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Alumni Awards 2024

Social work, mental health and learning disabilities

The research stream in social work and social care is directly supportive of the School and CRIPACC’s work on well-being and health-related issues.

The research stream is led by Professor Brian Littlechild, and supported by Professor Shula Ramon.

There are currently four major projects, with number of smaller ones, and we have PhD candidates working on, or planning for, issues concerning patients with Personality Disorder, stress for social workers in mental health work, the needs of young people in Nigeria who have been orphaned because of AIDS, drug misuse amongst migrant across the EU states, and use of Community Treatment Orders for patients with mental health problems.

Our projects

Empowering Women and Providers: Domestic Violence and Mental Health

Source of funding - EU Daphne Stream III PI Caroline Meffan / Professor Shula Ramon.

This project forms part of the EU Daphne Stream III, who is funding it, aimed at preventing violence to vulnerable populations. This two-year project (2011-2013) focused on enhancing well-being and self management of women who have experienced intimate partner violence, and on improving awareness and skills of mental health providers engaged in working with this population.


  • UK  (Welwyn Hatfield Women's Refuge)
  • Greece (Epapsy, an NGO)
  • Italy (Asti community mental health unit and the Department of Health Psychology, University of Turin)
  • Poland (Institute of Psychiatry, Warsaw)
  • Slovenia (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Work)
  • Ozara and Communication against violence to women (two NGOs)

European online MSC in Mental Health Recovery and Social Inclusion (RAISE)

Source of funding - EU ERASMUS LLP PI

This project is led by Professor Shula Ramon and Professor Brian Littlechild from the Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work at the University of Hertfordshire.

RAISE is a three-year curriculum development and action research project funded by the EU Erasmus Lifelong Learning Scheme (2011-2014), aimed at the development of a European online MSC in Mental Health Recovery and Social Inclusion.


  • Italy (Health Psychology, University of Turin, and Asti community mental health unit),
  • Poland (the Academy of Special Education, Warsaw),
  • Portugal (the department of psychiatry, the New University of Lisbon), US Prof. Larry Davidson Yale University

The effects of violence and resistance from parents on staff in child protection, and the subsequent effects on delivery of services   to vulnerable children.

Source of funding - Community Care magazine PI Professor Brian Littlechild

This is a survey of staff in child protection work concerning the experiences of parental resistance and aggression against them, and the consequent effects of their practice, and the health and well-being of the children in those families.


Community Care magazine; Professor Chris Goddard, Monash University, Australia

International survey of SW education in Universities: Lessons for international comparative research: The case of the IASSW census

Source of funding - International Association of Schools of Social Work PI Professor Brian Littlechild. The IASSW worldwide census of social work education takes place each 10 years, and is comparative research on the provision, support for, and outcomes of social work educational provision around the globe.

It provides us with a wealth of statistical data on programmes. As part of this work I have examined comparative issues for such knowledge production, with consideration of the particular place of the construction of concepts and language in social work and social work education in the different countries/programmes through the use of language, as how this impacts upon how we try to construct an international survey, and how to take account of how these matters may skew what we are trying to discover, and how we might best use the knowledge of possible confounding factors in what we are trying to discover in our research.


International Association of Schools of Social Work; Ryerson University, Canada; University of St Thomas, USA, University of Houston, USA