Dr Deborah Hadwin

Dr Deborah Hadwin

Department of Social Work and Social Care
Assistant Professor in Social Work

Contact details

Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


  • PhD Psychology and Behavioural Sciences (Coventry University), 2022
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (De Montfort University), 202 
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, 2020
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Health and Social Care Management/ PQ Higher Specialist Award, Coventry University, 2012
  • Practice Learning and Assessment/ Practice Teaching Award, Coventry University, 2006
  • Post Qualifying Award in Social Work, General Social Care Council, 2006
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Advanced Social Work Practice /PQ Child Care Award, Oxford Brookes University, 2004
  • MA/Diploma in Social Work, University of Warwick, 1999
  • B.Soc Sc (Social Policy), University of Manchester, 1995


Deborah is a qualified and registered social worker.  Prior to her academic career, she worked within local authorities for 18 years as a social worker, manager, practice educator supporting and assessing student’s in the workplace, and workforce development advisor.  Deborah’s practice background was in children and families social work, initially working with children in need and in child protection teams, before working with unaccompanied young people who came to the UK seeking asylum.  Moving into a learning and development role, Deborah delivered the assessed and supported year in employment programme within a local authority.  In addition, she devised and delivered a range of training courses on child safeguarding and protection; social work skills; and social work practice with unaccompanied asylum- seeking children and young people which she delivered on a regional and national basis. Her research interest with unaccompanied asylum-seeking children grew out of her practice experience and the recognition that the barriers some of these young people faced, due to their immigration status, restricted and constrained their development and impacted their life chances and choices.

It is this practice experience that Deborah brought into academia.  Her first full time academic post was at De Montfort University where she was the lead for practice learning, working alongside students and practitioners to provide the practice-based opportunities underpinning the social work degree.  Deborah also led modules on professional practice for both BA and MA students, as well as delivering workshops to qualified social workers supporting students within the workplace.

Deborah is now working with the Department for Social Work and Social Care in the School of Social Policy.  She is keen to continue to build on her previous practice and academic experience, and will continue to support the academic and practice development of social work students.


  • BA and MA social work
  • Practice Education (Post Grad)
  • Step-Up to Social Work programme

Postgraduate supervision

Deborah has supervised a number of students undertaking MA dissertations.  The supervision of PhD students is an area of interest and something she would like to develop in the future.


Research interests

Unaccompanied young people seeking asylum and social work practice.   

Deborah has recently completed her PhD and is keen to develop her research profile. In addition to working with children and young people seeking asylum, Deborah is interested in research on other aspects of refugee experiences; research on the support and development of social work practitioners; and LGBTQ+ issues.

Other activities

Consultant for Children Caring on the Move, e-learning module Practising with Care in Mind, Open University, 2023. 

Member of the British Association of Social Work, Asylum, Immigration and Trafficking Group 2016 -2022.


Hadwin D. and Singh G. (2025 forthcoming) Social work with asylum-seeking children and young people: resisting the rhetoric in Social Work and Social Control Special Issue, Journal of Critical and Radical Social Work, March 2025.

Hadwin D., Singh G. and Guizani H. (2022) ‘Working with Unaccompanied Refugee Minors’ in Parker J., Introducing Social Work, 2nd Edition, Learning Matters, Sage.

Hadwin D., Singh G. and Guizani H. (2020) ‘Working with Unaccompanied Refugee Minors’ in Parker J., Introducing Social Work, Learning Matters, Sage. 

Hadwin D. (2020) We are human too.  Social Work 2020 under Covid19 [online]. 06.04.20 

Hadwin D., Singh G. and Cowden S. (2020) ‘Working with Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Young People Seeking Asylum’ in Parker, J. and Ashencaen Crabtree ‘Human Growth and Development in Children and Young People: Theoretical and Practice Perspectives’, Policy Press  

Hadwin D. (2012) Chapter 2 ‘Projects in Action’ in Spolander G. and Martin L. ‘Successful Project Management in Social Work and Social Care: managing resources, assessing risks and measuring outcomes’ Jessica Kingsley, ISBN 978 1 84905 219 1 

Hadwin D.  (2000) ‘Well-Matched – To what extent do the identified needs of children remain a central concern in the process of finding substitute family care’ Social Care Association, ISBN-13: 978-0901244758

View all publications in research portal