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Professor Robert Gilligan

Professor (Social Studies)


Robbie Gilligan is Professor of Social Work and Social Policy at Trinity College Dublin. He served as founding Head of the School of Social Work and Social Policy from August 2005 to July 2011. He is currently Associate Director of the Children's Research Centre at TCD. He is also a Research Fellow (2013 - 2016) at SFI - The Danish National Centre for Social Research and Extraordinary Professor at the Optentia Research Programme at North Western University, South Africa. Google Scholar: 2664 citations; h-index=25 (October 25th 2016). Other Career Highlights: * Visiting Professor: Dept. of Social Work, Massey University, New Zealand, November, 2016; Dept. of Social Work, Charles University, Prague,October 2016 - September 2019, and October 2011; Department of Social Work, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania, May 2012 * Visiting Scholar: School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago, October 2012 * Elected Member of Board (Governing Authority) of Trinity College Dublin (2010 - 14; 2015 - 18) * Co-founder of Trinity Immigration Initiative (2006) * Co-Director (with Dr Philip Curry) of Children,Migration and Diversity Research Programme (formerly Children, Youth and Community Relations Research Programme)(2006) * Elected Fellow of Trinity College Dublin, 2004. * First Holder of Chair of Social Work and Social Policy at TCD, 2001. * Co-founder (with Dr Sheila Greene, Dept of Psychology) of Children's Research Centre,TCD, 1995. * Founder of multi-disciplinary post - graduate diploma in child protection and welfare, 1990, and subsequent companion MSc in Child Protection and Welfare,1995, TCD. * Director MSc in Child Protection and Welfare,TCD 1995 - 2016. * PhD Supervision. Six supervised to successful completion: 2016 Dovile Vildaite 'Transnational Experiences of Youth and Family Migration: Intergenerational Perspectives' 2015 Niamh Lally, 'Higher education and transition experiences of students with intellectual disabilities: a promise realized or denied?' 2012 Lindsey Garratt, 'The Body, Masculinities and Racism - Social Relations between migrant and dominant group boys in three inner city primary schools in Dublin' 2012 Jennifer Scholtz, 'Narratives of Mobility, Difference, Belonging and Home: Girls' Experience of Immigration to Ireland' 2009 Margaret Rogers, 'Social and physical ecologies of childhood: A case study of children's perspectives on their neighbourhood' 2007 Muireann Ni Raghallaigh, 'Negotiating changed contexts and challenging circumstances: The experiences of unaccompanied minors living in Ireland' Six PhD students currently under supervision. * M Litt Supervision. Four supervised to successful completion (intended award). * Has served as external examiner at many institutions including Anglia Ruskin University (PhD), Cardiff University (PhD), La Trobe University, Victoria (PhD), Queen's University, Belfast (PhD; Certificate in Child Protection Studies), RMIT University, Melbourne (PhD), Southern Cross University, New South Wales (PhD), University College Cork (PhD), University of Adelaide (PhD), University of Bedfordshire (PhD), University of Brighton (PhD), University of Bristol (EdD), University of Dundee (Certificate in Child Protection Studies), University of East Anglia, (PhD, and MA in International Child Welfare), University of Glasgow (PhD), University of Groningen (Cum Laude assessment for PhD), University of Guelph, Ontario (PhD), University of Melbourne (PhD), University of Oviedo (PhD), University of Queensland (PhD), University of Sheffield (PhD), University of Stirling (PhD; EdD), University of Ulster (MA [Advanced Social Work],and PhD), University of Warwick (PhD) * Former youth worker, social worker and foster carer. * Has had research related involvement in projects in a number of majority world countries (Ethiopia, Thailand, Togo). Has also had work-related visits to China, South Africa, Tanzania, Vietnam and Zambia
  At-Risk Children/Youth   CARERS   Child Welfare   Child welfare, family support,children in care   children in state care   Children/Youth   CHILDREN'S EXPERIENCES   family support   Foster Care   Immigration   Inner-City   International children's research   Irish child welfare policy   MIGRATION   Minorities and Disadvantaged   NEEDS   PERMANENCY   programmes to combat social exclusion among young people   Refugee/Immigrant Services   Social Services Delivery   Social Work   SUPPORT
 Care to Work Pathways Research Project
 Gender Disparities and Disability: Identifying barriers for inclusion specific to girls with disabilities in Togo
 Young Somali Adults in the Irish Education System
 Youth and Poverty - International Development Perspectives
 Experiences of Young Adults Leaving State Care

