I am a social worker who now works as a researcher, writer and consultant. I started my career as a nursery nurse (NNEB) working with pre-school aged children in a nursery school and inner city day nursery. I have also worked for the NSPCC as a Play Specialist; it was here that I became increasingly interested in attachment theory and parent child relationships. I then moved to Barnardo’s and managed a family support service. It was at Barnardo’s that my real interest and passion in children and parental life-limiting illness began.
While at Barnardo’s I started my PhD which explored children’s experiences when a parent is at the end of life. I left Barnardo’s to concentrate on my study and after being awarded my PhD (2010) I have worked independently. During this time I have worked with universities, delivering teaching sessions for social work students, and in partnership with local and national charities supporting their work with children.
I have written an academic book (Communicating with Children when a Parent is at the End of Life – Jessica Kingsley) and developed a resource for professionals working with children and families (Let’s Talk About Dying – Speechmark). I have also written a novel Our Family and IT which is about how a family tries to cope and manage following the mother’s diagnosis of IT (a life-limiting illness). Please see Writing Section for more information.
I am serious about raising awareness about the impact parental illness can have on children and their family. Research shows that this can be an incredibly difficult period for children however, there is little support available for them and this is often a bit of a postcode lottery. Part of my work now is campaigning to raise awareness about this important social issue.
I am registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC).
If you are interested in working with me on any research relating to children and parental illness please get in touch.