Centre for Social Work Innovation and Research

Knowledge exchange

The Centre takes a collaborative approach in its work, seeking to establish, develop and contribute to a range of knowledge exchange partnerships and activities locally, nationally and globally with research commissioners, colleagues and users.

Our aim is to enable and model effective ways of generating impact from work undertaken together to mutual advantage. This includes the joint development of knowledge transfer and exchange plans and impact strategies, the contribution of research expertise through research, and other committee memberships and network activities and the provision of consultancy services to support practice improvement strategies.

Activities: 2019
  • CSWIR hosted the event ‘Recurrent Removals Symposium’, presented by Professor Karen Broadhurst and Dr Claire Mason from University of Lancaster as well as Brighton and Hove Children’s Services and the Foundations programme in East Sussex (July 2019)
  • CSWIR hosted the International conference ‘Unconscious Meanings in the Workplace: Work Discussion in Practice and Research’ attended by over 40 delegates from Japan, Austria and England working across a range of educational and clinical settings (14th to 16th June 2019)
  • Dr Jeri Damman held a research impact workshop on ‘Parent Partner Programmes in Child Protection: Considering the case for peer mentoring approaches’ in partnership with Recovery Partners, an East Sussex-based mental health recovery project with peer support expertise. This event was funded by the School of Education and Social Work Higher Education Quick Boost Impact Funding Scheme and attended by birth parents with Children’s Service experience as well as managers and practitioners from the public and voluntary sector (June 2019)
  • Professor Gillian Ruch, Professor Rachel Thomson and Dr Louise Sims co-hosted the CSWIR event: Researching with Feeling: 1st CSWIR Psychosocial Methodologies Symposium, attended by a group of doctoral researchers, research associates and academics from a range of disciplinary backgrounds (June 2019)
  • Professor Gillian Ruch became co-chair of the Association of Professors of Social Work (with Professor Anna Gupta, Royal Holloway College, University of London) (June 2019)
  • Dr Tam Cane delivered an impact workshop on HIV awareness training with Travis Cox from Terrence Higgins Trust in front of practitioners from a range of child and family social work teams, independent fostering and adoption agencies. This was funded by the School of Education and Social Work Higher Education Quick Boost Impact Funding Scheme (June 2019)
  • Paul Shuttleworth presented ‘What matters to children living in kinship care - Messages from the initial analysis’ in front of practitioners and academics at CoramBAAF (May 2019) and at an event held by Grandparents Plus (June 2019)
  • CSWIR hosted a seminar entitled ‘Traps, Gaps and Benefits Distress: The harmful psychosocial impacts of welfare reform’ presented by Dr Rich Moth, Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the Liverpool Hope University (May 2019)
  • Professor Gillian Ruch held the Olive Stevenson Memorial Lecture at the University of Nottingham on ‘Austerity, anxiety and avoidance: Activating reflection and relationship in contemporary practice’ (May 2019)
  • Professor Gillian Ruch presented ‘Vulnerable competence: developing a professional identity in challenging contexts’ at the Step Up to Social Work Annual Conference at Bournemouth University (May 2019)
  • Professor Michelle Lefevre held a public lecture on child exploitation to an audience of academics, safeguarding professionals, students and policymakers in Dublin, when she was a Visiting Professor at Trinity College. (April 2019)
  • Dr Jeri Damman presented a paper on ‘Changing the Child Welfare System from Within: The system level involvement of birth parents with prior child welfare service experience’ at the European Conference for Social Work Research (ECSWR) in Leuven, Belgium (April 2019)
  • Professor Gillian Ruch spoke at the symposium ‘Children’s and Practitioners’ Voices and Actions: Exploring agency in everyday social work practice’ at the European Conference for Social Work Research (ECSWR) in Leuven, Belgium. She also presented her paper ‘Researching Emotions in Child and Family Social Work’ at the Special Interest Group on Researching with Children and Families. (March 2019)
  • Professor Gillian Ruch presented her paper ‘Relationships Here, There and Everywhere: How they work and why they matter’ at the BASW World Social Work Day in London. (March 2019)
  • Professor Gillian Ruch presented ‘We Had the Experience but Missed the Meaning: Reflecting on reflection’ at the Department of Social Work, VID University, Oslo, Norway. (March 2019)
  • Professor Michelle Lefevre hosted a webinar on ‘What can be learned from looking closely at practice’. This was based on her research into social workers’ communication and engagement with children and young people in home visits. (February 2019)
  • Dr Jeri Damman presented a paper at the 23rd Annual Conference, The Society for Social Work and Research Conference (SSWR) in San Francisco, California on ‘Screening Decisions at Child Protective Services Intake: A systematic review’. (January 2019)
  • Professor Michelle Lefevre presented her research on child sexual exploitation to the Sussex Family Justice Board Quality Circle, discussing how young people’s rights to both participation and protection need to be integrated in situations of child sexual exploitation.
  • As part of her ongoing role in the British Association of Social Workers’ Children and Families Policy Practice and Education Group, Professor Michelle Lefevre leads a workstream on child sexual exploitation and contributes to the 80/20 campaign on increasing the proportion of time social workers spend on direct work with families.
