the student experience

4) Effective communicator

5) Effective interpersonal skills

6) Capacity to work as a part of a team

 Desirable criteria: 

 1) Experience of tutoring or lecturing at university level or equivalent

2) Subject of MA, PhD and/or subsequent research directly relevant to sociology or criminology

 Training:

 Training will take place on 26th September and the sessions are compulsory for successful applicants.

 Application: 

 Interested individuals are requested to submit a full c.v by email to Patricia Reilly, School Manager, (patricia.reilly@qub.ac.uk) by 4pm on Monday 5th August.

 Applicants will be interviewed on Friday 16th August and will be notified of their allocated interview time on 9th August by email.

 

Top of Page

Practice teachers’ expectations of student social workers

‘Practice teachers’ expectations of student social workers’ is a web-based resource that is now publicly available on our School webpage. The project, which was funded by a Queen’s Annual Fund award, was coordinated by Audrey Roulston and David Hayes. The resource offers students insights from five experienced practice teachers about how they can best prepare for their Practice Learning Opportunity (PLO); what they hope students will achieve during their induction period; their expectations in relation to supervision; the range of learning opportunities available in their agency sites and examples of evidence generated to meet the practice learning foci. The aim is to provide an accessible and informative resource that may help to clarify expectations and alleviate anxieties of students as they prepare for their PLO. Videos of practice teachers were filmed and edited by Amanda McKittrick, and the website was developed by Eyad Abu-Khiran.

Top of Page

Is Everybody Happy?

'Is Everybody Happy', a journal article by Professor Mike Tomlinson and Grace Kelly, is available as a free download this month. The article, published in  Policy and Politics, explores the political and intellectual influences behind the growth of interest in happiness and the emergence of the new ‘science of happiness’. It offers a critique of the use of subjective wellbeing indicators within indexes of social and economic progress, and argues that the proposed United Kingdom’s National Well-being Index is over-reliant on subjective measures. The article concludes by arguing that the mainstreaming of happiness indicators reflects and supports the emergence of ‘behavioural social policy’. The free download is available here.

 

Top of Page

New Visiting Research Associate from University of Georgia, USA
photo of Melinda Moore

The School is delighted to welcome Melinda Moore as a visiting research associate with us this summer. Ms Moore is conducting research on female ex-combatants for her PhD thesis in the School of Social Work, University of Georgia, Athens, GA.

Melinda Moore is a PhD candidate in the School of Social Work at the University of Georgia, Athens, GA. Ms. Moore received a Masters of Social Work, with a concentration in Community Empowerment and Program Development, from the University of Georgia in 2007. She is also the recipient of a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, along with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Studies from the University of Georgia.

Her dissertation research focuses on female ex-combatants in ethnic and civil conflict, utilizing postcolonial themes of power, voice, representation, and identity. Ms. Moore is currently in the process of collecting data in Northern Ireland, with the support of a Visiting Research title at Queen’s University Belfast. She chose to come to Queen’s University because of the depth and breadth of work in conflict studies, both local and globally, conducted at the university, as well as the reputation of the academic faculty located within the School of Sociology, Social Policy, and Social Work.

She was the principal investigator on an ongoing international project, Human Capacity Building in Post-Conflict Liberia, which was funded through UGA’s Vice President’s Office for Public Service and Outreach, and received the University of Georgia Graduate School Dean's Award for dissertation research.

Ms. Moore authored a review of Colonialism and Welfare: Social Policy and the British Imperial Legacy, edited by James Midgley and David Piachaud for the Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, and she has a book chapter in print, Legislating Juvenile Sex Offenders: Impact for Clients, published by the National Association of Counsel for Children.

Ms. Moore has primarily teaches in the area of research methods and international social work, as well as co-leading a study abroad program in Northern Ireland. In 2013, she was the recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Assistant award from the University of Georgia. She has guest lectured and presented at numerous academic conferences on gender issues in post-conflict societies, as well as destabilizing Westernized social work models in the classroom.

Previously, Ms. Moore worked with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government in the Survey Research and Evaluation Unit, as well as the Child and Family Policy Initiative within the Governmental Services and Research Division. Among other duties, Ms. Moore staffed the Governor’s Commission on Mental Health Services Delivery, implemented a statewide survey of Georgia Bureau of Investigation Drug Task Forces for the Georgia Alliance of Drug Endangered Children, provided technical assistance on the Kenny A Consent Decrees in both DeKalb and Fulton Counties, and coordinated the statewide conference on The Prison Pipeline: The Intersection of Childhood and the Criminal Justice System.

Top of Page

Recruitment of Personal Tutors for BSW Social Work Students - closing date 12 noon on Wednesday 19th June

Applications are sought for Personal Tutors for the BSW Degree at the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work.   The main role of the personal tutor is to provide pastoral support to a group of approximately 12 students over the course of their programme at Queen’s. Tutors will play a particularly important role in supporting students in their practice learning. 

A number of tutors are required to begin duties from September 2013 onwards. Appointments will be made for a 2 or 3 year period in the first instance.  If there are more suitable applicants than posts available, a panel will be formed. 

If you are qualified for more than two years and have an interest in working with social work students within an academic and practice environment, you are eligible to apply for these part-time positions. Further details can be found here

Closing date: 12 noon on Wednesday 19th June 2013

Applications are via a full CV emailed to the School Manager, Patricia Reilly (patricia.reilly@qub.ac.uk).

Interviews will be held on Monday 24th and Wednesday 26th June at the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work.  Applicants will be contacted by email with regard to interview.

 For Further information, please contact: Audrey Roulston at a.roulston@qub.ac.uk

 

Top of Page

Recruitment of Part-time Tutors - closing date 9am on Monday 10th June.

Part Time Tutor Register 

Applications are invited from suitably qualified pirsons to enable the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work to compile a register of Tutors.  A list of subject areas for which applications are invited is set out below.

Successful applicants will be fully responsible for the delivery of teaching and conduct of assessment to agreed standards.  They will be engaged under a contract for services and will not be employees of the University.

Subject areas:

Criminology

Social Policy

Social Work

Sociology

Payment:  This will be at the rate of £33 per hour (to include all duties specified in the further information documentation).

Application

Interested individuals are requested to submit a full cv. by email to Patricia Reilly, School Manager, (patricia.reilly@qub.ac.uk) by 9am on Monday 10th June 2013

Applicants will be interviewed on Friday 14th June and will be notified of their allocated interview time by email.

Selection Criteria:

For shortlisting purposes, it is essential that applicants have:-

  • A minimum of a 2.2 hons degree or equivalent in a discipline relevant to subject area applied for.
  • PhD students must have successfully passed their differentiation. If the differentiation is after the 14th June, appointment will be subject to this.

It is desirable that applicants have:-

  • A Masters or PhD in a relevant discipline to subject area applied for.
  • Experience of teaching or demonstrating at university/further education level in a discipline relevant to subject area applied for.
  • Relevant industrial/professional experience to subject area applied for.

