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Rachael is Assistant Professor (Research) at Durham University.  She has worked in social care for over twenty years.  Her roles, in the voluntary and statutory sector, have spanned a range of settings (from women’s mental health to physical disability) but have been characterised by an interest in creative, participatory and voluntary methods.  Since qualifying as a social worker, Rachael has specialised in working with adolescents: setting up and delivered a service for ‘missing’ young people and then joining the Contextual Safeguarding team at Hackney Children’s Services as a Practice Development Manager. Following her PhD – focussing on young parents – she joined the Contextual Safeguarding research team at the University of Bedfordshire, as Social Work Practice Advisor for the Scale-Up project.  In this role Rachael facilitated and researched system change in Local Authority children’s services and managed the London strand of the project. 

Rachael is Co-Investigator on ‘The Next Chapter’, leading on ‘Sustaining Social Work’ - a research project looking at the experiences of social workers who deliver Contextual Safeguarding. Rachael sits on BASW’s Children and Families Thematic Group and is a member of GAPS. She is committed to research and practice that honours the complex multi-systemic nature of life and in exploring the interplay between individual/psychological and collective/social feelings, thoughts, and action. Rachael has begun to integrate her early career in the creative arts with social work research and is interested in what can be enlivened through such interdisciplinary exchange.