Emma Speer

Emma Speer


  • SWK

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Personal profile


Emma is an Associate Tutor and PhD researcher in the School of Social Work. Emma currently teaches and is an adviser on the qualifying programmes within the school. 

Emma has a degree in Gender Studies, Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Hull. Emma worked for several years with children and young people in care in residential children's homes before gaining her MA in Social Work at the University of East Anglia. After qualifying Emma worked as a social worker in a Local Authority Fostering & Adoption Service, supporting and supervising foster carers and offering post-adoption and post-special guardianship support.

Emma is also a qualified Practice Educator, gaining a post-qualifying diploma in Advanced Social Work with Children and Families at the University of East Anglia, as-well-as completing her Masters in Social Science Research with distinction and awarded the faculty prize for achievement.

Emma was awarded a SeNSS ESRC studentship and joined the school as a PhD researcher in 2018.

Key Research Interests

Emma's experience working with young people in care led her to become interested in the importance of relationships in foster care for young people who enter care in adolescence (adolescent entrants). 

Emma's research focusses on the experience of relationships in foster care for adolescent entrants and foster carers who have experience caring for adolescent entrants. Emma is particularly interested in how these complex relationships are negotiated, defined and re-negotiated and re-defined across time.