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Claire Mason

Senior Research Associate


Tel: +44 1524 594125


Career details

I joined the Department in 2003 as a Research Associate and took up the post of Lecturer in Applied Social Sciences in 2005. I am a qualified social worker and before coming to Lancaster, had practised in the fields of social care and community development for ten years. My practice experience has largely been with children and families and this continues to be my main area of interest.

Research Interests

I am particularly interested in practices surrounding support to children and families. I have been involved in a number of studies that have provided an analysis of career patterns and outcomes for children referred to a number of Local Authority's Children Services. This has involved both ethnographic study and case file analysis.

Current Research Activities

Evaluation of the impact of the Common Assessment Framework.

I am currently involved with the evaluation of the CAF in one particular Local Authority. This includes a case file analysis and interviews with a range of practitioners who have undertaken common assessments and parents who have been through the process

Children at the edge of care

Karen Broadhurst and I have recently commenced a research project in partnership with a large Local Authority examining the meaning ascribed to and the practices surrounding 'family support' for children who are 'at the edge of substitute care'.

Parents experiences of an intensive family support programme (one local authority)

I have a particular interest in parents expereinces of services and am currently evaluating parents experiences of a service aimed at families whose children are 'at risk' of being received into substitute care.

Reflexive support for foster carers

I am currently establishing a pilot project with a large voluntary sector agency which will examine the impact on of providing a reflective/reflexive support group for foster carers.

Following my practice experience I have a particular interest in participatory paractices with children and families both in terms of research methodologies and in social work practice. I have previously been involved in the delivery of a number of participatory projects working with children, young people and professionals.


Current Teaching

I am currently convening the Preparation for Practice II courses for both the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Social Work. These courses aim to help students develop their critical and reflexive approaches to practice. In addition I contribute to teaching on the Children, Young People and Families courses on both the undergraduate and postgraduate schemes.

I am currently Convenor of Part I of the BA Social Work.

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