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:

Download a flyer here. 

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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 by the 8th May, 2014  

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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 or by telephoning 028 71675513.



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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.

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).

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

If you require internet access for the day, send your name and institutional affiliation to Grace Kelly ( by 27th September. 

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