It is envisaged that successful candidates will have excellent oral and written communication skills, and presentation skills.

Training:

Training will take place on Thursday 26th September from 10am to 5pm at the School premises. Training is compulsory for all successful applicants.

Top of Page

Academic vacancies

Two opportunities to join a dynamic team delivering research and education in Criminology and Social Work.

Further details of the Criminology post (Senior Lecturer/Lecturer) here.

Further details of the Social Work post (Lecturer) here.

Top of Page

Minister of Education John O’Dowd addresses the 2012 Young Life and Times results launch
In the picture (from left to right): Dr Katrina Lloyd (KLT Director ARK and lecturer at the School of Education QUB); Dr Dirk Schubotz (YLT Director ARK and Lecturer SSPSW, QUB); Dr Paula Devine (deputy Director ARK and Senior Research Fellow SSPSW); Minister John O’Dowd; Prof Gillian Robinson (ARK Director, University of Ulster)
In the picture (from left to right): Dr Katrina Lloyd (KLT Director ARK and lecturer at the School of Education QUB); Dr Dirk Schubotz (YLT Director ARK and Lecturer SSPSW, QUB); Dr Paula Devine (deputy Director ARK and Senior Research Fellow SSPSW); Minister John O’Dowd; Prof Gillian Robinson (ARK Director, University of Ulster)

On 23rd May 2013 John O’Dowd, Minister of Education, addressed the audience at the 2012 Young Life and Times (YLT) launch. YLT is an annual study of 16-year olds undertaken by ARK which focuses on young people’s views and experiences on matters that affect them. The 2012 included questions on community relations, shared education and Community relations Equality and Diversity Education (CRED). Questions on CRED were commissioned by the Department of Education, and Minister O’Dowd responded to the YLT survey findings at the event held in the Canada Room. Results and more information can be accessed here. The QUB press release can be accessed here. The Department of Education press release about the survey results can be found here.

Top of Page

Sociology MA student delivers paper at British Sociological Association seminar

Elizabeth Martin delivered a paper on the subject of ‘social exclusion and the education of children with disabilities’ at a seminar organised by the BSA at Coventry University. She has written about her experience and the research behind the paper, which was based in part on a final year undergraduate project, on our School blog.

Top of Page

Joint initiative in social work education

At the invitation of Gerry Skelton (Lecturer in Social Work, Belfast Metropolitan College) Dr John Devaney and social work students from Queen’s University Belfast joined student social workers and staff from Belfast Metropolitan College at a presentation of the findings from the recent report ‘Translating Learning into Action: An Overview of Key Learning from Case Management Reviews, 2003-2008’.

The event was a joint partnership initiative between the College and Queens’ University in an effort to share learning across educational institutions and boundaries.

Introducing the event, Gerry Skelton (Belfast Met lecturer) welcomed the QUB students to the College and praised the work of Dr Devaney on a number of levels, pointing out John’s previous inputs to the College. In welcoming this latest contribution from John Devaney, Lisa Bunting, David Hayes and Anne Lazenbatt Gerry commented:

“This Case Management Review report offers a prism into the world of social work practice (and education and training implications), including the fundamental importance of good communication, rigorous assessment, more informed understanding of risk, and listening to the evidence and resultant learning that follows” (Gerry Skelton).

In the next academic year Queen’s will host students and staff from Belfast Metropolitan College in an event looking at the issue of homelessness and social work.

Top of Page

DChild student Carmel Rooney discusses her dissertation methodology and findings at German research workshop


DChild student Carmel Rooney discusses her dissertation methodology and findings at German research workshop. The use of the Biographical Narrative Interpretative Method (BNIM) to explore young people’s own perspective on leaving care is novel for the UK but not so in Germany where the method has its origins.  At a  workshop convened by researchers at  the University of Hildesheim  ideas around  ‘Turning Points’ in the lives of care leavers was explored through data collected in Ireland, Israel, Germany, Jordan,  Switzerland and the UK. Professor John  Pinkerton who has a specialist interest in care leaving and Claire Zhao who is carrying out doctoral research on the subject in China also attended . Carmel, who works as a child care manager in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, commented “For me the workshop was a unique opportunity to present and discuss my work with experienced researchers and other post grads with a shared interest in leaving care and biographical methods. It brought alive that what I was doing in Northern Ireland is part of a much wider international collaboration and debate. It was a bit daunting but also reassuring that I had something to offer as well as to take from the presentations and discussions.”

Top of Page

New book authored by ICCR researchers is released
book cover

The Care Pathways and Outcomes Study book has been now published by BAAF. The book, entitled Comparing long-term placements for young children in care - The Care Pathways and Outcomes Study - Northern Ireland, presents the findings of the latest phase of this longitudinal study, which began in 2000. It is authored by Dominic McSherry, Montserrat Fargas Malet, and Kerrylee Weatherall.

The study, funded by the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland, has followed the progress of a population of children, initially aged 5 years and under, in the Looked After system. It compares outcomes across a range of coping indicators between various placement paths. This book will provide useful information for social work and legal practitioners in terms of long-term planning for Looked After children.

The book will be launched on Wednesday 11th September 2013 at 1.00 pm, in the Canada Room, Queen's University Belfast. Edwin Poots, Minister for Health Social Services and Public Safety, will speak at the event.

More information about the book.

Top of Page

Dr. John Karamichas was invited speaker by LAPS (Loboratorio de Pesquisa Social) at the Department of Sociology, Sao Paulo University.
Dr. John Karamichas was invited speaker by Laps  (Loboratorio de Pesquisa Social) at the Department of Sociology, Sao Paulo University.

Top of Page

Stephanie Smith - PhD student, launch of local research into Good Relations in North Belfast

Stephanie Smith - PhD student has been invited to speak at a conference on Sectarianism and Racism, part of the "Are we Winning" series.  The conference is taking place at NICVA on Friday 31st May. The event is hosted by the REAL Project which is funded under the Strategic Grants element of the Belfast Peace III 2011-2013 supported by the European Unions European Regional Development Fund and the OFMDFM North Belfast Strategic Good Relations.

Top of Page

The QUB CBT Spring workshop 2013
The  QUB CBT Spring workshop 2013 participants
The  QUB CBT Spring workshop 2013 organisers

The  QUB CBT Spring workshop 2013 was led by Professor Paul Salkovskis, Bath University on CBT for OCD. Paul is regarded as a world leading expert in anxiety disorders in general, and more specifically in Panic and Agoraphobia, OCD, health anxiety and specific phobias.  He is Editor of the BABCP Journal, Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, and on the editorial board of many other international journals. Paul is Patron of several OCD and anxiety disorder charities and received the Richard Rosen Prize for his contribution to the understanding of OCD, and two different Aaron T Beck Prizes for contributions to CBT.

The workshop addressed cognitive (appraisal) and behavioural (safety seeking) factors in the understanding and treatment of OCD and feedback from 100 plus participants was very impressive as was the appreciation for these annual workshops at the university and the many requests to continue providing such CPD events at Queen’s for frontline mental health professionals.

