Karen Winter, ESWRA Chair
Lecturer in Social Work, Queens University, Belfast

I am engaged in social work research that is organised under four main themes: children and young people in care; children’s rights; communication and relationships; vulnerable families and their children. The focus of my research is to improve outcomes for children and young people by research that: raises awareness about children’s rights and barriers that hinder opportunities for their engagement in rights; develops practice models; and evaluates programmes and services to ensure that children are benefiting and that service delivery achieves social justice by effectively addressing inequalities and discrimination. Research projects of which I am a team member are underpinned by both qualitative and quantitative methodologies and are multi-disciplinary. My work has contributed to the profile of high standard social work research as indicated through journal publications, research reports. My work is engaged with by practitioners regionally, nationally and internationally in their work with children.

Elena Cabiati, ESWRA Secretary
Relational social work research group, Department of Sociology, Catholic University of Milan, Italy

I’m a researcher and my main research interests are: Intercultural social work, Social work education and Child protection. I completed my Phd in 2014 with a doctoral thesis about child protection social workers. From the beginning of my academic pathway I’ve participated in national and internal research projects, including teaching periods abroad. At the moment I am teaching Methodology of social work and Intercultural social work at the bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in social work programs at the Catholic University in Milan. I’m a social worker with more than 10 years’ experience in Child protection services, both as practitioner and manager. I’ve published several articles in international social work journals.

Koen Hermans, ESWRA Treasurer
LUCAS, Centre for Care Research and Consultancy, KU Leuven

Section Social Policy and Social work, Centre for Sociological Research, Faculty of Social Sciences

Koen Hermans is assistant professor Social work and social policy at the Centre for Sociological Research, KU Leuven. He is also project leader at LUCAS, Centre for Care Research and Consultancy. His research interests are social work research methods, homelessness, discretion and social work as a human rights profession. He has been involved in many policy- and practice oriented research projects. He is the Chair of Cost Action 15218 ‘Measuring homelessness in Europe’. In Flanders, he is the chair of the Platform ‘Strong social work’, a cooperation between a variety of social work actors to strengthen social work.

PhD, Professor Florin Lazar, External Relations Committee
University of Bucharest, Romania, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, Department of Social Work

I am full professor of social work (2016), at University of Bucharest, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work starting academic career in 2001. I teach social policy, social work research methods, advanced social research and supervise doctoral students (habilitation in Sociology and Social Work). I carried out more than 25 research projects using qualitative, quantitative and mixed research methods financed by EU, UNICEF, Government of Ireland, UNFPA, or Ministry of Education. Recently, I carried out research on adoption, HIV stigma and social work profession. Before joining academia, I worked for 12 years as a social worker with people living with HIV and vulnerable children and youth. I am member of the editorial board of the European Journal of Social Work and executive editor of Revista de Asistenta Sociala (Social Work Review). I am president of the Social Work Research Commission and member of the Executive Board of the National College of Social Workers from Romania (the national professional organization), founding member of the National Association of Schools of Social Work (since 2010) and member of the Executive Committee of the European Association of Schools of Social Work (since 2017).

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Dr. Marcin Boryczko, Chair - Member Services and Research Resources Committee
Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social Science, Institute of Education, Department of Social Pedagogy, Gdańsk University, Poland

Marcin Boryczko is an associate professor at the University of Gdańsk/Poland where he teaches at the Social Work BA and MA. He is a member of Board of experts of Polish Federation of Social Workers and Social Service Employees Unions (Polska Federacja Związków Zawodowych Pracowników Socjalnych i Pomocy Społecznej) and Human Rights Commissioner in the European region as a member of International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW). His main research interests include social work education, critical thinking in social work, safety in social work practice, neoliberal governmentality in social work, and social workers’ protests.

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Sarah Vicary, Chair Awards committee and Elections and Nominations committee

Professor of Social Work and Mental Health, School of Health Wellbeing and Social Care, The Open University, United Kingdom

Sarah is Professor of Social Work and Mental Health at The Open University. Her research interests lie in the generation, dissemination and application of legal roles in Mental Health Social Work (MHSW) at the forefront of explorations of regulatory practices that restrict human behaviour. Underpinned by professional registration as a social worker Sarah provides sustained authorship of field-leading outputs offering MHSW expertise and guidance impacting on government, regulatory policy makers and practitioners.

Dr Sarah Vicary | OU people profiles (

Liz Frost, Chair - Special Interest Group Development Committee
Associate Professor, Social Work.

