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Trinity College Dublin

Personal Information
College Photo Name Gilligan, Robert Henry
Main Department Social Studies
College Title Professor
College Tel  
Fax +353 1 671 2262
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. Other Career Highlights: * Visiting Professor: Dept. of Social Work, Charles University, Prague, 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) * 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. * Co-Founder (with Dr Virpi Timonen) of Social Policy and Ageing Research Programme (now Centre), TCD , 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. * PhD Supervision. Theses successfully completed: ‘The Body, Masculinities and Racism - Social Relations between migrant and dominant group boys in three inner city primary schools in Dublin’, Lindsey Garratt, 2012; ‘Narratives of Mobility, Difference, Belonging and Home: Girls’ Experience of Immigration to Ireland’, Jennifer Scholtz, 2012; ‘Social and physical ecologies of childhood: A case study of children's perspectives on their neighbourhood’, Margaret Rogers, 2009; ‘Negotiating changed contexts and challenging circumstances: The experiences of unaccompanied minors living in Ireland’, Muireann Ni Raghallaigh, 2007. * M.Litt. Supervision. Research theses successfully completed[intended award sought by candidate]: ‘Risk management and parental mental illness: an exploratory study of service providers’ views’, Gloria Kirwan, 2010; ‘Adolescent social bonding and substance use: A local study in Co. Mayo’, Mary Cunningham, 2002; ‘Perceived social networks and social support among parents of adolescents: A study of twenty six cases in a disadvantaged community’, Pat Dolan, 1997; ‘Residential Child Care: An Analysis of Activities and Tasks and their Implications for the Organisational Design of Residential Child Care Units’, Gay Graham, 1994. * 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 Bristol (EdD), University of Cardiff (PhD), 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 been a board member of, and consultant to, various social service organisations.
Details Date
President of Childwatch International Research Network, 2010-2013 2010-2013
Member of the International Advisory Board, Leuven Centre for Irish Studies, K.U. Leuven, 2011-14
Vice President of Childwatch International Research Network 2005-10
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 -
More Representations>>>
Awards and Honours
Award Date
Elected Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin 2004
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
English Fluent Fluent Fluent
French Medium Medium Medium
German Basic Basic Basic
Irish Medium Medium Medium
Description of Research Interests
Research interests include children and young people in state care; children, diversity and migration; family support; men as foster carers; and programmes to combat social disadvantage among young people.
Research Interests
Child Welfare Child welfare, family support,children in care Children/Youth FOSTER CARE
Foster Care Immigration Inner-City International children's research
Irish child welfare policy MIGRATION Minorities and Disadvantaged NEEDS
PERMANENCY Refugee/Immigrant Services SUPPORT Social Services Delivery
Social Work children in state care family support programmes to combat social exclusion among young people
Research Projects
Project title Immigrant Youth Research Project
Summary Study of the views and experiences of 169 young people aged 15 - 18. Recruitment to study reflected balance in terms of ages, gender, cultural background, length of time in country, current location, etc
Funding Agency Integrating Ireland and Trinity Immigration Initiative
Type of Project
Date from 1.7.08-
Date to 31.12.09
Person Months

Project title Learning Together
Summary Prospective case study approach to school based research on relations between immigrant and 'local' children and young people in north inner city of Dublin. This project is part of the Children, Youth and Community Relations Research Programme
Funding Agency Trinity Immigration Initiative
Type of Project
Date from 1-10-07
Date to 30-9-10
Person Months

Project title Resilience and Children in State Care
Summary Ongoing conceptual study that commenced in 1996. Using relevant case material, it seeks to explore the relevance of research evidence on resilience in relation to children and young people in public care for policy, and for practice by carers, social workers and others . Product to date includes a book, multiple chapters, journal articles and conference papers.
Funding Agency
Type of Project
Date from 1996
Date to ongoing
Person Months

Project title Children in Long Term Foster Care
Summary Longitudinal study of a national cohort of young people in long term foster care (n=205). First stage completed and report published; second stage report in preparation. Research team comprises Fiona Daly and Robbie Gilligan (P.I.)
Funding Agency National Children's Office / Office of Minister for Children and Youth Affairs
Type of Project
Date from 2001
Date to ongoing
Person Months

Project title Young People as Carers of Dependant Parents or Siblings
Summary Policy and Literature Review. Led by Anne-Marie Halpenny
Funding Agency Irish Youth Foundation / Barnardos and Children's Research Centre
Type of Project
Date from 2003
Date to 2004
Person Months

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Publications and Other Research Outputs
Peer Reviewed
Children, social networks and social support in, editor(s)Hill, M., Head, G., Lockyer, A., Reid, B. and Taylor, R. , Children’s Services: Working Together, Harlow, Pearson, 2012, pp116 - 126, [Gilligan, R.]
Curry, P., Gilligan, R., Garratt, L., Scholtz, J., Where to From Here? Inter-ethnic Relations among Children in Ireland, Dublin, Liffey Press, 2011, xv + 208-
Robbie Gilligan, Tony Gregory, Dublin, O'Brien Press, 2011, 240pp
Notes: [Podcast of radio interview about book:]
Williams, David and Gilligan, Robbie, Self Injury and the Challenges of Responding to Young People in Care:The Experiences of a Sample of Social Care Workers , Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies, 11, (1), 2011
Selected Outcomes for Young People Aged 17-19 Years in Long Term Foster Care in Ireland in, editor(s)Elizabeth Fernandez and Richard P. Barth , How Does Foster Care Work? International Evidence on Outcomes, London, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2010, pp243 - 259, [Fiona Daly and Robbie Gilligan]
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Last Updated:24-APR-2014