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Details Date
Member of the Board of Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital, Dublin October 2016
Member of Adult Advisory Group of Economic and Social Research Council (UK) funded study 'Here to Stay? Identity, citizenship and belonging among settled Eastern European migrant children and young people in the UK' (2016 - ) September 2016
Academic Member of the Professional Advisory Network for the Economic and Social Research Council (UK) funded fourth phase (The teens and early adulthood) of the Northern Ireland Care Pathways and Outcomes study ( 2016-19
Member of the Seminar Scientific Committee of the InED - Centre for Research and Innovation in Education, of School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Portugal, for its International Seminar in the field of foster care, entitled «Foster care in Europe: outcomes and evidence», September 23rd, 2016 September 2016
Member of the Editorial Board of Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies 2016 -
Member of Editorial Board for 'Social Work Forum' (journal published by Dept. of Social Work, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic) 2015-2018
Member of the Editorial Board of 'Child Abuse and Neglect' (Elsevier) 2013 -
Member of the Editorial Board of 'International Journal of Child and Family Welfare' (Garant, Antwerp) 2013 -
Member of the Editorial Board of 'Children and Society' (Wiley) 2012
Member of the International Advisory Board, Leuven Centre for Irish Studies, K.U. Leuven, Belgium 2011-
President of Childwatch International Research Network, 2010-2013 2010-2013
Vice President of Childwatch International Research Network 2005-10
Member of the Editorial Board of 'Child Indicators Research' (Springer) 2007 -
Member of the Editorial Team of e-'Journal of Student Wellbeing' (University of South Australia) 2007 -
Member of the International Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood for Young People Leaving Public Care 2005 -
Board Member of the European Scientific Association of Residential and Family Care 2004 -
Member of the Editorial Board of 'European Journal of Social Work' (Routledge) 2003 -
Member of the Advisory Board of the Journal 'Adoption and Fostering' (British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering) 1997 -
Member of the Editorial Board of 'Child and Family Social Work' (Wiley) 1996 -
Member of the Advisory Board of the Journal 'Children and Society' (Wiley) 1996 - 2012
Director of Studies, Expert Study Group appointed by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to report on 'Youth at Physical and Moral Risk' [Report Published] 1988-89
Have served as occasional reviewer for the following publishers, journals and series: Allen and Unwin - Australia,'Australian Social Work','British Journal of Social Work', 'Child Abuse and Neglect', 'Childhood', 'Children and Youth Services Review', 'Comparative Migration Studies', 'Economic and Social Review' - Ireland, Economic and Social Research Institute Publication Series - Ireland, 'Families in Society', 'Family Relations', 'Health Education Journal', 'International Journal of Child and Family Welfare', 'International Journal of Social Welfare', 'Irish Educational Studies', 'Irish Journal of Sociology', 'Journal of South Asian Development', 'Research in Social Work Practice', Macmillan, Open University Press, Oxford University Press - New York, Palgrave, 'Social Work and Society', 'Sociological Review', to date
Have served as occasional reviewer / assessor for British Academy, Economic and Social Research Council - UK, European Science Foundation European Collaborative Research Projects, Health Research Council of New Zealand, National Children's Office - Ireland, National Research Foundation of South Africa, Nuffield Foundation, Quality Protects - UK, Research and Development Office - Northern Ireland Health and Social Services Central Services Agency, University of Leuven (K.U. Leuven) Research Council to date
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
English Fluent Fluent Fluent
French Medium Medium Medium
German Basic Basic Basic
Irish Medium Medium Medium
'Resilience Theory and Social Work Practice' Chapter 30 in, editor(s)Francis J. Turner , Social Work Treatment: Interlocking Theoretical Perspectives, 6th Edition , New York, Oxford University Press, 2017, [Robbie Gilligan], Book Chapter, IN_PRESS
editor(s)E. Garcia Iriarte, R. McConkey and R. Gilligan, Disability and Human Rights: Global Perspectives, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, 344pp, Book, PUBLISHED  URL
'Children's Rights and Disability' in, editor(s)E. Garcia Iriarte, R. McConkey and R. Gilligan , Disability and Human Rights: Global Perspectives, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, pp115 - 132, [Robbie Gilligan], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Disability and Human Rights: Global Perspectives in, editor(s)E. Garcia Iriarte, R. McConkey and R. Gilligan , Disability and Human Rights: Global Perspectives, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, pp1 - 9, [E. Garcia Iriarte, R. McConkey and R. Gilligan  ], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Jennifer Scholtz and Robbie Gilligan, "Encountering difference: young girls' perspectives on separateness and friendship in culturally diverse schools in Dublin", Childhood, 2016, Notes: [Published online before print May 26, 2016, doi: 10.1177/0907568216648365], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Robbie Gilligan and Laura Arnau Sabates, The Role of Carers in Supporting the Progress of Care Leavers in the World of Work, Child and Family Social Work, 2016, Notes: [Published online before print June 7th 2016 doi: 10.1111/cfs.12297], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Whittaker, J. K., Holmes, L., del Valle, J. F., Ainsworth, F., Andreassen, T., Anglin, J. P., Bellonci, C., Berridge, D., Bravo, A., Canali, C., Courtney, M., Currey, L., Daly, D. L., Gilligan, R., Grietens, H., Harder, A. T., Holden, M. J., James, S., Kendrick, A., Knorth, E. J., Lausten, M., Lyons, J. S., Martin, E., McDermid, S., McNamara, P., Palareti, L., Ramsey, S., Sisson, K. M., Small, R. W., Thoburn, J., Thompson, R. & Zeira, A. , Therapeutic Residential Care for Children and Youth: A Consensus Statement of the International Work Group on Therapeutic Residential Care, Residential Treatment for Children and Youth., 33, (2), 2016, p89 - 106, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Children In Care - Global Perspectives On The Challenges Of Securing Their Wellbeing And Rights in, editor(s)Anne Smith , Enhancing Children's Rights: Connecting Research, Policy and Practice , Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, pp127 - 139, [Robbie Gilligan], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED  URL
Foreword in, editor(s)James Whittaker, Jorge del Valle, Lisa Holmes , Therapeutic Residential Care For Children and Youth - Developing Evidence-Based International Practice, London, Jessica Kingsley, 2015, pp11 - 20, [Robbie Gilligan], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED  URL  URL
Laura Arnau Sabates, Robbie Gilligan, What helps young care leavers to enter the world of work? Possible lessons from an exploratory study in Ireland and Catalonia, Children and Youth Services Review, 53, (June), 2015, p185-191 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL

