Julie has been undertaking research into the intractable issues of child protection for around 20 years. Her programme of work has concentrated particularly on those vulnerable children who live with multiple adversities, such as domestic abuse, substance misuse and parental mental ill health. Issues of neglect in this group have been particularly salient.
Recent work has focused on disabled children who experience maltreatment. Julie also focuses on children with albinism in the sub-Saharan regions of Africa, exploring welfare and safety issues in a context of violence and witchcraft related abuses. Child protection is inherently multidisciplinary and cross-cultural, reflected in Julie’s research teams and collaborators.
In Birmingham Julie works closely with the Local Children’s Safeguarding Board and NHS safeguarding teams to evaluate and promote best practice. With colleagues she has undertaken evaluations of local initiatives such as child sexual exploitation campaigns and domestic abuse referral schemes. She has strong ties with third sector organisations, having been seconded to NSPCC for three years as strategy and development lead for high risk families; and on the advisory board for the Home Office funded Centre for Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse, led by Barnardo’s. Methodologically Julie has advanced sensitive issues research and is a strong advocate of the use of theory in qualitative research.