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    Dr Ciarán Murphy is Senior Lecturer in Social Work at Edge Hill University's Department of Social Work and Wellbeing. He is a qualified and registered social worker, having specialised in child care/protection. Ciarán is Board member, Trustee and Research Lead for the Association of Child Protection Professionals (AoCPP) (UK registered charity no. 1190441); Associate Editor of Child Abuse Review (ISSN: 1099-0852); and sits on the Editorial Board for both Child Protection and Practice (ISSN: 2950-1938) and Child Abuse & Neglect (ISSN: 1873-7757).

    Before working in academia, Ciarán practised for 10 years in the areas of child protection, substance misuse, and education welfare. He formerly sat on the 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, Ciarán was instrumental in developing and implementing new assessment models for children and families social work.

    Ciarán'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, Ciarán's focus has been on elucidating the lived experience of practicing social workers, 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's (2011) measures of 'child-centred' practice. His recent publications have considered the impact of a national policy of 'Austerity'; 'Ofsted Anxiety Disorder'; and the 'Baby P effect' on social workers' discretionary behaviour; the contradictory nature of 'Care Orders at home'; and the systemic factors driving child protection workforce instability.

    Ciarán’s knowledge and expertise lead to frequent appearances in UK national media, usually in the context of discussing the challenges facing England’s child protection system. Ciarán is passionate about elucidating the barriers to child-centred child protection practice, especially those which continue to contribute to cases of children ‘slipping through the proverbial net of protection’.

    Ciarán remains an advocate for social justice, anti-oppressive, anti-racist, and child-centred child protection practice. He is also a fan of the Houston Texans.

    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
    • SDG 4 - Quality Education
    • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
    • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

    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

    Editorial Board, Child Abuse & Neglect (ISSN: 1873-7757)

    3 Apr 2024 → …

    Editorial Board, Child Protection and Practice (ISSN: 2950-1938)

    5 Feb 2024 → …

    Associate Editor, Child Abuse Review (ISSN: 1099-0852)

    31 Oct 2023 → …

    Trustee, Association of Child Protection Professionals

    1 May 2022 → …

    Lecturer Social Work, Manchester Metropolitan University

    5 Jan 20161 Aug 2017

    Research Institutes

    • Health Research Institute

    Research Centres

    • Research Centre for Arts and Wellbeing
    • Sport and Mental Health Research Centre
    • Centre for Social Responsibility

    Research Groups

    • Children and Young People Research Network
    • Higher Education Research Network
    • Sport, Work and Health Research Group
    • Inclusion, Diversity and Identity Research Network (Education)


    Dive into the research topics where CIARAN MURPHY is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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