Developing Together Social Work  Teaching Partnership


Collaborative Research Projects

The Teaching Partnership is committed to developing opportunities for social work practitioners to be involved in collaborative research projects with academics at Kingston University. Partner organisations put forward five research proposals which were agreed by the Academics in Practice team which are now at varying stages, with some being near completion and others just beginning. Here is an update of where we are at to date:

  • Outcome Measures: The impact of using outcome measures when completing assessments in  children and families social work. – This research was completed with two of our partner Local Authorities whereby a group of social workers in each organisation were provided with a ‘tool box’ of outcomes measures which they used in their social work practice with children and families. A series of focus groups over a six month period were held to discuss the social workers’ experiences in using outcomes measures and the qualitative data collected was analysed to identify key themes and messages. The researchers, Dr Rick Hood, Sue Lansley and Toni Mitchell have now completed a research paper which has been submitted to a social work journal and we are currently awaiting feedback on whether this has been accepted for publication.
  • Practice Education: Exploring the motivation of practice educators in their career – This research is being carried out by Dermot Brady, Senior Lecturer at Kingston University. A survey has been created to explore the motivation of Practice Educators in their career. This research is mirroring research that was completed in this field 20 plus years ago in order to explore any changes or similarities on the experiences of Practice Educators and their motivation to take on the role of enabling students’ learning on placements.  We are still hoping to get further responses on this survey and will be sending it around partner organisations again and linking into national Social Work organisations to ensure we get as much data as possible to analyse. If you’re a Practice Educator and would like to complete the survey, you can find it here.
  • Team Culture and Retention: The impact of practice supervision on organisational culture and retention – This research is being carried out in two of our Partner organisations and is being supported by research practitioners who have assisted in organising focus groups with social workers and managers to explore the impact of team culture on retention. From the qualitative data we gathered from these focus groups we have created a survey with a range of questions on Team Culture and how this is experienced by Social Workers and Team Managers. The survey is currently being piloted and once this is completed it  will be shared with the workforce in the organisations. On receiving the data from these surveys we will then start the long process of analysing the material in order to identify key themes and messages. The organisations involved are hopeful that the key messages from this research around team culture and how it links to retention will support them in their workforce strategy on the recruitment and retention of social workers going forward. 
  • Self Neglect: An exploration of social workers’ experiences of working with adults who self neglect – This research is being completed by Maria Brent, Senior Lecturer in Social Work at Kingston University. Maria has presented a number of seminars to social workers across the Teaching Partnership on her research which she is completing for her PhD. Maria is currently in the final stages of completing her PhD on this subject so watch this space.
  • Restorative Group Supervision: An evaluation of the impact on social workers’ wellbeing through the delivery of restorative group supervision – Sutton has rolled out the use of Restorative Group Supervision across their Children’s Services teams and the proposed research aims to evaluate this in terms of its impact on social worker wellbeing. A number of meetings to explore the research topic and gather information for the ethics proposal have been held with senior managers in Sutton and the CAMHS which co-runs this programme. Unfortunately the COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted the progress of this research but we are hopeful we can get back on track and obtain ethics approval from Kingston University and then begin to plan and carry out focus groups which aim to provide information from social workers on how restorative group supervision has been received and the benefits of this practice. 
As part of our the Partnership’s commitment to research in practice, we are always interested to hear from practitioners who have research ideas which we can then share with the University to see if there are opportunities for this to be progressed. Please contact the Teaching Partnership team if you have any questions on the current research projects or wish to gain more information on how to become involved in completing research in social work practice.

Academics shadowing practice


The Teaching Partnership is currently connecting academics at Kingston University with front line practitioners to enable academics to shadow front line practice. These shadowing opportunities will strengthen the links between the University and our partner organisations and allow for academics to take their experiences of front line practice to inform their teaching with students.

If you are interested in providing an academic at Kingston University with an opportunity to shadow front line practice please contact the Teaching Partnership team at:


NameProfessional Expertise & InterestsAreas of Shadowing Interest
Dermot BradyPractice Education, Leadership and Management, Social Pedagogy, domestic violence and abuse, working with men, planning and delivery of training, post-qualification education.Anything to do with domestic violence and abuse, working with fathers, practice education
Maria BrentAdults/ Care Act, Self- Neglect Safeguarding, BIA, Mental Capacity, Dementia.Interested in observing Safeguarding Practice, Enquires, Case Conferences, Safeguarding Adults Reviews, MCA or BIA assessments, Assessments under the Care Act.
Aga BuckleyMental Health Adults, Safeguarding, Mental Capacity Act and DoLS/BIA, Mental Health Act and AMHP, Newly Qualified Social Workers and ASYE, Social Pedagogy.Interested in accessing/shadowing/taking part where appropriate (April/May 2019 earliest):
-BIA Assessments and/or observe DoLS Team work in practice
-AMHP Service work in practice
-Social Pedagogues in practice
-ASYE Programme delivery
David NilssonPractice experience in Australia: Adoption & Permanent care; Hospital Social Work; Allied Health management; Practice-research development. I have also taught specifically on supervision practice and organisational management. Health care/Hospital related practice


NameProfessional Expertise & InterestsAreas of Shadowing Interest
Keith DaviesYouth JusticeI would welcome the opportunity to observe court work and Pre-sentence Report Preparation
Carol DickenPractice Education; Interprofessional practice and education; Critical Analysis and Reflection; linking of social work theories and methods with practice. Interested in accessing drug and alcohol services but also any assessment, referral and intake teams for children & families or adults
Hayley PalfreymanPalliative care with children and adults. Preparing for professional practice in working with children and young people. Direct work with children. Children with disabilities and health needs. Post qualifying practice all levelsChildren with disabilities team
MASH team
Youth Work/Youth Offending
Any Children and Family Team
Christine SkiltonChildren and Families – Student learning, work experience preparation and partnership workingInterested in shadowing/participating in Children and Families Team. Including the Education Welfare aspect and Youth Justice