Personal profile

Academic Background

Dr Cynthia Okpokiri is a social work lecturer at University of East Anglia. Cynthia has wide-ranging social work research, scholarship, and practice experience. Her research has explored child safeguarding and parenting, including Black and Black African child welfare and family dynamics in Western and African contexts. Using insights from her research with Black parents in Britain, Cynthia developed a distinct Black parenting style termed requisite parenting©, which she has evaluated in a recent study funded by Barnardo’s Children’s Charity – publication from December 2023.

Cynthia is a registered social worker. Cynthia continues to engage with frontline social work practice by providing independent research-informed expertise on child welfare and protection, social work with peoples of the Global South, and Black parenting, to local authorities’ social services and non-statury organisations.

In addition to other research engagements, Cynthia has undertaken Department for Education (DfE) systematic review of Local Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews (LCSPR) in England with colleagues at UEA and other HEIs. She is involved in cross-national social work knowledge exchange, working closely with a select group of social work academics and practitioners across Europe, Australia, and Africa.

Dr Okpokiri has other current academic and practice related roles including:

  • External Examiner, University of Kent MA in Social Work degree, from 2019-2023
  • Member of Council of Deans of Health Race Equity Group
  • Higher Education Academy, Fellow (FHEA)
  • Member of British Association of Social Workers
  • Plagiarism Officer, School of Social Work, UEA
  • Fitness to Practice Lead, School of Social Work, UEA.

Cynthia is often invited to share her expertise on the intersections of culture, child welfare, and social work theories and practice with peoples of the Global South to organisations and the media; she has contributed at numerous conferences, training programmes, on television, radio, online, and newsprint, including BBC East News, BBC Radio Essex, and Cambridge Network News.

Cynthia is an award winning academic, having won the Kay McDougall British Journal of Social Work Award in 2021. Her publications include co-edited book and journal articles. She is a journal and book reviewer for several publishers.

Dr Okpokiri is currently supervising two doctoral research candidates. Her research interests and potential supervision areas include:

  • Children and family dynamics
  • Child protection; privileging children
  • Parenting; privileging parents/carers
  • Alternative knowledges, methodologies, and epistemologies
  • Efficacy of social work
  • Migration, social cohesion, difference, and ‘Ubuntu’
  • Well-being, equality, equity, and social justice
  • Theories of social science and 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
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Sussex

1 Sep 20121 Sep 2017

Award Date: 1 Sep 2017

External positions

Member of Race Equity Group, Council of Deans of Health

1 Jul 2020 → …

External Examiner, University of Kent

1 Sep 2019 → …


  • Children & Families
  • Child welfare
  • Black parenting
  • Communities, Classes, Races
  • Migration and social cohesion
  • Southern epistemologies

Media Expertise

  • Social Work
  • Intersectionality

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