Tony joined Ulster University as a Lecturer in Social Work in 2017. He teaches on the undergraduate and post-graduate programmes at Ulster, and maintains a wide-ranging research profile.
Tony is chief investigator in the Atlantic Philanthropies/HSC sponsored Learning Disability and Dementia Data Analytics project, in collaboration with the five Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland. He has also secured funding for two PhD studentships, focusing on the bureaucratisation of social work practice, from the NI Department for Economy, and the UK Doctoral Training Alliance.
Building on his own PhD in the field of domestic violence, Tony currently supervises a PhD project focusing on the Irish and UK judicial responses to the perpetration of domestic violence. Building on Tony’s social work practice experience he also supervises PhD projects on interventions for anxiety driven behaviours in people with a learning disability.
In general terms, i am interested in adapting what we do, in social work, to the evolving needs of our service users. I have had the opportunity to get involved in a number of projects in this area:
My PhD was an in-depth study of the processes of change, for perpetrators of domestic violence. This led to an interest in how our judicial systems, in the UK and Ireland, support social workers and allied professionals in their bid to create safe environments for DV victims and children forced to live with domestic violence. I supervise a PhD on this topic, currently.
I'm the lead researcher for an international review of Family Group Conferencing efficacy, registered with the Campbell Collaboration, currently under peer review.
I'm also involved in a social inclusion project for children transitioning to secondary education; a study of how technology can be leveraged to increase client contact times in social work, and two projects centred upon anxiety-driven behaviour in learning disabled service users.
Finally, i am also fortunate to be part of the wider social work research team, at Ulster, with its emphasis on understanding and improving social work decision making.
In addition to the supervision of MSc and PhD projects, my teaching responsibilities include evidence-based practice, psychology for social work and a range of undergraduate social work subject areas. I am particularly interested in the leverage of advances in ICT for more accessible and effective student learning environments.