  • Barry Luckock leads a joint East Sussex County Council/University of Sussex-funded evaluation of the Safer Relationships Programme – a practice-led and research informed social work approach to reducing domestic abuse in child safeguarding. Research team members include an agency-based psychologist, business support colleague and service manager, working on a team basis with University researchers. Barry also sits on the Sussex Local Family Justice Board and is a member of the CoramBAAF Research Group Advisory Committee.
Activities: 2018
  • Dr Reima Ana Maglajlic delivered a keynote speech at the international conference of the Department of Social Work, University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), to mark 50 years since the Department was founded. A range of stakeholders took part, including presenters from BiH and from the wider region (Serbia, North Macedonia, Slovenia, Croatia). The visit was also an opportunity to make links with the newly formed joint Association of Social Workers at national level in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in a context where after the war, each of the two political entities (the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska) had a separate association. (October 2018)
  • Paul Shuttleworth attended the European Scientific Association on Residential and Family Care for Children and Adolescents Conference 2018 where he displayed his poster presentation ‘Children’s Voices in Kinship Care across Europe’. (October 2018)
  • Professor Gillian Ruch presented on ‘Talking and Listening to Children: Understanding the terrain’ at the University of Trento, Italy. (October 2018)
  • Dr Jeri Damman presented a national webinar by the Birth Parent National Network to birth parents, service providers, and policy makers across the US entitled ‘Birth Parent Involvement at a System Level in Child Welfare: Exploring the perspectives of birth parents in parent partner programs’. (August 2018)
  • Professor Michelle Lefevre hosted a webinar in to help practitioners to think about developing a rights- and relationship-based approach with children facing child sexual exploitation (August 2018)
  • Paul Shuttleworth presented his conference paper ‘Absent Voices - What Matters To Children Living In Kinship Care’ at the South East Network for Social Sciences Conference (July 2018)
Activities: Previous years
  • Hickle, K. (2016) Invited presentations to Sussex Police Knowledge Exchange Seminar (150 attendees) on ‘See Me Hear Me’ pilot and evaluation project; and on ‘Child Sexual Exploitation in the USA: Contexts, characteristics, & complications.’
  • Hickle, K. (2016) Invited to join the Child Sexual Exploitation Regional Threat Group, the regional group of police leads for all South East Forces, including the City of London, and National Crime Agency. Hickle is the only invited academic/research member.
  • Luckock, B. (2015) Developing Innovative Models of Practice at the Interface Between the NHS and Child and Family Social Work Where Children Living at Home Are at Risk of Abuse and Neglect, invited keynote, WithScotland Annual Conference, ‘Protecting people in an integrated world’ Stirling, Scotland, October 2015.
  • Maglajlic, R. (2016) Symposium Chair, 'Social Work with Refugees, Asylum Seekers and the Prevent Agenda, Social Work Action Network Annual Conference, London, 4 June 2016.
  • Orr, D. (2015) Working with People who may be Self-neglecting and Resistant to Care, Keynote Speaker, Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Conference, Croydon, 23rd October 2015.
  • Orr, D. (2015) Understanding and Engaging with the Underlying Causes of Self-Neglect, Keynote Speaker, Self-Neglect & Adult Safeguarding Conference (Healthcare UK), London, 5th October 2015 
  • Orr, D. (2015) Meeting the Ethical, Practical and Organisational Challenges of Self-Neglect, Housing’s Role in Tackling Self-Neglect Conference, Manchester, U.K., 16th July 2015
  • Orr, D. (2015) Self-neglect: Evidence base and implications for practice, Keynote Speaker, Adult Safeguarding: Changes, Challenges and Opportunities Conference, Plymouth, 12th June 2015
  • Orr, D. (2016) Safeguarding and People who Self-Neglect, Keynote Speaker, Teeswide Safeguarding Adults Conference: Self-Neglect, Redcar, 29th January 2016
  • Orr, D. (2016) Safeguarding and Self-Neglect, Invited Keynote, East Midlands Making Safeguarding Personal Workshop, Kegworth, 17 March 2016
  • Orr, D. (2016) Safeguarding and People who Self-neglect: Practice dilemmas, Invited Keynote, South London & Maudsley Mental Capacity Act Event, Maudsley Hospital, London, 27 April 2016
  • Ruch, G. (2015) ‘Holding fast in fractured times: sustaining compassionate and courageous states of mind’, Invited Keynote, Cornwall Children’s Services Annual Staff Conference, Redruth, October 2015
  • Ruch, G. (2015) ‘Cherishing children, cherishing workers: creating, containing work environments’, Invited keynote, Biennial Irish Child Protection and Welfare Social Work Conference, Cork, October 2015.
  • Ruch, G. (2015) ‘Managing anxiety in times of austerity: developing ad sustaining relationship-based practice with children and families’, Invited Keynote, British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (Scottish Branch) Perth, November, 2015.
  • Sharland, E. (2015) ‘What do we know about social work from cohort and panel studies?’ Stakeholder event, Nuffield Foundation, London, 12 November 2015
  • Sharland, E. (2015) ‘Showcasing quantitative research for social work’, Stakeholder event, Nuffield Foundation, Manchester, 14 December 2015.
  • Maglajlic, R. (2016) Promotion of SWEE Network by the European Social Network, March Newsletter.
Research consultancy, committees & expert groups

