Researcher biography

Dr Deborah Lynch is Senior Lecturer in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work and Program Director of the Bachelor of Social Work in the School. Deborah's research interests focus on the protection, welfare and rights of children and young people, social justice issues and community development. Her most recent book is Social Work and Community Development: A Critical Practice Perspective (2015; Palgrave McMillan) with Dr Catherine Forde at University College Cork in Ireland. Deborah has researched and published on the subject of community development in high impact journals such as the British Journal of Social Work (with Catherine Forde). She has ongoing collaborations with Dr Pia Tham at the University of Stockholm in relation to international social work education which has led to international conference presentations and journal publications. Currently she is undertaking research in partnership with the Community Living Association (CLA) in Nundah, Queensland and associated youth programs (Community Connections) to better understand the causes of school disengagement, focusing on the experiences of young people. Deborah is CI on a HABS Collaboration Research Seeding Grant 2015 with Professor Karen Healy, Dr Philip Gillingham (social work), Dr Marion Tower (nursing) and Dr Paul Harnett (psychology) on decision-making in complex child protection situations and exploring the role of contextual factors such as context and cultural identity (Indigenous/non-Indigenous) and practice support systems. Her previous book was Children's Rights and Child Protection: Critical times, Critical Issues in Ireland (co-edited with Kenneth Burns) (Manchester University Press, 2013). She has practiced as a social worker in child protection, health, legal and community development settings in Australia, South Africa, Indonesia and India. In Ireland during 2006-2007, Deborah was research consultant on a project with the East Cork Area Development (ECAD), which is a community partnership between public, community and voluntary sectors. A consultative process was initiated with young people in the East Cork area through local networks, schools and youth organisations to explore their needs. This initiative was delivered through the Local Development Social Inclusion Programme (LDSIP). She co-authored the report with Mary McGrath which documents this process and the results of an exploratory survey of over 700 young people in East Cork; a young peoples' conference where groups of young people presented using creative media including film; a Youth Film Project; and a Youth Exchange Programme. Website: