Having initially been a primary school teacher, I was a Senior Lecturer in education and childhood studies with responsibility for research throughout the School of Education at Edge Hill University before becoming a senior manager for research in one of the UK’s largest charities working with children and families. Since 2006 I have been an independent research and policy consultant based in Northern Ireland.

My main areas of research and publication include:
• social constructions of ‘childhood’ and ‘youth’
• implementation of children’s rights
• sex and sexuality education
• parenting and family support
• early intervention
• youth justice
• secure care and custody.

Since 2006, I have worked with:
• Government departments
• Health and Social Care services
• Local Authorities
• Voluntary and community organisations working with children and families
• Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People
• Independent monitoring and inspection bodies
• University academics and researchers

Spanning three decades, my work has included an extensive range of experience:
• Teaching children aged 4-11 and University students on under- and post-graduate courses
• Developing research proposals and tenders for funding
• Managing and conducting research, consultations and evaluations
• Analysing data, summarising research findings and their implications
• Analysing legislation, policies and strategies to inform research, publications, consultation responses and submissions to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
• Writing books, journal articles, book chapters, reports, briefings, resources for children and practitioners
• Contributing to knowledge exchange through publications and presentations for academic, professional and public audiences in the UK, Ireland, Europe, the US, Australia and New Zealand
• Providing training, support, and guidance
• Influencing public policy and organisational practice across a range of professions
• Participating in ‘public engagement’ and community based activism

See APPROACH section