Top of Page

On Tuesday 23rd April, The Irish Times featured a study on migrant mental health conducted by Dr Anne Kouvonen and Dr Justyna Bell.

The study being conducted by Dr Anne Kouvonen together with Dr Michael Donnelly and Dr Justyna Bell from the Centre of Excellence for Public Health has featured in The Irish Times on Tuesday the 23rd of April. The study examines mental health and well-being of Polish migrants in Northern Ireland and raises a concerning issue of large number suicides within this population.

 For the article visit: http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/poles-apart-tackling-a-northern-irish-suicide-crisis-1.1368754?page=1

 

Top of Page

ESRC success

Dr Karen Winter is a Co Investigator on an ESRC research project which aims to explore how social workers communicate with children in their everyday practice and how the social workers and children involved in these encounters experience and understand them. The research will take place in two practice settings to encompass a range of key social work tasks with children: firstly, child and family intake and assessment social work teams, where relationships with children may have to be developed rapidly, and secondly, looked after children's teams, where there is the potential for longer term relationships. Utilising ethnographic observations in 4 teams across the UK in the first setting, and ‘video stimulated recall’ interviews in 2 teams in the second, this research project will generate data directly from practice in frontline social work. 

The research team is led by Dr Sally Holland, Cardiff University School of Social Sciences. The Co-Investigators are: Professor Viviene Cree, the University of Edinburgh School of Social and Political Science; Dr Gillian Ruch, University of Southampton School of Social Sciences; Dr Karen Winter, Queen's University of Belfast, School of Sociology Social Policy and Social Work; and Professor Mark Hadfield, Cardiff University School of Social Sciences.

Further details here.

Top of Page

Fees-only bursaries for Doctorate in Childhood Studies 2013/14 entry

A limited number of Home/EU fees-only bursaries have become available for 2013/2014. The closing date to be considered for a fees-only bursary is 15th June 2013. Applicants should indicate that they wish to be considered for funding at the appropriate place in the online application form. Alternatively applicants can email the Postgraduate Office pgsoc@qub.ac.uk to indicate that they wish to be considered for the bursaries.

Those who have already been accepted for the course for 2013/14 entry will be contacted by the School regarding the bursaries.

The application form for the DChild is available on the QUB website. Further information on the DChild programme is available at the following link go.qub.ac.uk/dchild. Deadline for applications: 15 June 2013.

Top of Page

Fees-only bursaries for Masters in Sociology and Masters in Social Research Methods 2013/14 entry

Fees-only bursaries for 2013/14 entry

A limited number of Home/EU fees-only bursaries have become available for 2013/2014 for :

  • Full-time Masters in Sociology
  • Full-time Masters in Social Research Methods

The closing date to be considered for a fees-only bursary is Sunday 30th June 2013. Applicants should indicate that they wish to be considered for funding at the appropriate place in the online application form. Alternatively applicants can email the Postgraduate Office pgsoc@qub.ac.uk to indicate that they wish to be considered for the bursaries.

Those who have already been accepted for the above courses for 2013/14 entry will be contacted by the School regarding the bursaries.

For all general enquires on postgraduate courses, please contact the Postgraduate Office

Top of Page

Dr Azrini Wahidin appointed by HEA

Dr Azrini Wahidin has recently been appointed by The Higher Education Academy to revise the national Subject Benchmarks for Criminology.

Top of Page

Dr Lisa Smyth to Chair debate on "Motherhood by Choice" on 21st April

Dr Lisa Smyth will be chairing a debate at the forthcoming Belfast Film Festival on ‘Motherhood by Choice’ on Sun 21st April. Further informaiton can be found here:  Belfast Film Festival

Top of Page

Dr Azrini Wahidin invited to House of Commons

Dr Azrini Wahidin has been invited to the House of Commons on 23rd April 2013 to give expert evidence to the Justice Select Committee inquiry into Older Prisoners in England and Wales. The Justice Select Committee, is chaired by Sir Alan Beith.

Dr Wahidin has written and researched extensively in the area of imprisonment and offenders across the life-course. 

Top of Page

Spotlight on Child Poverty
Tonight's Spotlight programme (10.35pm BBC Northern Ireland current affairs) tackles the subject of child poverty. Researchers working on the Poverty and Social Exclusion in the UK project contributed to the programme which is screened just two days before the project's headline results are published. On Thursday 28th March at 7.30pm ITV's Tonight programme is devoted to the PSE-UK study and reveals the level of impoverishment across the UK in 2012. The PSE project can be found at www.poverty.ac.uk

Top of Page

Joe Duffy, Lecturer in Social Work, launches International DVD on Service User and Carer Involvement at Titanic, Belfast

Joe Duffy's DVD launch of International Messages on Service User and Carer Involvement is described as " a must see for both students and practitioners" by the Northern Ireland Association of Social Workers (NIASW). The DVD was launched in Northern Ireland as part of NIASW's celebration of World Social Work Day on 19 March at Titanic, Belfast and is the culmination of a collaborative project between Queen's University, the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia and the University of Alicante, Spain, over the past 18 months. The project was funded by the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) and was led by Joe Duffy. Service user and carers working with the three universities were interviewed on film by social work students asking a series of questions on key aspects of social work Knowledge, Skills and Values. Similar messages have emerged about how service users and carers wish to be treated by social workers in these three countries, yet there is equally a call for social workers to adopt more a of a political stance to their work.

Produced by Video Services at Queen's, the DVD provides subtitles in Slovene, Spanish and English and will have its international launch at the forthcoming ENSACT European Association of Schools of Social Work Conference in Istanbul from 16-19 April www.ensactistanbul.org

Following the launch, the DVD will be available to the academic, student and practitioner communities on the following websites:
The International Association of Schools of Social Work
The Northern Ireland Social Care Council
The Social Work Education Participation
The Willowbank Community, Dungannon
The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority

For NIASW Press release, see

Top of Page

The winner of the Leonard E. Gibbs Award 2012
Professor Geraldine Macdonald
Professor Geraldine Macdonald, Queen’s University Belfast, UK
Dr. Leonard E. Gibbs
Leonard E. Gibbs

Professor Geraldine Macdonald and colleagues have been awarded the 2012 Leonard E. Gibbs Award. This annual award identifies a social welfare systematic review that has made an Outstanding Contribution to Evidence-Based Practice.

The award was for the newly updated review Cognitive-Behavioural Interventions for Children Who Have Been Sexually Abused It was conducted by professor Macdonald in collaboration with Julian Higgins, Paul Ramchandani, Jeff Valentine, Latricia P. Bronger, Paul Klein, Roland O'Daniel, Mark Pickering, Ben Rademaker, George Richardson, Matthew Taylor. 