CSWIR contributes directly to government and other statutory and allied agency policy making and practice development plans through research consultancy and committee and expert group memberships.

  • Luckock, B. (2014-ongoing) Brighton and Hove City Council, Academic consultant for child and family social work service reform
  • Luckock, B. (2014-ingoing) Department for Education, Adoption Support, Expert Advisory Group
  • Luckock, B. (2014-ongoing) Department for Education, ‘Step-Up to Social Work’ Longitudinal Evaluation Advisory Group
  • Luckock, B. (2015-ongoing) Department for Education, ‘Rethinking Children’s Social Work Project Group’
  • Luckock, B. (2015- ongoing) National Police Chief’s Council/CEOP, Child Protection and Abuse Investigation Academics Reference Group
  • Hickle, K. (2016)  is the Southeast Academic Representative with the CSE and Policing Knowledge Hub based at the University of Bedfordshire’s International Centre: Researching Child Sexual Exploitation, Violence, and Trafficking.
  • Hickle, K. (2016)  is on a clinical advisory group for Brighton-based Mankind Counselling, a charity organization providing counselling services to sexually abused men, and will be evaluating their newly implemented psychoeducation group, which is a relatively new way of delivering services in the field (specifically for men)
  • Luckock, B. (2009-ongoing) Chair, CoramBAAF, Research Group Advisory Committee
  • Luckock, B. (2012-ongoing) Sussex Local Family Justice Board
  • Maglajlic, R. (2016) Member of the Organising Committee for the Social Work Action Network Annual Conference, London, 4 June 2016
  • Maglajlic, R. (2016 - ongoing) Member, Social Services in the Context of Conflict Network
  • Maglajlic, R. (2016) Initiator and co-ordinator, Joint social work statement and call for action regarding refugees and asylum seekers, co-signed by all four UK social work associations (APSW, BASW, JUC SWEC, SWAN)
  • Maglajlic, R. (2016 ongoing) Founding member of the activist network 'Alliance Against Austerity' (including Shaping Our Lives, DPAC, BASW, SWAN and other national service user, carer and social work organisations). 
  • Maglajlic, R. (2016 – ongoing) Trustee, 'Voices in Exile', a Sussex organisation providing support for destitute migrants and co-ordinating the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Reallocation Programme in Sussex.