Rebecca Ford

Course Director And Social Work Lead

Health, Education, Policing and Sciences

Following completion of my first degree in 2002, I gained employment as a youth offending team officer based within a custodial setting. This was a role that I enjoyed very much and has led to a career long interest in working with young people who are viewed as being on the edges of society. Working in a multi-agency setting, considering the lived experiences of the children and families I worked with, and the recognition of need for early intervention led me to the decision to progress to a career in social work.

I completed my MA in Social Work at Keele University in 2008 and moved into a role working with children cared for by the local authority and, young people leaving care. Again, this cemented by interest in working with young people who are somehow ‘othered’ by mainstream society, I also developed a further interest in how social workers can support young people through the transition into adulthood. Following this, I worked extensively with young people (16&17years old) who were homeless, working to re-build family relationships, and to secure and maintain appropriate accommodation for them.

Having acted as a work-based supervisor previously, I completed the Certificate in Practice Education in 2016 and have worked with student social workers int his role consistently since this time, something which I find extremely valuable and rewarding.

After 15 years of direct practice in with children and families involved with statutory services, I made the move into academia three years ago, first at the University of Derby before moving to Staffordshire University in January 2019.

Professional memberships and activities

  • Registered with Social Work England
  • Member British Association of Social Workers

Academic qualifications

  • Pg Cert. Higher and Professional Education (2021 – result pending)
  • Pg Cert. Practice Education in Social Work (2016)
  • MA Social Work (2008)
  • BA Sociology and Applied Social Studies (2002)


  • Social Work with children and families
  • Safeguarding older children
  • Working with the older child
  • Looked after children and young people leaving care
  • Social Work law with children and families
  • Social Work Practice Education

Research interests

  • Safeguarding the older child
  • Relationship based practice with the older child
  • Narrative approaches to research and children as co-researchers
  • Social work at points of transition and change
  • Supporting social work students through point of transition
  • Practice Education, and the organisational barriers to effective practice education
  • Anti-racist social work
  • The role of hope in social work practice
  • Social work endings, and the barriers to case closure
  • Leaving care and, raising the profile of young people leaving care both in social work practice and education.
  • Inter-professional education and the use of multi-disciplinary simulation in social work education

Enterprise and commercial interests

I have worked extensively with partner agencies, and colleagues within the department to develop the Social Work Apprenticeship which is now entering it’s second year. I am the course development lead for the proposed MA Social Work at Staffordshire University.


BA Social Work

  • Working with and Safeguarding Children
  • Rights, Justice and Equality
  • Social Work Practice Learning 2
in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021