This is the second time that Professor Macdonald, Director of the Institute of Child Care Research, has received this award. In 2010 she and her co-author, William Turner, received the Leonard E Gibbs Award for the review Treatment Foster Care for improving outcomes in children and young people  

Despite differences in how it is defined, there is a general consensus amongst clinicians and researchers that the sexual abuse of children and adolescents ('child sexual abuse') is a substantial social problem worldwide. The effects of sexual abuse manifest in a wide range of symptoms, including fear, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and various externalising and internalising behaviour problems, such as inappropriate sexual behaviours. Child sexual abuse is associated with increased risk of psychological problems in adulthood. Cognitive-behavioural approaches are used to help children and their non-offending or 'safe' parent to manage the sequelae of childhood sexual abuse.

This review updates the first Cochrane review of cognitive-behavioural approaches interventions for children who have been sexually abused, which was first published in 2006. The present update, which contains data from 10 studies, confirms the potential of CBT to address the adverse consequences of child sexual abuse, but highlights the limitations of the evidence base and the need for more carefully conducted and better reported trials.

Dr. Leonard E. Gibbs (1943 to 2008), Professor Emeritus of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, was an internationally recognized expert in the field of evidence-based practice (EBP) and was a fervent proponent of EBP in the helping professions. He epitomized this approach even as he fought his own battle with advanced metastatic prostate cancer.

As part of his legacy, Len's widow, Betsy McDougall-Gibbs, has established the Leonard E. Gibbs Award for Outstanding Contribution to Evidence-Based Practice, through the Campbell Collaboration. Each year, the Leonard E. Gibbs Fund will honor the winning review team with one fully paid registration to the Campbell Collaboration Colloquium, where they will be recognized for their groundbreaking work.

More information about the award can be found here

Top of Page

The Guardian featured the QUB/KInSS Social Work Exchange Program in its celebration of World Work Day

The Guardian featured the QUB/KInSS Social Work Exchange Program in its celebration of World Work Day (19/03/13). The full paged article discusses how QUB faculty are providing international exchange opportunities that are helping to create a generation of social work practitioners with a much-needed international outlook.

Exert:

"Whether we like it or not the world is more globalised and we have to adapt to that," says Donnelly. "We live and work in increasingly multicultural societies, so learning to understand different cultures is important." Another participant, 25-year-old Claire Doherty, says exchanges such as theirs have distinct benefits because an "internationalist" view of social work is going to be essential in the future – especially, she thinks, when the next generation entering the profession are increasingly likely to be looking for work abroad.

It is not about exporting "western ideas" of social work, Doherty stresses, but about sharing experience. "It was really about mutual learning. Seeing how things are done in a different country can really open your mind."

Something she hadn't anticipated was that it helped her "step outside" Northern Ireland and reflect. "What surprised me was that the experience helped me see how we do things [in Northern Ireland] with a new perspective," says Doherty. "I was very interested in how the social workers in India were very much about social justice. We could do more of that."

The project was made possible through Das's contacts at Karve (she is from India originally) and was financed from funds set aside by QUB to promote more international alliances across the university. Carter Anand and Das believe that while talking about "internationalisation" might sound lofty, the fact is that by taking it into account within the social work curriculum it stands to have many practical advantages for the profession.

To read the full article: Wednesday 20 March 2013 guardian.co.uk

Top of Page

Dr Stephen Coulter forges new academic and professional training links in Romania
Dr. Coulter taught undergraduate and postgraduate social work students
Dr. Coulter taught undergraduate and postgraduate social work students
Dr Coulter (centre) meeting Prof. Alin Gavreliuc, Dean of the Faculty of Sociology and Psychology (left) accompanied by Dr Alexandru Neagoe
Dr Coulter (centre) meeting Prof. Alin Gavreliuc, Dean of the Faculty of Sociology and Psychology (left) accompanied by Dr Alexandru Neagoe

Following his well received conference plenary presentation at the Contemporary Issues Facing Families: Psychological, Social and Spiritual Perspectives in Dialogue in Timisoara, Romania in September 2012 Dr. Coulter was invited back to teach on some of the core programmes at the the West University of Timisoara and at The Institute of Family Therapy and Systemic Practice from 6th to 10th March 2013.

Dr. Coulter taught undergraduate social work students undertaking a counseling module and postgraduate Social Work students undertaking a Masters programme in Spirituality and Social work. He also spent a full day training Systemic Family Therapy students at the Institute of Family Therapy and Systemic Practice.

The University teaching has been established as an international Erasmus link and it is planned that Dr. Alexandru Neagoe, Vice Dean and colleagues will participate in a teaching block on international social work on the Doctorate in Childhood Studies programme at Queens University Belfast in Spring 2014.

Top of Page

£235K RCUK Grant Success: Katy Hayward and Teresa Degenhardt are part of a QUB team researching Science, Security and Power in Action.

The “HANDHOLD: Science, Security and Power in Action” project is an 18 month inter-disciplinary research project awarded under the “Science and Security” call of the RCUK Global Uncertainties Programme, funded by the ESRC and AHRC in collaboration with the UK government DSTL Futures and Innovation Domain.

The project aims to map and analyse how new security technologies are developed in practice, by focussing on the development of an integrated portable Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) detection device. It addresses some of the top tier of UK National Security concerns and contributes to cross-disciplinary and applied knowledge about the drivers of Science and Technology development in relation to defence and security needs.

The project team is led by Dr Mike Bourne, together with Dr Heather Johnson and Dr Debbie Lisle from the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy; Dr Teresa Degenhardt and Dr Katy Hayward from the School of SSPSW; and Dr Charles Gillan, Dr David Linton and Dr Ivor Spence from the Institute of Electronics, Communication and Information Technology (ECIT). The team’s bid came together under the auspices of an Interdisciplinary Research Group of QUB’s Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice.

Top of Page

QUB Social Work Delegation in India
Delegation in India
Delegation in India

In January a delegation of six QUB social work students, three academics (Prof. John Pinkerton, Dr Janet Carter Anand and Dr Gavin Davidson) and two senior professionals representing the Degree Partnership (Ms. Evelyn Magee) and the Northern Ireland Association of Social Workers (Mrs Paula McFadden) funded by QUB, to attend the Karve Institute of Social Services International Conference, Pune, India. This was the first time that such a unique group of academics, professionals and students had the opportunity to profile Northern Ireland social work to Indian, Asian, Australian and European delegates.

Professor Pinkerton’s, key note address on the role of evidence based research was enthusiastically received by our Indian colleagues and featured in the Times of India. The international audience was particularly impressed by the confidence and ability displayed by our third year undergraduate students (Lauren Donnelly, Claire Doherty and Naomi Ferguson) during their presentation critiquing the mutuality of international exchange opportunities. The KInSS conference convenors acknowledged the Northern Ireland contribution to the success of the conference by inviting Ms Evelyn Magee, from the NI Degree Partnership, to say some closing remarks at the final plenary session. Whilst the three first year students (Shea O’Hara, Kerry-Anne Thompson and Claire Fitzsimons) took time out of their busy conference schedule to conduct a student-led research project with KInSS students, comparing the provision of social work education in Pune and Belfast. Shea, Kerry-Anne and Claire already have plans to undertake volunteering in Pune over the summer break as part of their professional development. For further details on the conference and KInSS/QUB International Exchange Program please email Dr Janet Carter Anand.

