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Professor Joanne Westwood

Head of School of Social Work, Care and Community
School of Social Work, Care and Community

Joanne joined UCLan in 2018 as Professor of Social Work Education and Head of the School of Social Work Care and Community. Joanne is a qualified social worker and carries out research on children, young people and their rights/welfare, as well as digitalisation and social media in social work.

Joanne has led and contributed to a range of research and knowledge exchange activities focusing on children and young people’s welfare, domestic violence, and other forms of harm/abuse. Joanne has researched and published work on digital and technological innovations and developments in social work education and practice. Joanne supervises PhD and Professional Doctorate students on these and other related topics.

Joanne joined UCLan in 2018 as Professor of Social Work Education and Head of the School of Social Work, Care and Community. Joanne has worked in Higher Education since 2004, developing and implementing social work education and research related programmes. Joanne was previously head of Social Work at the University of Stirling, Assistant Director of Society at the University of Salford. Joanne was a Senior Lecturer at UCLan between 2007 and 2014. Joanne along with her team in the School aim to ensure that students are fully equipped to develop their professional careers, and are self directed life long learners. Digitisation of the curriculum and the development of Hi Fidelity simulation are amongst the range of creative and innovative teaching/learning activities which have been developed in the School in recent years, under Joanne's leadership. Since 2014 Joanne has researched and published books, book chapters, and peer reviewed papers focussing on social media in social work practice and education. Joanne's work in this area is designed to support practitioners, students and social work educators to be digitally equipped and competent in line with regulatory body requirements. In 2017 Joanne contributed to the External Expert Panel for the new Digital Health and Care Strategy for Scotland and coordinated the Social Media Strategy for the EASSW bi -annual conference in Paris. Between 2015-2016 Joanne worked with colleagues across the sector in Scotland undertaking commissioned work for the Scottish Social Services Council Review of Social Work education, focussing particularly on Future Skills and Leadership in professional/qualifying social work education. Joanne's doctoral work completed in 2010 examined policy and practice related to child trafficking in the UK and between 2013 and 2015 Joanne contributed to the largest UK study to date into the health effects of human trafficking with the Institute of Psychiatry: Kings College London, and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Joanne also carried our research on Children’s Domestic Violence Advocacy with colleagues in the Connect centre and the Centre for Children and Young People's Participation. More recently Joanne evaluated a family centre provision in Scotland, with colleagues at the University of Stirling and Glasgow University with a particular emphasis on the support for fathers. Joanne has published peer reviewed work based on the findings of these studies. Joanne is currently Director of Studies for two Professional Doctorate students (ICT use in Psychiatric Social Work and allegations of abuse made against Foster Carers) and second supervisor for one PhD student (Service user engagement in Domestic Violence support services). Joanne is a reviewer for several national and international social work and social sciences publications, external examiner for the University of Edinburgh and Queen's University Belfast, and a fellow of the HEA. Joanne has been an external examiner for several PhD students whose work has been focussed on digital and social media practices in social work education and practice.