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Joe Duffy

Photo of Joe Duffy

BA Honours in Social Work with Certificate of Qualification in Social Work (1985) University of Ulster
Certificate in Supervisory Management
CCETSW Northern Ireland Practice Teaching Award
Post Graduate Certificate in Further and Higher Education (PGCFHE) University of Ulster
Lecturer in Social Work
Ext: 5909;  Email:  Rm 1.15

For over twenty years I have worked as a practitioner and manager in various social work and higher education settings. My research interests are in the following areas.

  • Service User and Carer involvement in social work education and public services
  • human rights, children’s rights, decision making and social welfare interventions
  • older people and the law
  • Bullying in the primary and post-primary school sectors
  • Cultural diversity, community relations and young people
  • Social work and political conflict
  • The interface between mental ill-health and child care

The themes of citizenship, involvement and social inclusion inform much of my research activity. I have also published and co-authored works in the areas of human rights and decision making and have developed good practice guidance in the involvement of service users and carers for both undergraduate and post-qualifying social work education in Northern Ireland. My current research interests are around user involvement in social work education and public services. I have developed training materials to support citizens in their role as social work educators in Northern Ireland and have also written a NIPQETP accredited Masters Module in Personal and Public Involvement (PPI) in Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland on behalf of the DHSSPS, the first cohort of students completing this in 2009.  I am also interested in the contribution that service users and carers can make to help inform social work students about the impact of political conflict and have published papers in this area, presented at international conferences and have co-worked with an international team of academics on an IASSW funded project led by Professor Shula Ramon, Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge, examining the role of social work in political conflict.

I was also Principal Investigator in a team consisting of academic staff and service user and carer researchers investigating user involvement in health and social care in Northern Ireland. The subsequent publication Looking out from the Middle makes recommendations around options for the inclusion of citizens in the work of the three commissioning organisations (SCIE, RQIA and NISCC) and has helped inform a broader strategy for user involvement in Northern Ireland.

I am also interested in the interface between education and social work and as a development of this have been involved in co-authoring government funded research into the nature and extent of bullying among primary and post-primary school children in Northern Ireland.

I am a member of the Identity, Culture and Lifestyles Research Cluster in the School.

Teaching Interests

Since coming to Queen’s in 2006 I have been Module Coordinator for Law for Social Workers on both the Undergraduate and Relevant Graduate Social Work programmes. In addition, I coordinate the PPI Module in the Strategy and Leadership Pathway of the Masters in Applied Social Studies. I also coordinate the Queen’s Service User and Carer Group which meets bi-monthly and contributes to teaching and research across the School.

Recent Publications

Campbell, J., Duffy, J., Traynor, C., Coulter, S., Reilly, I and Pinkerton, J. (In press) Social work education and political conflict: preparing students to address the needs of victims and survivors of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. European Journal of Social Work.

Duffy, J (2012) Service user involvement in teaching about conflict – an exploration of the issues. International Social Work (Special Edition on Social Work and Armed Conflict).Volume 55 Issue 5 pp. 720 - 739.

Duffy, J., Ramon, S., Guru, S., Cemlyn, S., Lindsay, J and Nuttman-Shwartz (in press). Developing a social work curriculum on political conflict – Findings from an IASSW funded project. European Journal of Social Work.

Coulter, S., Campbell, J., Duffy, J. and Reilly, I. (forthcoming 2012) Enabling social work students to deal with the consequences of political conflict: Engaging with victim/survivor service users and a ‘pedagogy of discomfort’, Social Work Education - The International Journal

Duffy, J., Basu, S. and Pearson, K. (forthcoming 2012) Older people and legal advice - the need for joined up and creative approaches. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law

Duffy, J.,Das, C. & Davidson, G (Forthcoming, 2012): Service User and Carer Involvement in Role-plays to Assess Readiness for Practice, Social Work Education - The International Journal
Duffy, J. and Hayes, D. (Forthcoming 2012) Social Work Students Learn About Social Work Values from Service Users and Carers, Ethics and Social Welfare

Duffy, J and Mc Keever, B (forthcoming 2011) Looking out from the middle: Influencing policy change through user involvement. In (eds) Marian Barnes and Phil Cotterell. Critical Perspectives on User Involvement. Abingdon. The Policy Press. 

