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    Dr Ciaran Murphy is Interim Associate Head of Social Work and Wellbeing and a Senior Lecturer in Edge Hill's Social Work and Wellbeing Department. He is a qualified and registered social worker, having specialised in child care/protection. Ciaran is also a Board member and Trustee of the Association of Child Protection Professionals (AoCPP) (registered charity 1190441).
    Before working in academia, Ciaran practised for 10 years in the areas of child protection, substance misuse and education welfare. He formerly sat on Greater Manchester Family Justice Board sub-group for improving outcomes for children in the Family Court. In his last practice position as a consultant social worker, Ciaran was instrumental in developing and implementing new assessment models for children and families social work across Greater Manchester.
    Ciaran's research experience began in the evaluation of treatment services, and he was part of the initial team to evaluate the 'Holding Families' substance misuse model in both Greater Manchester and Lancashire. More recently, Ciaran's focus has been on elucidating the social work practitioners lived experience of practice including their use of discretionary space and the barriers to child-centred child protection. His PhD is on the discretionary behaviour of statutory child protection social workers relative to the Munro Review of Child Protection (2011) measures of a 'child-centred' English child protection system. His recent publications have considered the impact of a national policy of 'Austerity'; external inspection; and the 'Baby P effect' on social workers' discretionary behaviour and the challenges within the child protection system which are impacting on workforce stability.
    Ciaran specialises in qualitative methodological approaches (including ethnography). His current focus is on the impact of increasing numbers of children 'in care' of the Local Authority, who are being placed at home with their parents/family members and the challenges this creates for practitioners; and how social work education can better prepare newly qualified practitioners for the realities of child protection practice.
    Overall, Ciaran is interested in research that seeks to elucidate and challenge social, political and organisational barriers to child-centred child protection provision, where the needs of each individual child are at the forefront of decisions made and actions taken; and on eluciadating the lived experiences of current child protcetion social workers.
    Ciaran would welcome correspondence with regards to new research ideas and opportunities to collaborate on projects.

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

    Education/Academic qualification

    Social Work, PhD, To What Extent are Frontline Statutory Social Workers Employing Their Discretion in the Post- Munro Review World of Child Protection?, Manchester Metropolitan University

    28 Apr 201216 Dec 2019

    Award Date: 16 Dec 2019

    Other positions

    Trustee, Association of Child Protection Professionals

    1 May 2022 → …

    Lecturer Social Work, Manchester Metropolitan University

    5 Jan 20161 Aug 2017


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