Our members and coordinators

Meet us

This page features short biographies and links for APSW members and our co-chairs.   

Gillian Ruch

Gillian Ruch

APSW Co-Chair

Gillian Ruch is Professor of Social Work in the Department of Social Work and Social Care at the University of Sussex. She teaches and researches in the areas of child care social work and relationship-based and reflective practice and is committed to enhancing the wellbeing of children, families and practitioners. Her particular interests are in promoting psycho-social research methods and reflective discussion and supervision forums that facilitate relationship-based practice. Gillian’s current research includes the Innovate Project, ESRC funded research exploring innovation in the fields of contextual safeguarding transitional safeguarding and trauma informed practice. She is  also busy  generating research impact from the Talking and Listening to Children exploring how social workers communicate with children - in collaboration with The International Futures Forum which involves introducing Kitbag to social workers.

Ray Jones

Ray Jones

Dr Ray Jones is Emeritus Professor of Social Work at Kingston University and St. George’s, University of London, and a registered social worker. From 1992 to 2006 he was director of social services in Wiltshire. He was the first chief executive of the Social Care Institute for Excellence, and has been deputy chair and chair of the British Association of Social Workers. From 2008 to 2016 he was professor of social work at Kingston University and St George’s, University of London.He has been a visiting professor at the University of Exeter and at the University of Bath and is an honorary fellow of the University of Gloucestershire. He has led inquiries following the deaths of children and adults, from 2009 to 2013 was chair of Bristol’s Safeguarding Children Board, and from 2010 until 2016 oversaw child protection improvement in Salford, Torbay, the Isle of Wight, Sandwell and Devon. He is the author of eight books including ‘The Story of Baby P: Setting the Record Straight’,which was published by Policy Press in July 2014 and informed a BBC Television documentary,and a second up-dated and expanded edition was published in February 2017. ‘In Whose Interest? The Privatisation of Child Protection and Social Work’ was published by Policy Press in December 2018, and his most recent book ‘A History of the Personal Social Services in England’ was published by Palgrave Macmillan in summer 2020 and re-printed in 2021.  He is a regular press columnist and media commentator, has frequently given evidence to Parliamentary Select Committees, and in 2017 he received the Social Worker of the Year Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Social Work’.

 

Alisoun Milne

Alisoun Milne

Alisoun Milne is Emeritus Professor of Social Gerontology and Social Work at the University of Kent’s School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Research. She is a registered social worker. Up until Sept 2020 Alisoun taught on undergraduate and postgraduate qualifying social work programmes, primarily on social work with adults’ modules. She also supervised MA dissertations and Phd students. Her research interests are in four intersecting areas: social work with older people and their families; mental health in later life; family caring; and long term care. She has done funded research in all four areas. Currently, Alisoun is working on a project exploring strengths based approaches in social work and social care as part of the NIHR funded Adult Social Care Research Unit and a project exploring support for older carers and the people they care for. She is widely published. Alisoun is a member of the Research Excellence Framework 2021 sub-panel for Social Work and Social Policy and is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences.

Joanne Westwood

Joanne Westwood

My research includes work on developing approaches to inform child welfare/care practice. I worked with an International NGO to produce a comparative report on global social work practices for children without parental care and have carried out research on the issues facing migrant children and young people and contributed to a national study on the health impacts of trafficking. I have worked with local and national organisations to evaluate their provision and explored how advocacy practice offers a meaningful alternative to supporting children to come to terms with their experiences of domestic violence. My research also includes evaluations of family support services, including working with fathers and a European project which explore participation and citizenship amongst children and young people from the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.

I also carry out research in areas of communications in social work and particularly exploring ethical and critically informed online/digital practices. I worked with social academic colleagues in Scotland and Northern Ireland to develop an App for service users to feedback on their experiences of a social work intervention. Since 2108 I have been working with colleagues at UCLan to research and develop simulated learning programmes for students in the School of Social Work, Care and Community.