Top of Page

PLACE MATTERS: THE RETURN OF COMMUNITY IN SOCIAL WORK by Associate Professor Clarke, California State University Fresno

Associate Professor Clarke California State University Fresno Department of Social Work Education, USA will present on PLACE MATTERS: THE RETURN OF COMMUNITY IN SOCIAL WORK to Social Work students and faculty, as part of the Professional Development Day Program on Wednesday 27th February, 2013 at 2-4pm
Room 02/011 in the Peter Froggett Centre, QUB.

This workshop will provide an introduction to the concept of ‘place matters’ as policy, community action and a social justice intervention. Critiques of the ‘place matters’ movement will also be explored and debated. This course is intended for students and practitioners interested in equality and social justice issues, social work and social policy.

Kris Clarke, Ph.D is an Associate Professor at the College of Health and Human Services, Department of Social Work Education (DSWE). She grew up in Fresno, but lived in Europe for over 20 years where she completed her graduate studies in international relations/development studies and social work. Dr. Clarke served for seven years as the Finnish national representative for the European Union public health project AIDS & Mobility in the field of HIV/AIDS and immigrant rights. Her current research interests are in global social work, substance abuse and mobility. RSVP to Dr Janet Anand by email: j.anand@qub.ac.uk by the 26th February, 2013

Top of Page

Ulster GAA uses study on the role of positive coaching

Ulster GAA uses study on the role of positive coaching that was produced by Catherine Ward as part of the completion of the Masters in Social Research Methods at the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work under the supervision of Dr. John Karamichas.

Top of Page

Could you be a peer mentor?

Top of Page

Dr Anne Kouvonen is one of the co-authors of an article published in BMJ (British Medical Journal)

Dr Anne Kouvonen is one of the co-authors of an article published in BMJ, one of the world’s leading medical journals (impact factor 14.093). The study looked at work stress and cancer risk in 12 European cohort studies (N=116,000; 5700 incident cancer events) and found that work stress, defined as job strain, at baseline is unlikely to be an important risk factor for colorectal, lung, breast, or prostate cancers. The study was led by Professor Mika Kivimaki from the UCL and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.

Top of Page

Pauline Prior's book 'Asylums, Mental Health Care and the Irish 1800-2010' gets an excellent review in the Irish Times
Pauline Prior's book 'Asylums, Mental Health Care and the Irish 1800-2010' gets an excellent review in the Irish Times.

Top of Page

Queen’s and NSPCC publish Northern Ireland’s first child death and serious injury review

The first ever review of abuse cases related to child death or serious injury in Northern Ireland was launched at Queen’s University on 24th January 2013 by the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Mr Edwin Poots, MLA. The review, Translating Learning into Action, was commissioned by the Mr Poot’s Department and was carried out by researchers at Queen’s University and the NSPCC.

The Case Management Review (CMR) report – the first to be produced in Northern Ireland - analysed 24 case reviews relating to 45 children which resulted in death or serious injury in the period between 2003 – 2008. While the rate of non-accidental child deaths in Northern Ireland continues to fall as a consequence of having a strong child protection system, the findings from the review offer important opportunities for strengthening the system.

Of the 24 cases reviewed, 18 dealt with the death of a child – four children who died as a result of a physical or sexual assault; six infants who died unexpectedly, for which there was no cause established; and eight young people who died by suicide or accident. The remaining six case reviews involved a range of issues, including the serious injury of a child, the standard of care of children by their carers, and how professionals worked together.

At the launch Professor Sir Peter Gregson, Vice-Chancellor and President, stated that:

“In recent months we have been reminded in the most tragic way about the vulnerability of children and young people in our society. The launch of this report underlines how we need to look out for, and listen to, our children. Publications like that launched today are also vital in that they lead to systematic improvements through the recommendations made.”

The report drew a number of conclusions:

  • The rate of non-accidental child deaths in Northern Ireland continues to fall as a consequence of having a strong child protection system;
  • The majority of the 24 case reviews commented positively on the dedication and professionalism of individual staff working with the families subject to review;
  • The children in these reports were amongst hundreds living in very similar circumstances and who were known to professionals, and the reviews concluded that it was unlikely that the children who died or were seriously injured could have been identified as being at heightened risk;
  • There is a need for services to become involved at an earlier stage with families before problems became entrenched and harder to improve;
  • Services need to stay involved for longer with some families to ensure that improvements in parenting are consolidated in the longer term;
  • Alongside providing services to reduce the risk that children may be at from physical or sexual abuse, therapeutic services to children should be provided to address the psychological harm of poor parenting;
  • Professionals should be provided with opportunities to meet together more frequently to co-ordinate assessments and interventions with children and families;
  • Senior managers across organisations must take greater responsibility for ensuring that workloads of individual professionals are manageable and commensurate with their level of experience;
  • The interface between services working with children and services working with adults who are parents (for issues such as poor mental health or substance misuse) must be improved;
  • Senior managers should ensure that staff receive regular support and supervision in dealing with what is often highly complex and emotional work.

As a result of the CMR review process public agencies have made a number of significant improvements in the way that children and their families are supported, including:

  • Improved information sharing between criminal justice and social care organisations in respect of adults who pose a serious risk of harm to children;
  • Introduction of an initiative to support medical and health professionals working in adult mental health and substance misuse services in respect of their child protection responsibilities;
  • A new structure for the receipt and management of referrals in respect of children to HSC Trusts;
  • A new regional framework across health and social services, education and criminal justice organisations for assessing the needs of children and their families;
  • The development of Family Support Hubs to ensure that families with lower level needs are quickly put in contact with services that can meet these needs;
  • Improved arrangements for the supervision and support of social workers and health visitors.

Principal Investigator, Dr. John Devaney, from the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work at Queen’s University, said: “This is the first time a review like this has been carried out in Northern Ireland. The overall aim has been to provide better safeguards for children by establishing the facts of the cases where children have died or been seriously injured, establishing whether lessons can be learned, identifying what those lessons are and how they can be acted upon.”

“Most of the children in these reports were already known to Health and Social Care Trusts and were not considered to be at great risk of serious harm – they were like many families known to social services. Importantly, this research has highlighted a number of key findings from individual case management reviews have already led to improvements in the systems and processes for supporting vulnerable families and protecting children at risk.”

Dr Lisa Bunting from the NSPCC, said: “The very fact of Case Management Reviews, and the production of this report, signals a real commitment to continued improvement in an already robust child protection system. There is always more to be done, and lessons that can and should be learnt, and we welcome this opportunity to effect change.

“Examination of these cases revealed that a lack of sustained intervention with children and families was sometimes an issue. Although problems in the family had, in many cases, been evident for a number of years, agencies were sometimes particularly poor at addressing the impact of chronic neglect on children, and intervening at an early stage. We need to ensure that practitioners have access to a range of appropriate interventions and services which can prevent family problems from becoming entrenched.”

A copy of the report is available online.

