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Karen Winter

Dr. Karen Winter - Queen's University Belfast Research Portal - Research Directory & Institutional Repository for QUB
Karen Winter

Dr Karen Winter


Direct phone: +44 (0)28 9097 3917

For media contact email
or call +44(0)2890 973091.

Research Interests

My research interests involve the use of both qualitative and quantitative methods and include the following areas:

  • Children and young people in care - experiences, services and outcomes
  • Children's rights - indicators and application in practice and research
  • Communicating with children - processes, practices and frameworks
  • Vulnerable children and their families - experiences, rights and services

 In relation to children and young people in care my research explores their: educational outcomes; transitions into care; in care experiences; rights and their wider relationships. Several publications and projects reflect my ongoing interest in children's rights as delivered in social work practice. Central to the delivery of better services and outcomes for vulnerable children is our attitude towards them, our ability to communicate with them and their carers, and our commitment to advocate with them and on their behalf. These themes are reflected in my research projects.





Research Statement

My current research projects are listed below: 

2014-2015 Sloan, S. (PI Education), Gildea, A. (CI Education), Winter, K. (CI Social Work), Lynn, F (CI Nursing), Connolly, P. (CI Education) 'Evaluation of the Effectiveness and Impact of Nurture Provision in Primary Schools in Northern Ireland' funder DENI, Belfast.

2012-2015 Holland, S. (PI), Cree, V. (CI), Winter, K. (CI), Hadfield, M. (CI) and Ruch, G. (CI). ‘Communicating with Vulnerable Children: Understanding the Everyday Practices of Child and Family Social Workers’, funder ESRC.  Follow link for further information:

2012-15 Kelly, B (PI), Winter, K. (CI) and Dowling, S. (RA). 'Meeting the Needs of Disabled Children and Young People in Northern Ireland', funder OFMDFM, Belfast.

2013-2014 Winter, K. (PI), Connolly, P. (CI) and Mooney, J. (DEL PhD studentship) ‘Effects of the Letterbox Club on the Educational Outcomes for Primary School Children aged 7-11 years in Foster Care in Northern Ireland’, funder Fostering Network Northern Ireland. 

Completed projects:

2013 Winter, K. (PI), Byrne, B. (CI) and Lloyd, K. (CI) ‘Provision of an Evidence Base Regarding How the Right to Family Life of Children on the Edge of Care and in Care is Protected and Promoted in Northern Ireland’, funder Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.

2010-2011 Connolly, P (PI) O'Hare, L. (CI), Sibbett, C. (CI), Kerr, K. (CI) and Winter, K. (CI) ‘Pupils’ Emotional Health and Wellbeing: A Review of Audit Tools and a Survey of Practice in Northern Ireland’, funder DENI - Department of Education (Northern Ireland) [R323]. Follow link for further information:

2010-2011 Winter, K. (PI) Connolly, P. (CI), Ferguson, J. (CI) and Bell, I. (CI) ‘Effects of the Letterbox Club on the Educational Outcomes for Primary School Children aged 7-11 years in foster care in Northern Ireland’, funder Fostering Network Northern Ireland.  Follow link for further information:

2010 Miller, S. (PI), Connolly, P. (CI) and Winter, K. (CI) ‘“Ready to Learn” - Literature Review Regarding Interventions and Parental Engagement’, funder Barnardos, Northern Ireland.   

Achievements and Distinctions

Leadership roles

2012 - ongoing - Programme Director DChild (taught doctorate in childhood studies)


Recent and current administrative roles

2014 - On going - Staff rep on Senior Management Board

2014 – On going - Staff rep on Academic Council

2009-2012 - Programme Director BSW programme;

2009-2011 - Staff rep on Senior Management Board;

2009-2010 - Staff rep on PGCHET Staff Student Consultative Committee



2012 – Teaching award Queen’s University Belfast


I teach at under graduate, post graduate and doctoral level. I have a particular interest in the multi-disciplinary delivery of teaching and learning. As well as giving guest lectures on a range of social work modules, my main teaching areas/module convening responsibilities include:

SWK3008 - Court work skills (under graduate level);

SWK2009 - Research, policy and practice (under graduate level);

SWK2014 - Evidence informed case study (under graduate level);

SWK8096 - Advanced court work skills (Masters level); 

EDU7222 - Children's rights and social care (Masters level);

SOC9032 - Critical perspectives on early childhood (doctoral level).

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Frequent Journals

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Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

ID: 46226

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