Dawn River

Dawn River

Department of Social Work and Social Care
Social Work Lecturer and MA Programme Director

Contact details

Department of Social Policy and Social Work
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Dawn is a Social Work Lecturer and MA Programme Director, Department of Social Policy and Social Work.


  • PGCert in Academic Practice
  • CQSW
  • MA Social Research (Distinction)
  • BSocSci(Hons)


Dawn first entered the caring professions in 1983 as a residential care worker. She qualified as a professional social worker in 1990 and worked in the statutory Children and Families sector. During this time, she became a practice teacher and subsequently managed a Duty and Assessment Team. Dawn later went on to work within the voluntary sector (primarily within the fields of domestic violence and as a regional manager developing services for carers), and then in the education sector (as a Research Fellow at Warwick University). Latterly, she has been involved within the Survivor Movement as a service user. She now works as the MA Programme Director and as a Lecturer on the BA and MA qualifying Social Work programmes at the University of Birmingham. She also coordinates and curates the Department of Social Policy and Social Work's Survivor Arts Project and Exhibition.


  • Research for Evidence Based Learning and Identity
  • Citizenship and Practice
  • Social Work theories, methods and skills
  • Critical thinking and practice
  • International perspectives in social work
  • Recovery through the arts
  • Service user and carer perspectives


  • Social Work and the creative arts
  • How international perspectives can inform social work teaching and practice
  • Domestic violence within same-sex relationships
  • Service user and carer involvement in the admissions process


Matka, E., River, D., Littlechild, R. and Powell, T. (Dec 2009), Involving Service Users and Carers in Admissions for Courses in Social Work and Clinical Psychology: cross-disciplinary comparisons of practices at the University of Birmingham.  British Journal of Social Work, advanced online access 13 Dec 2009.

Humphreys, C., Regan, L., River, D. and Thiara, R.K. (2005) Domestic Violence and Substance Use: Tackling Complexity British Journal of Social Work 35, 1303-1320

Humphreys, C., Regan, C., River, D. and Thiara, R.K. (2004) "Mind the Gap: Domestic Violence and Substance Misuse Services" Interim Report, Home Office and Greater London Authority (Research Report).

Book reviews

River, D (2008), Review of 'Making an Impact: Children and Domestic Violence: A Reader Second Edition', in Journal of Social Welfare and Family LawVol. 30 Issue 3 pp 270-272.