Top of Page

Dr. John Karamichas was invited as a speaker by the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management

Dr. John Karamichas was invited as a speaker at the Waste and Resource Research meeting organised by the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management (CIWM) at the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering (SPACE) at QUB. Further information about this event can be found at the institute's website.

Top of Page

DEL Strategic Priority Studentship (Public Health and Conflict)

Queen’s University, Belfast is pleased to announce a Strategic Priority Studentship for post-graduate research (Ph.D.).  The Studentship will be jointly affiliated with the School of Sociology, Social Policy & Social Work and the School of Pharmacy.  Funding is available for three years and will cover university fees.  A monthly stipend is also provided. 

Working title of the Studentship: 

“Medicating conflict-related trauma through prescription drug use: Trends at neighbourhood level and diffusion to the illicit drug market.”

Background:

Rates of prescribed tranquillisers were disproportionately high in Northern Ireland during the 1970s and 1980s, and possibly linked to general practitioners’ exposure to patients who were experiencing high levels of conflict-related trauma.  More recently, government bodies have voiced increasing concern about high rates of prescribed benzodiazepines, and disproportionately high rates of sedative and tranquilliser use have been reported among Loyalist and Republican former prisoners.  Prescribed opioids have emerged as a social problem with some global estimates indicating that self-reported use (i.e., annual prevalence) is highest in Northern Ireland.  Illicit street sales of prescribed drugs have also been highlighted in the region. 

Research aims:

The proposed project will address four research aims: 1) to critically examine trends in prescribed benzodiazepine and opioids, 2) to map these trends in conjunction with annual police data relating to prescribed drugs (i.e., seizures and arrests), 3) to explore trends in relation to geographic areas in Northern Ireland, that have experienced high/low levels of political violence, and 4) to utilise multivariate analyses to identify macro-level factors that contribute to rates of prescribed benzodiazepine and opioids.

Supervision: 

The project will be supervised by Dr Karen McElrath (School of Sociology, Social Policy & Social Work) and Professor Carmel Hughes (School of Pharmacy).

Start/End dates:  1 October 2013 to 30 September 2016

 How to apply:

Apply via Queen’s University’s online application system which can be found at http://go.qub.ac.uk/pgapply.  All applications will be appraised according to the University/School selection criteria for admission to post-graduate research.  These criteria include a 2:1 undergraduate degree or higher (or the equivalent), and a master’s degree, preferably in the social sciences.  DEL eligibility criteria on residence, nationality and academic qualifications also apply (http://go.qub.ac.uk/Cxbbc)

Previous research training (e.g. research methods) is desirable and should be highlighted in the application.   The application must include a tentative methodological strategy that would meet the research aims of the project (500 words maximum).  The selection process will include an interview. 

Deadline for Applications:  25 February 2013

 

 

Top of Page

Dr Bronagh Byrne is part of a team which has completed a study of UNCRC implementation for UNICEF-UK
Dr Bronagh Byrne is part of a team which has completed a study of UNCRC implementation for UNICEF-UK. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: a study of legal implementation in 12 countries looks in countries beyond the UK in order to compile evidence of the most effective and impactful ways of embedding children’s rights into domestic law. The 12 countries (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden) were chosen to demonstrate the variety of ways in which different places have provided for children’s rights at the national level by taking steps to implement the Convention. The study provides an international context against which we can compare what is happening in the four jurisdictions of the United Kingdom. The research was led by Professor Laura Lundy from the Centre for Children’s Rights at Queen’s University and involved Dr Bronagh Byrne and Professor Ursula Kilkelly of University College Cork.  It was launched in the House of Lords and Welsh Senate. The report is available here.

Top of Page

Graduation

Congratulations to all of our students graduating at this morning's ceremony – especially:

Dr. Elizabeth Ashurst

Dr Brendan Browne

Dr Romana Khaoury

Dr Karla Mason

Dr Jennifer McIlwaine

Top of Page

International scholar Dr. Barry Mason spends a morning students on the Systemic Practice and Family Therapy Pathway
Photo of International scholar Dr. Barry Mason second fron left spends, Dr. Stephen Coulter (pathway convenor - left), course tutors Mr Artie O’Neill and Ms Anne Brant

International scholar Dr. Barry Mason (second from left) spent a morning exclusively with the post-graduate students on the Systemic Practice and Family Therapy Pathway (year 2), one of the School’s Masters in Applied Social Studies (MASS) courses. He is pictured here with Dr. Stephen Coulter (pathway convenor - left) and course tutors Mr Artie O’Neill and Ms Anne Brant. The title of his input was ‘The Therapeutic Relationship and the Construction of Bridges Across Difference’

Barry Mason is the former Director of the Institute of Family Therapy, London, current Chair of the Advanced Programme in Supervision at the Institute of Family Therapy in London, independent practitioner and leading author on systemic thinking and practice – was in Belfast on 29th and 30th November 2012 at the invitation of the Northern Ireland regional branch of the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice (AFT).

Top of Page

Dr Berni Kelly and Dr Sandra Dowling were invited speakers at the first in a series of knowledge exchange seminars

Dr Berni Kelly and Dr Sandra Dowling were invited speakers at the first in a series of knowledge exchange seminars on ‘Getting It Right For Looked After Disabled Children and Young People’, organised by the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children In Scotland (CELCIS). As looked after, disabled children and young people constitute a hidden group in research policy and practice, the seminar series brings together academics, policy makers, practitioners and service user organisations, to explore and understand the experiences of looked after, disabled children and young people in research, policy and practice arenas. This first seminar focused on theorising childhood disability and establishing the numbers and characteristics of disabled, looked after children and young people across the UK. It will be followed by further seminars on disabled, looked after children and young people being heard, being included and being valued. Further information about the seminar series can be found at:

http://www.scottishinsight.ac.uk/Programmes/Programmes20122013/Lookedafterdisabledchildren.aspx

Top of Page

Department of Employment and Learning (DEL) PhD Studentships for September 2013

The School has four PhD studentships to allocate for 2013/14 and welcomes proposals on topics relating to the School’s research priorities and themes.  These priorities and themes are reflected in the School’s research clusters and are as follows:

(a) contemporary social issues and policy

(b) family policy and child welfare

(c) identities, lifestyle and culture

(d) social divisions and conflict and

(e) life-course research. 

Applicants are advised to explore the School’s website to attain further details of the staff’s research interests in the above areas.

Applicants must have a 2:1 undergraduate degree and a masters degree, preferably in a social science or cognate area.  Training in research methods is also desirable. Selection will also include an interview. Applications will be appraised using the University’s selection criteria.

For a full award (fees and stipend), applicants must have been resident in the UK for three years. Details of PhD studentships covering tuition fees and maintenance for home and EU students (subject to the Department for Employment and Learning UK residency rules), can be found here. Successful applicants must meet the DEL criteria.

The deadline for application is 4.00pm on the 6th February 2013.

To apply, applicants should access the University’s on-line application system. A considered research proposal (1,500-2,000 words) must be attached to the application.

