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  • Phone+442871675216
  • 3 Citations
  • 1 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

  • 3 Citations
  • 1 h-Index
  • 15 Paper
  • 5 Article
  • 3 Other contribution
  • 1 Chapter


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

Children's participation in child protection: From aspiration to reality

Paul Mc Cafferty (Speaker)
4 Jun 2018

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

International Journal of Children's Rights (Journal)

Paul Mc Cafferty (Reviewer)
1 Jan 2018

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial work