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Ruth Copson


  • SWK

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Personal profile


Ruth Copson is an Associate Tutor and PhD researcher in the School of Social Work. Her research focuses on two aspects of social work practice – Early Permanence (aka ‘Fostering for Adoption’ or ‘Concurrency’), where a baby is temporarily fostered by prospective adopters who may go on to adopt them, and supervised contact (or ‘Family Time’). This is the time that a baby spends with their birth parents during care proceedings, usually in a contact centre supervised by a professional. Contact takes place for the majority of children in care and Ruth’s research aims to offer a unique insight into how this contact is managed and experienced by all those involved, including birth parents. She has a particular interest in using observational methods to glean a greater understanding into infants’ experiences of contact.

Ruth qualified as a social worker in 2011 after completing an MA in Social Work at the University of East Anglia. After initially working in a child protection team, she moved to Norfolk Adoption Service in 2013 where she took a lead role in the Fostering for Adoption scheme. Before commencing her PhD, Ruth worked for a Voluntary Adoption Agency in London. Alongside practising as a social worker, Ruth completed an MA in Advanced Social Work in 2018, undertaking a small scale research project on Fostering for Adoption carers’ relationships with birth parents. She currently works part time as an Independent Social Worker, specialising in adoption.