Jill qualified as a social worker in 1984, practising in both residential and statutory social work for children and families, primarily in relation to child protection and cared for children. During this period, Jill held both practitioner and senior management positions. Between 2002 and 2019 Jill worked part time in practice/academic to work alongside three professional bodies: the Department for Education and Skills (DfS) as an adviser in relation to child safeguarding/protection, the General Social Care Council (GSCC) regulatory body for social work, as an Investigations and Conduct Officer and the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a Specialist Tribunal Panel member.
After nineteen years in social work practice, in May 2003, Jill took up a full-time lectureship at Bournemouth University to develop their post qualifying framework for social work practitioners. In both 2006 and 2008 Jill was awarded two HEI National Training Awards under the category of ‘Innovative Practice & Teaching’ as sole author and implementation of two post qualifying social work programmes.
Jill was awarded a PhD from Bournemouth University, in 2016, for an international comparative study of children unable to reside with their biological parents (UK and Zululand, South Africa).
Jill was an invited speaker at the House of Commons (Hansard UK Parliament Vol. 637:2018), in May 2018, to present and debate the key issues facing social work education and practice.
In May 2019 Jill took up the position of Associate Professor of Social Work at Edinburgh Napier University.
Jill is a member of the Management Committee for the European Network for Social Work (SocNET98), Invited Member of the National Research Network for Kinship Care and representative for Scotland on the Social Work Education Council (JSWEC) International Committee.
Jill feels very privileged to have the opportunity to teach both students who are new to their profession role, and those who are currently in practice, but returning to study to enhance their professional careers. Jill holds positions as module lead (currently 8 modules) and Programme Lead for a new Graduate Certificate in Practice Learning, introduced in January 2022.
For qualifying social work students Jill’s teaching specifically focuses on issues relating to child protection/safeguarding and the exercise of professional standards and duties. For post qualifying, CPD social work students, Jill’s focus is on practice learning and the responsibility for the support and assessment of qualifying students on placement.
In addition, Jill has teaching input across both the school (SHSC) and the University, through the delivery of three child protection/safeguarding modules. Students undertaking these modules include nursing, midwifery, sociology, and psychology students. This inter-professional learning and teaching enhances the appreciation of professional roles and responsibility.
Jill has also taught, as module lead for a research and leadership module for international students joining ENU from Singapore on a nursing degree programme.
Jill is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Research Interests/Knowledge Exchange
Child Protection & Safeguarding Professional Practice & Standards Policy writing and Implementation
International Social Work and social work education
Jill’s research/knowledge exchange focuses mainly on the broad area of child protection/safeguarding, including statutory inquiries into child deaths/serious injuries (non-accidental). Jill has extensive experience in professional standards of practice for practitioners in the health, social work/care, and education sector. Jill has a broad range of experience in the development, writing and implementation of legislation, policy, and guidance for professional practice. Jill has extensive experience in regulatory body processes, including the writing and development of Fitness to Practice procedures. Jill has participated in several Children and Vulnerable Adult Case Reviews (including Government inquires) in relation to the protection and safeguarding of the public with published outcomes to for practice which have influenced and shaped institutional policies and strategies for education, training, and practice.