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Geraldine Macdonald

Photo of Geraldine Macdonald
Geraldine Macdonald

BA, MSc l (Oxon)
Professor of Social Work
Room 2.08, 6 College Park
Ext 1489; email:

My research interests lie in two main areas. The first is evaluating the effects of social interventions.  Since 1987  I have undertaken a series of service evaluations, covering a range of user groups (older people, people with mental health problems, children and families and people with profound and complex needs), and a range of methodologies (from user-opinion surveys to randomized controlled trials.   I have also undertaken a number of systematic reviews spanning a range of issues and groups (see below).

My second significant area of research is concerned with decision making in child care social work, with a particular focus on child protection.  I am interested in what works in helping children and their families, how professionals make decisions in complex situations and what can be done to facilitate sound decision-making.

I am the Co-ordinating Editor of the Cochrane / Campbell Developmental, Psychosocial and Learning Problems Review Group.  This group seeks to prepare, maintain and make accessible systematic reviews of the effects of health and social interventions relevant to children, young offenders and people with learning disabilities.

I am keen to support applications for postgraduate research in any of the above areas.  I am also pleased to hear from people wanting to undertake systematic reviews.

Teaching Interests

Evaluation research, systematic reviews, critical thinking and decision-making, child maltreatment, cognitive-behavioural interventions.

Recent Publications

Sheldon, B and Macdonald, G (2008) The Textbook of Social Work. London: Routledge

MacDonald, G, Cameron, A, Turner,W & Lloyd, L (2006) Supporting People for Better Health: A Guide to Partnership Working. London: Department for Communities and Local Government. 

MacDonald, G & Turner, W (2005) An experiment in helping foster carers manage challenging children. British Journal of Social Work. December, 35, 1265 – 1282.

MacDonald, G (2004) Intervening with neglect. In Taylor, J. and Daniel, B. (Eds) Neglect: Issues for Health and Social Care.  London: Jessica Kingsley

MacDonald, G (2003) Using Systematic Reviews to Improve Social Care.  London: Social Care Institute for Excellence.

MacDonald, G & Williamson, E (2002) Against the odds: an evaluation of child and family support services.  NCH/Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

MacDonald, G (2001) Child Protection. In T. Newman, D. McNeish and H. Roberts. (Eds) What works in Child Care. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

MacDonald, G (2001) Effective Interventions for Child Abuse and Neglect: An Evidence-Based Approach to Evaluating and Planning Interventions. Chichester: John Wiley.