University of the West Of England, Bristol, Department of Health and Social Sciences

Ippokratis Efstathiou, Co-chair, PhD & Early Career SIG
Department of Social Work, University of West Attica, Athens, Greece

Ippokratis Efstathiou is a PhD candidate and adjunct Academic Staff in the Department of Social Work at the University of Western Attica, Greece. He holds an MSc in Social Discrimination, Migration and Citizenship, and a degree in Social Work from the Technological Educational Institute of Patras. As a Social Worker, he has been engaged in fieldwork projects related to homelessness, migration, community work as well as mental health units. As a professional, he has also participated in Crisis Intervention missions in Ukraine, Turkey, Mati, and Northern Evia area in Greece. He has also been involved in research regarding mental health, homelessness, community social work and crisis interventions.

Dr María Inés Martínez-Herrero
Lecturer at the National University of Distance Education (UNED), Spain

Inés qualified and gained working experience as a social worker in Madrid, Spain, before moving to England where she did a PhD (Durham University) and worked as a social work lecturer (2015-2021, Northumbria and Essex Universities). In 2021 she returned to Spain where she is a social work lecturer at the UNED University. Inés is passionate about social work research (particularly international, comparative, and critical theory and human rights-based research) and is part of established national (Spain & England) and international social work research groups and networks. In 2018, she joined the ESWRA Resources Committee and in February 2020 she was elected as an ESWRA board member. She has been the ESWRA vice-chair for April 2022 -April 2024. She brings to ESWRA her experience and a truly international perspective on social work research and collaboration in the profession, alongside a great deal of enthusiasm, dynamism, and thorough work.

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Assoc. Prof. Ozan Selçuk
Faculty Member in Social Work, Recep Tayyip Erdogan University, Rize

As a dedicated faculty member of Social Work at Recep Tayyip Erdogan University in Rize, Turkey, I was born in Trabzon in 1985 and graduated from the University of Turin with an MA and Hacettepe University with a PhD focusing on restorative justice and school social work. My research covers important areas such as social work education, migration, social work research, child protection and school social work. As an educator, I am passionate about teaching school social work, social work ethics, children's rights and welfare, and the history of childhood. Internationally, I actively contribute to the academic community by acting as the university's representative for international affairs, attending conferences and holding positions in networks such as EURORESO and the European Social Work Research Association. With more than a decade of experience, I excel in grant writing, project management and administrative tasks. As the Editor of the Turkish Journal of Social Work Research and the President of the Association of Humanitarian and Social Research and the board member of the Association of Schools of Social Work in Turkiye, I contribute my expertise to social work practice and research.

Prof. Dr. Melinda Madew
University of Applied Sciences Ludwigsburg, Germany

Melinda Madew is Professor of International Social Work, at the University of Applied Sciences Ludwigsburg, Germany. She has years of experience working with international aid organizations in Asia, Africa and Europe as social development consultant. She has done fulltime teaching in countries such as the Republic of Fiji, Philippines and Germany and enjoys doing guest lectureships in various European universities. She has conceptualized and led inter-university projects funded by the European Union including joint degree programs and curriculum development initiatives. Her teaching and research is in postcolonial social work. She currently serves as external examiner in development studies for the graduate school program of the University of South Africa in Pretoria. She is a research associate in gender and postcolonial studies at the University of Johannesburg.

Vaida Aleknavičienė, Doctoral Board member

PhD student at the University of Lapland, Finland

Lecturer at Mykolas Romeris University, Lithuania.

I am engaged in the research field of social work with children and youth, social workers challenges and changes, how social work is affected by different crisis (COVID-19, war in Ukraine, work with refugees from Ukraine, etc).

I am a lecturer at Mykolas Romeris University, Lithuania where I give lectures on social projects and programs for international ERASMUS students and Lithuanian students. I have got the certificate of PRINCE2 Foundation, and I work with international project in educational and social sector. Languages: English, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese.

Caroline Bald

University of Essex in the UK

Caroline Bald is a lecturer in Social Work at the University of Essex in the UK. She is co-convenor of the ESWRA Social Work, Crime and Criminal Justice SIG as well as co-chair of the British Association for Social Workers (BASW) Criminal Justice Group. Her research interests lie in initial social work education admissions and curricula, specifically inclusion and human rights. She sits on the boards of Essex Human Rights Centre and Social Work Education, the international journal. Her current funded research concerns brain injury social work and lived experience in multi-disciplinary education. She was recently asked to chair the charity, Brain Injury Social Work Group (BISWG).

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Darren Hill

Reader in Social Work & UCU Chair - School of Health

Leeds Beckett University

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Michelle van der Tier

Teacher at the Master Social Work

University of Applied Sciences HAN, the Netherlands

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