Fiona Harbin

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Work, Care and Community

Harrington Building, HA312

+44 (0) 1772 89 3479

Full Profile

Since qualifying as a social worker in 1989 Fiona has worked in children's services initially in Wigan and then in Bolton. Having worked in a children and families team she moved on to work as a senior child protection practitioner specialising in parental substance misuse in 1996. Fiona was involved in the setting up and coordinating of a specialist project for families living with substance misuse and was integral in the setting up of Bolton's Substance Misuse Research Group.

Whilst working as a practitioner Fiona has been involved in research on children's perceptions of parental substance misuse and on a specialist project for working with families.

After five years working as a staff trainer on substance misuse, Fiona returned to practice in 2007 as a senior practitioner. From 2008 to 2009 she managed a DCSF funded Think Family Team, which brought together staff from diverse social care and health backgrounds to provide a whole family approach to practice. The team worked with families with complex and multiple needs.

Fiona has contributed a chapter, with Michael Murphy, to Assessment in Child Care (Calder and Hacket 2003) and, with Michael Murphy, has co- edited and contributed to two publications on Parental Substance Misuse.


Harbin, F. and Murphy, M.(eds.) (2000)Substance misuse and child care Lyme Regis:RHP

Harbin,F. and Murphy, M. (eds.) (2006) Secret Lives; Growing with Substance Lyme Regis: RHP

Murphy,M. and Harbin,F. (2003)The assessment of parental substance misuse and its impact on child care in Calder, M. and Hackett, S. (Eds) Assessment in child care Lyme Regis:RHP

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BA(Hons) Applied Social Studies, Preston Polytechnic (UCLan) 1989

Certificate of Qualification in Social Work (CQSW), Preston Polytechnic (UCLan) 1989)

Research Activities

Fiona has an interest in research with families experiencing the effects of substance misuse.

With Bolton's Substance Misuse Reseach Group Fiona was involved in publishing the Highs and Lows of Family Life: familial

substance misuse from a child's perspective (Kearney et al 2005)

Fiona has worked with colleagues from Salford University on No Longer Alone: an evaluation of the Holding Families Project (Murphy et al 2008)

Full Profile


Fiona joined the School of Social Work in August 2010. She has a particular interest in child care social work. She has 21 years of experience working in Children's Services as a practitioner, staff trainer and manager. She has researched and written on issues relating to parental substances misuse, assessment and children's perceptions of living with parental substance misuse.

Teaching Activities and Responsibilities

Fiona is Joint course leader for the BA(Hons) Children Schools and Families - a course which runs in partnership with the School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies.

Fiona is module leader for a module on Multi-Professional Working and two modules on Safeguarding Children and Young People. Fiona teaches on the BA and MA in Social Work, the BA Children Schools and Families and the BA in Community and Social Care.