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Personal profile


Christine Cocker is a Professor in Social Work and Head of the School of Social Work at UEA, She joined the Department in September 2013. Prior to this she worked at Middlesex University for 10 years. Christine is a registered social worker (she completed her social work training in New Zealand in the 1980's) and has over 30 years experience as a social worker and manager in child and family social work in Local Authorities and voluntary sector organisations in the UK. Christine maintains strong links in practice as she is currently an independent member of a Local Authority permanence panel and chair of a local authority's Children's Academy. Christine researches and writes about Transitional Safeguarding, social work and sexuality, and social work with looked after children.


Key Research Interests

My research and publications are predominantly in the area of Transitional Safeguarding, social work with looked after children, child protection, and lesbian and gay fostering and adoption. I am particularly interested in the mental health of looked after children and have completed my PhD in this area.

Current and recently completed research projects: External funding

2018: Systematic Literature Review - Transparenting through the Lifecourse

2017-2019: Evaluation of AdoptionPlus DDP project 

Investigation of the experiences & identity development of LGBT young people in care & the support they receive (2014-2016)

2012-2014: EU PROJECT:RAINBOW HAS Rights through Alliances: Innovating and networking both Within Homes And Schools. Senior researcher on this project which is investigating homophobia within schools across Europe.  Middlesex University is the lead University in England and UEA is an Associate Partner.

2007-2008:  Evaluation of ‘Option 2’ for the Welsh Assembly (with Brunel University and Birmingham University) (£2000 to Middlesex University): an evaluation of the ‘Option 2’ service in Cardiff, which provides brief and intensive interventions for families in which there is a risk that a child may enter care or the child’s name may be placed on the child protection register.

2001-2003:  PI for a European Union funded research project, 'Mental health of children in care', examining the mental health of children in state care across three EU countries; UK, Belgium (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) and Greece (Institute of Child Health).  This has involved research in the 3 partner countries.  The UK research saw NCH - The Bridge collaborate with Barnardos in examining what works regarding practice in this area. 

 Internal Funding:

2009-2017: Social Workers views on the use of the SDQ with Looked After Children (PhD)

2009: Sexuality before Ability? The Assessment of Lesbians as Adopters:  A  qualitative research project, looking at the particular issues and challenges adoption assessments raise from the perspective of those lesbians who put themselves forward for an adoption assessment.

2006 - 2007: A useful way to change attitudes? Evaluating a series of one day training courses for social workers on lesbian and gay issues in fostering and adoption: The evaluation considered whether one day courses were an effective vehicle for achieving change in attitudes, acquiring knowledge and developing skills in working with lesbian and gay issues in fostering and adoption.

Teaching Interests

Child and Family Social Work


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or