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Current Postgraduate Research Students

Dawn Whitaker supervises 1 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Dawn Whitaker

Lecturer, Research Student

Dawn Whitaker

Lancaster University

Bowland North



Tel: +44 1524 592151

Research overview

Most recent publication: Developing Skills for Social Work Practice  

My research interests reflect three main themes:

Human rights, and rights-based social work practice.

Generating new and innovative approaches to safeguarding adults.  

Critical perspectives on mental distress, neurodiversity and mad studies.

Career Details

Lecturer and Registered Independent Social Worker:

Professional Registration: Health and Care Professions Council Registration number: SW64905

Membership of the British Association of Social Work

I worked for Lancashire County Council as a mental health social worker for many years, before joining their training department to deliver teaching on the Mental Capacity Act 2005. In 2008, I joined the NHS as a locality Mental Capacity Act implementation lead, with particular responsibility for implementing the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) across NHS Central Lancashire. 


Before joining the Department as a full time member of staff, I worked for eight years as an associate lecturer in Applied Social Science (now merged with the Department of Sociology).


For the past six years I have worked as an Independent Social Worker. I am regularly instructed as an independent social work witness by the Official Solicitor for the Court of Protection, specifically in cases where there is a health and social care dispute, or an adult is deemed to be ‘at risk’ requiring ‘safeguarding’.


I continue to undertake work as an ISW, and have been involved in a number of high-profile, landmark cases such as Cheshire West [Cheshire West and Chester Council v P (2011) EWHC 1330 (COP)] (see my 'projects' tab for more information).

Current Teaching

I convene and teach one BA module:

Swk.378 Mental Distress and Health

I also contribute to the BA Part Ones: Swk.116 Contemporary Social Problems & Swk.115 Social Work Practice


I convene and teach one MA module:

Swk.425 Mental Distress and Health



I convene one CPD course / module on the Advanced MA in Social Work: Social and biographical approaches to working with people who hear voices – a lived-experience perspective

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