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Robbie Gilligan, How the government took 10 years to bring in a new law, 2016, -, Notes: [Public engagement article:], Miscellaneous, PUBLISHED
Robbie Gilligan and Laura Arnau Sabates, Care to Work Pathways International Research Project, Optentia Research Day, Vaal Triangle Campus, North West University, September 8th 2016, 2016, Notes: [DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.20441.52323 ], Poster, PUBLISHED
Robbie Gilligan, Ireland has more than 6,000 children in care. How are they doing in school?, 2015, -, Notes: [Public engagement article:], Miscellaneous, PUBLISHED
Robbie Gilligan, Direct Provision: Failing the Test of Delivering on Children's Rights, 2014, -, Notes: [Blog], Miscellaneous, PUBLISHED
Robbie Gilligan, "Global Challenges of Youth and Poverty - A role for universities?"  , 2014, Notes: [Video of lecture available via URL], Working Paper, IN_PRESS
Robbie Gilligan, Food for Thought The Contexts of Care, Food For Thought Conference, November 19th, 2013, IRISS.FM, 2013, Oral Presentation, PUBLISHED
Philip Curry and Robbie Gilligan, Submission to Dept of Education and Science Anti Bullying Forum, 2012, -, Miscellaneous, PUBLISHED
Robbie Gilligan, Submission to Dept. of Foreign Affairs Consultation Process for White Paper on Development Aid Policy, 2012, -, Miscellaneous, PUBLISHED
Robbie Gilligan, Taking a long term view in understanding life stories, Social Work Now - The Practice Journal of Child, Youth and Family (New Zealand), 44, 2009, p28 - 30, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Robbie Gilligan, Changing Children's Services - promoting and supporting informal care , Getting It Right for Every Child - GIRFEC: Childhood, Citizenship and Children's Services, Glasgow, 26th September 2008, 2008, Notes: [Podcast of presentation], Conference Paper, PUBLISHED


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Award Date
Extraordinary Professor, Optentia Research Programme, North West University, South Africa 2014 - 2017
Research Fellow SFI - The Danish National Centre for Social Research 2013-2016
Elected Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin 2004
Research interests revolve around children and young people: - Children and young people in challenging circumstances / with challenged status (public care, migration, ethnic diversity, disability, refugees etc) - Sources of resilience and support - Experiences of key transitions and turning points - Children and youth policy issues in international development' Current PhD students and study titles - Eavan Brady, 'A life course study of the educational pathways of adults who spent time in State care as children.' - Derina Johnson, 'The experiences of Separated Young People on the Thai - Burmese Border' - Melanie Labor, 'Occupying the Void: Young People's Narratives as a Gateway to a New Understanding of Youth Suicides - A Case study in a Disadvantaged Community in Ireland - Michelle Spirtos, 'The Life Experiences of Young Adults with Cerebral Palsy, hemiplegia'; - Sinead Whiting 'The Lived Experience of Late Adoption from Foster Care' and - Louise Yorke, 'The Migration of Rural Girls to Urban Areas for Secondary Education: A Case Study in Southern Ethiopia (SNNPR)'.