Top of Page

Dr. Stephen Coulter received an award for ‘special contributions on the field of family therapy
Doctor Stephen Coulter receiving the award

Dr. Stephen Coulter received an award for ‘special contributions on the field of family therapy practice and research’ at the international conference, Contemporary Issues Facing Families: Psychological, Social and Spiritual perspectives in Dialogue held in Timisoara, Romania in September 2012.

The conference had been jointly organised by the Faculty of Sociology and Psychology, West University of Timisoara and the Aeropause Institute of Family Therapy and Systemic Practice. Dr. Coulter gave a plenary address on “Holding hope and facilitating resilience in families affected by trauma” and facilitated a workshop on “The ‘spiritual genogram’ as a way of increasing trainees’ self-reflection and promoting competence to address spiritual issues in practice.”

Dr. Coulter has been invited back in March 2013 to contribute to the teaching on the undergraduate and postgraduate Social Work courses in West University of Timisoara and to the Family Therapy training at the Areopagus Centre. He and is exploring the potential for an ongoing international link.

Top of Page

Dr Claire Hamilton’s book on Social Work Law to be launched by Minister for Children
Dr Claire Hamilton’s book on Irish Social Work and Social Care Law is to be launched in Dublin by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald, on the evening of Thursday 15th November.
The book will be launched in Dublin Institute of Technology, Mountjoy Square, together with another text on Early Childhood Care and Education.  The book was published in 2012 by Gill and MacMillan and is the first text of its kind in the Republic of Ireland. Prior to this, students and practitioners of social work and social care in the Republic of Ireland have been without a legal textbook relevant to their work. This new textbook by Dr Hamilton aims to address this lacuna through the provision of clear and concise guide to both the legal framework and the substantive law relating to children and vulnerable adults.
Speaking on the book, former Supreme Court judge, Catherine McGuinness said:
‘I have no doubt that Irish Social Work and Social Care Law will become an invaluable resource not alone for students of the law of social work and social care, but also for all lawyers who practise in this area. The book’s clarity of style will also make it of interest to the general public, many of whom will come into contact with social workers and social care professionals in the course of their ordinary lives.’ 
For further information on the book or to purchase a copy please visit http://www.gillmacmillan.ie/

Top of Page

Philip Rea presented with award by President of Ireland Michael Higgins
Philip Rea was presented with a prestigious Undergraduate Award by the President of Ireland Michael D Higgins on Friday 9th November. Philip is studying Sociology and currently in his third year. The Undergraduate Awards are open to students on the island of Ireland and to international students. Philip is one of only two students to be honoured in the Social Studies category for his essay on 'Belfast as a Global City'. Full story here.

Top of Page

Nuala Carney and Liz Watson win Science Shop Awards
Nuala Carney and Liz Watson, who graduated in Criminology in July 2012, have have tied for first place in the annual “best project” Science Shop Awards for 2012. Nuala  and Liz conducted research in conjunction with Dunlewey Substance Advice Centre, as part of their undergraduate research dissertations.  They will be honoured in a ceremony at the University of Ulster's York Street campus on 28 November 2012.  Congratulations to Nuala and Liz for their outstanding work.   

Top of Page

Liam O’Dowd is a plenary speaker at the BRIT Twelfth Annual Conference
Liam O’Dowd is a plenary speaker at the  BRIT (Border Regions in Transition) Twelfth Annual  Conference to be held in Fukukoa, Japan and Busan, South Korea.  He is speaking to the theme: ‘Open Borders: Border Studies- Past and Present Challenges to the Development of the Field’.

Top of Page

Adolescents ‘still vulnerable to suicide

A report by a group of  researchers in the School of Sociology, Social Policy & Social Work at Queen's University has warned that older teenagers in Northern Ireland are still vulnerable to suicide because of negative experiences in their childhood.

Dr John Devaney, Dr Gavin Davidson, Dr David Hayes, Dr Anne Lazenbatt and Dr Trevor Spratt, along with Dr Lisa Bunting from the NSPCC, compiled the ‘Still Vulnerable’ report on behalf of the Commissioner for Children and Young People, Patricia Lewsley-Mooney.

The report contains recommendations designed to better support and protect young people at risk of suicide. It also outlines how exposure to problems in early childhood is linked to poor outcomes in later years, including suicide in adolescence and young adulthood.

Dr Devaney said: "We hope this research highlights the importance of seeing young people's presenting behaviour in the context of their lifelong experiences.

“Our findings highlight that too many young people have experienced multiple adversities, and that if professionals are to make a difference, it will require earlier, more sustained and better co-ordinated intervention for those young people.

“In our research we found many examples of professionals such as teachers, social workers and health workers engaging in work of the very highest standard with young people and their families.

“We hope that the recommendations from our study can ensure that politicians and policy makers support these professionals in what is often challenging but extremely important work."

Mrs Lewsley-Mooney said: “The loss of a child or young person due to suicide or accidental death is a tragedy and I am deeply aware of the profound impact of this loss on everyone it touches.

“If you are having thoughts about suicide or want to harm yourself or you are worried about a friend, please talk to an adult you trust or contact ChildLine online or on 0800 1111, ChildLine’s volunteer counsellors are trained to support you through a difficult time.

“Too often negative early childhood experiences mean that teenagers are not able to deal with additional pressures as they grow older. Experiences in childhood affect how we learn to cope with life problems, and reduced resilience and ability to cope may mean young people are more vulnerable to risks such as suicide and accidental death.

“Sadly, Northern Ireland continues to experience higher rates of suicide among adolescents and young adults than other parts of the United Kingdom.”

Recommendations have been set out in the report and detail how services can be planned and delivered to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and young people. The recommendations have been shared with senior government advisers at a round table meeting in Stormont on Monday 12th November 2012.

“Suicide is a complex phenomenon and unfortunately there is no single solution,” said the Commissioner. “Adolescent suicide requires an approach that is not just focused on responding to an immediate crisis or problem.

“Services and support should be provided on an individual basis, from an early stage and delivered in a sustained and co-ordinated manner to limit negative life experiences.

“Young people may present with what adults can view as 'challenging' behaviour, however this is often a result of negative life experiences and a reduced ability to cope.

“The research reminds us that services must be designed to engage these most vulnerable young people, in order to support and protect them.”

The report can be accessed at: http://www.niccy.org/article.aspx?menuId=16030

Top of Page

The Queen's Conflict in Cities team attend a launch of Briefing Papers at Kings College, London
The Queen’s Conflict in Cities team (Liam O’Dowd,  James Anderson, Milena Komarova and Martina McKnight) have attended a launch of 10 Briefing Papers based on project research to an audience of policy makers and NGOs between 6.30 and 8.00 pm at  Kings College, London (Great Hall – Strand Campus). The Project Investigators including Liam O’Dowd and  James Anderson are contributing to a panel discussion prior to a reception.