Davidson, G., Duffy, J., Barry, E., Curry, P., Darragh, E. and Lees, J. (2012) Championing the Interface between Mental Health and Child Protection: Evaluation of a Service Initiative to Improve Joint Working in Northern Ireland. Child Abuse Review. Vol. 21: 157-172

Duffy, J (2011) Explicit Argumentation as a Supervisory Tool for Decision Making in Child Protection Cases Involving Human Rights Issues. Practice, 23:1, pp 31-44(Special Edition on Human Rights and Social Justice)

Basu, S & Duffy J (2010) "Providing Legal Information and Advice to Older People: as much a question of accessibility as affordability", European Journal of Law and Technology, Vol. 1, Issue 3, 2010.

Agnew, A and Duffy, J (2010) 'Innovative Approaches to Involving Service Users in Palliative Care Social Work Education', Social Work Education - the International Journal, Vol, 29, No. 7. pp. 744 -759

Duffy,J and Collins ME (2010) Macro impacts on caseworker decision-making in child welfare: a cross-national comparison. European Journal of Social Work, Volume 13, Issue 1, March 2010, pages 35-54

Duffy, J (2009) Citizens as Social Work Educators in a Post-Conflict Society: Reflections from Northern Ireland. Revista Alternativas. Cuadernos de Trabajo Social (Alternatives. Notes on Social Work) No 16-2009, pp53-63. ISSN: 1133-0473. University of Alicante. Spain.

Devaney, J., McCrystal, P., Hayes, D. and Duffy, J. (2009). The Draft Protocol to Promote Inter-Agency Working with Children & Families Affected by Substance Misuse: An Evaluation. Belfast: Eastern Drug and Alcohol Co-ordination Team.

Basu, S, Duffy, J and Davey, H (2009) ‘Digital Divide, Older People and Online Legal Advice. Belfast. Funded by the Changing Ageing Partnership (CAP).’,150619,en.pdf

Agnew, A and Duffy, J (2009) Effecting positive change with bereaved service users in a hospice setting. International Journal of Palliative Nursing. Vol 15, No.3. pp 110 - 118.

Campbell, J and Duffy, J (2008) Social work, political violence and citizenship in Northern Ireland. In Shulamit Ramon (Ed) Social Work in the Context of Political Conflict (IASSW/BASW). Birmingham: Venture Press.

Duffy, J (2008) Citizen Involvement in Social Work Education in the Northern Ireland Context. In Irmgard Jansen (Ed) Social Work in European Comparison.  Forschung, Studium und Praxis Schriften des Fachbereichs Sozialwesen der Fachhochschule Munster, Band 13.  Munster. Waxmann Verlag.

Duffy, J (2008) Looking Out from the Middle: User Involvement in Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland. Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), London.

Duffy, J (2008) A strategy for service user and carer involvement in the Northern Ireland Post Qualifying Education and Training Partnership (NIPQETP). Belfast. March 2008.

Weatherall, K and Duffy, J (2008) Are we Listening to Children? An Examination of the Child’s Voice in Social Work Reports to the Court following Parental Separation Disputes. Child Care in Practice, 14 (3), July 2008, pp. 275 – 292.

Duffy, J and Houston, S (2007) Competence in child care legislation, policy, research and theory. In Kieran O’ Hagan (Ed) Competence in Social Work Practice, Second Edition. London. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Livesey, G.E, Mc Aleavy, G., Donegan, H.A., Duffy, J., O’Hagan, C., Adamson, G., White, R (2007) The Nature and Extent of Bullying in Schools in the North of Ireland. Department of Education Northern Ireland (DENI).

Duffy, J (2006) Participating and Learning - Citizen Involvement in Social Work education in a Northern Ireland Context available at,,

Duffy, J., Taylor, B and Mc Call, S (2006). Human rights and Decision-making in Child Protection through Explicit Argumentation Child Care in Practice, 12 (2), April 2006, pp. 81-95.

Mc Colgan, M., Campbell, A., Naylor, R., Duffy, J and Maureen Coogan (April 2006) Childcare On The Borderline - A Cross Border Community Audit of the Usage and Experience of Formal and Informal Childcare Services funded by Derry Well Woman (£85,000).

Duffy, J (2005) Pluralism in Divided Societies - Citizenship Education and Social Work with Care Experienced Young People in Northern Ireland in Teaching Citizenship, Edited by Alistair Ross - Proceedings of the seventh Conference of the Children’s Identity and Citizenship in Europe Thematic Network, Ljubljana, Slovenia 2005. pp. 313-319 CiCe, London.

Duffy, J (2002) Cultural Diversity - A Good Practice Guide for the Further Education Sector in Northern Ireland published by the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL, 2003) as a Working Document to assist the Further Education sector in Northern Ireland in the promotion of 'Good Relations'.