Photo of Paul Mc Cafferty
  • Phone+442871675216
  • Northlands Road, Magee Campus

    BT48 7JL Londonderry

    United Kingdom

  • 8 Citations
  • 2 h-Index

Research output per year

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Personal profile


Dr Paul McCafferty is lecturer in social work at Ulster University.  Professionally qualified in social work and social work practice teaching, he spent 12 years as a practitioner and senior manager, and then 15 years in training and organisation development in health and social care as trainer and senior manager. His first degree was in politics at Queen’s University Belfast and his Doctorate in Childhood studies was taken at Queen’s University Belfast.Paul’s thesis for his Doctorate examined the knowledge that social workers use to make decisions regarding the permanency arrangements for Looked after Children.   Paul also has his Masters in Advanced Social Work, the full United Kingdom Post Qualifying and Advanced Award, as well as the full Northern Ireland Leadership and Strategy Award.

Paul’s research interests are in risk assessment, professional judgement, decision making, and the use of knowledge to inform practice. Paul also has an interest in children’s rights, particularly the participation rights of children in statutory child protection fora, as well as in practice teaching.  He is willing to consider PhD and postdoctoral students on aspects of the above topics, including multi-disciplinary projects.

Paul currently teaches on theory and methods in social work at undergraduate level, and on child protection at postgraduate level. 

Paul is a member of both the Editorial Board and the Management Board for the peer reviewed journal Child Care in Practice and a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Practice Teaching and Learning.  Paul is also a reviewer for several peer reviewed journals in chid care and social work education. 

Research Interests

Paul is interested in the following research areas.

  1. Risk, professional judgement, decision making and the use of knowledge to make decisions.
  2. Children’s rights; particularly the right to participate in child protection decision making fora.
  3. Practice teaching in social work; particularly student assessment and decision making and student supervision.  

Teaching Interests

Paul currently teaches on a range of both the undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in social work.

Specifically, Paul is module coordinator for:

  1. Theories and Methods at undergraduate level,
  2. Professional Practice in Family and Child Care at postgraduate level,
  3. Dissemination of Social Work Research Module at postgraduate level,
  4. Disseminating Social Care Research Module at postgraduate level. 


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Research Output

"Do I read it? No". Knowledge Utilisation in Child Welfare Decisions

Mc Cafferty, P., 11 Jun 2020, In : Child Care in Practice. 26 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Parenting a child with autism: Considering the stresses, supports and implications for social work practice

    Mc Cafferty, P. & McCutcheon, J., 20 Jul 2020, In : Child Care in Practice. p. 1-17 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Risk, Decision-making and Assessment in Child Welfare

    Mccafferty, P. & Taylor, B., 2 Apr 2020, In : Child Care in Practice. 26, 2, p. 107-110 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Understanding Social Work Preparing for practice, (4th edition) Neil Thompson: Book review

    Mc Cafferty, P., 17 Apr 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : The Journal of Practice Teaching and Learning.

    Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

    Open Access
    6 Downloads (Pure)
    Open Access


    The Journal of Practice Teaching and Learning (Journal)

    Paul Mc Cafferty (Editor)

    1 Mar 2020

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial work

    3. Children's participation in child protection: From rhetoric to reality

    Paul Mc Cafferty (Speaker)

    3 Jun 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


    Paul Mc Cafferty (Host)

    4 Dec 2019

    Activity: Hosting a visitorHosting an academic visitor

    university college luven limburg

    Paul Mc Cafferty (Visiting lecturer)

    3 Mar 2018

    Activity: Visiting an external institutionVisiting an external academic institution

    2. Involving children and young people in child safeguarding decision-making,

    Paul Mc Cafferty (Speaker)

    5 Mar 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk