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.