Top of Page

Science News covers suicide work

Science News has linked suicide trends in Northern Ireland to the growing evidence of the effects of adverse childhood experiences on brain chemistry and the ability to cope with stressors in later life. The magazine picked up on Professor Mike Tomlinson’s International Sociology article, ‘War Peace and Suicide’, which establishes a cohort effect linking the most violent period of the Troubles with the doubling of suicide rates during the peace process.

Professor Tomlinson commented, ‘the sociology of suicide needs to be making connections between the social, the psychological and the biological. The evidence from epigenetics should be of interest to all social scientists. The challenge is to understand the complex pathways linking social patterns and experience to the ability of individuals to cope with humiliation, family problems and periods of mental illness.’

Science News is the fortnightly magazine of the Society For Science & The Public based in Washington DC. The Society was founded in 1921 and is a non-profit membership organisation dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education.

Laura Sanders (2012) ‘Suicidal Threads’, Science News, 3rd November, 182 (9): 9.  

Mike Tomlinson (2012) ‘War, Peace and Suicide: the case of Northern Ireland’, International Sociology, 27 (4): 464-482.

Top of Page

Sally Shortall appointed as an expert by the OECD

Dr. Sally Shortall has been appointed as an OECD expert on their ‘Rurban’ research.

The OECD, in collaboration with the European Commission, is using a new analytical framework to assess urban-rural linkages and to help identify the governance forms that will enhance urban-rural interactions. The aims of the OECD’s "Rurban" project are: to identify and assess formal and informal urban-rural partnerships and assess the role these partnerships can and should play in regional development and in bridging co-ordination gaps in policies for urban and rural dwellers; to understand if formal or informal partnerships are conducive to sustainable regional growth; to analyse the form and function of these partnerships structures; and to assess how and whether these arrangements should be further supported through public policies and/or through regional and rural policy instruments.

The research is being carried out by OECD appointed experts who visit study sites and write reports on site visits. Professor Mike Tomlinson, Head of School, said he is very pleased with Sally Shortall’s appointment. He said it shows the international standing of the School’s researchers, and further demonstrates our commitment to being a publically engaged university at the international as well as the local level.

Top of Page

Dr David Hayes invited to experts meeting on research with children in the justice context

Dr David Hayes was invited to contribute to an experts meeting at the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights in Vienna on Friday 12th October.  The Agency is currently carrying out a qualitative study on child participation in justice proceedings across 10 EU member states in order to identify practices and procedures of child participation in criminal (as victims or witnesses) and civil justice proceedings and to assess how the Council of Europe Guidelines on child-friendly justice are applied.  The research project covers issues such as non-discrimination, the right to information, the right to be heard, protection and safety, child friendly environment and language, training of professionals and multidisciplinary approaches, access to child-friendly justice proceedings and an overall assessment of the child’s best interest.

Dr Hayes was invited to contribute to the study due to his work on the experiences of young witnesses in criminal courts.

The Agency has established a network of experts to review research materials and advise on issues such as appropriate methodologies, ethical and practical issues and to review the findings.  The network of experts will provide on-going support to the project over the next two years.   Further information about the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights and the child friendly justice project can be found at

Top of Page

Professor John Pinkerton was involved in the planning and the facilitation of a Policy Forum “Engaging Youth in Planning Education for Social Transformation”, held in Paris

Forest Whitaker, in his role of UNESCO Good Will Ambassador, was one of the rich mix of contributors to a Policy Forum “Engaging Youth in Planning Education for Social Transformation”, held in Paris, 16-18 0ctober. Another was Professor John Pinkerton who was involved in planning the event and facilitated two workshops: youth supporting education for conflict transformation and opportunities for youth civic engagement within formal and non-formal education systems.

Further information about the event, which was an initiative of Ireland’s two UNESCO Chairs, Professor Pat Dolan (NUI Galway) and Professor Alan Smith (UU), can be found at www.planwithyouth.org.

The information includes three very informative global briefing papers prepared for the event and the initial outcomes of the exchanges between young people, Ministers of Education, NGO staff and academics.

Top of Page

Undergraduate Awards Ireland

Congratulations to two of our students whose work was rated ‘top class’ in the recent Undergraduate Awards, an international competition for third level students.
Winner: In the category Social Sciences, Philip Rea, a second year student on the module: City Life: Divisions and Diversity came first with an essay entitled "How useful is it to understand Belfast as a Global City?"

Commended: In the same category, Elizabeth Martin, a third year on the module: Mental Health Policy, was among the top 10% of entries with the essay "Discuss some of the most pressing issues facing policy makers in relation to mental health services in Northern Ireland. Give evidence for your choices"
For information on the winners and on how to submit you essay for the competition next year, click on the link.

Top of Page

Dr Anne Kouvonen has had an article published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Dr Anne Kouvonen has had an article published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. This study in a large cohort of public sector employees showed that workplace stress is associated with a slightly increased risk of insufficient physical activity.

Top of Page

Undergraduate Awards Ireland

Congratulations to two of our students whose work was rated ‘top class’ in the recent Undergraduate Awards, an international competition for third level students.

Winner: In the category Social Sciences, Philip Rea, a second year student on the module: City Life: Divisions and Diversity came first with an essay entitled "How useful is it to understand Belfast as a Global City?"

Commended: In the same category, Elizabeth Martin, a third year on the module: Mental Health Policy, was among the top 10% of entries with the essay "Discuss some of the most pressing issues facing policy makers in relation to mental health services in Northern Ireland. Give evidence for your choices"

For information on the winners and on how to submit your essay for the competition next year, click on this link

Top of Page

Child Protection Systems. Press release
‘European nations are increasingly interested in examining international best practice to inform the design of systems for the protection of children. Trevor Spratt (with Jachen Nett) recently led an international team of researchers to report on best international practice in child protection with potential for implementation in Switzerland. The press notice contains a link to the final reports. The study was commissioned by the Swiss Project Fund for Child Protection” (formerly PPP – Programme National pour la Protection de l’Enfant).’

Top of Page

“Gender and Employment in Europe across the Lifecourse” conference co-organised by Dr. Emma Calvert

Dr. Emma Calvert recently co-organised a conferenceGender and Employment in Europe across the Lifecourse”, along with the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology and Global Women’s Studies at National University of Ireland, Galway. The plenary address was given by Professor Nicky le Feuvre, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute of Social Sciences at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

 

Top of Page

Practice teachers’ expectations of student social workers

‘Practice teachers’ expectations of student social workers’ is a web-based resource that is now publicly available on our School webpage. The project, which was funded by a Queen’s Annual Fund award, was coordinated by Audrey Roulston and David Hayes. The resource offers students insights from five experienced practice teachers about how they can best prepare for their Practice Learning Opportunity (PLO); what they hope students will achieve during their induction period; their expectations in relation to supervision; the range of learning opportunities available in their agency sites and examples of evidence generated to meet the practice learning foci. The aim is to provide an accessible and informative resource that may help to clarify expectations and alleviate anxieties of students as they prepare for their PLO. Videos of practice teachers were filmed and edited by Amanda McKittrick, and the website was developed by Eyad Abu-Khiran.

Top of Page