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Trevor Spratt
AIB Professor in Childhood Research, Social Studies
Director of Children's Research Centre, Children's Research Centre

Biography

Having worked for some 10 years in social work practice with children and families my research interests are in this area. These include, decision making by professionals, how policy objectives are translated into professional practises, the development of child protection systems internationally, and the impact of early adversities in childhood as realised across the life-course. My first academic position was with the University of Ulster in 1997, moving thereafter to Queen's University Belfast in 2000. I took up the position as Director of the Children's Research Centre at TCD in 2014.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Devaney, J., Hayes, D. and Spratt, T., The Influences of Training and Experience in Removal and Reunification Decisions Involving Children at Risk of Child Maltreatment: Detecting a 'Beginner Dip', British Journal of Social Work, 2017, p1 - 20 Journal Article, 2017

McGavock, L. and Spratt, T., Children Exposed to Domestic Violence: Using Adverse Childhood Experience Scores to Inform Service Response, British Journal of Social Work, 2016, p1 - 19 Journal Article, 2016 DOI

Spratt, T., Devaney, J. and Hayes, D., In and out of home care decisions: The influence of confirmation bias in developing decision supportive reasoning, Child Abuse & Neglect, 2015, p1 - 10 Journal Article, 2015 DOI

Rami Benbenishty, Bilha Davidson-Arad, Monica Lopez, John Devaney, Trevor Spratt, Carien Koopmans, Erik j. Knorth, Cilia L.M. Witteman, Jorge F. Del Valle, David Hayes , Decision making in child protection: An international comparative study on maltreatment substantiation, risk assessment and interventions recommendations, and the role of professionals' child welfare attitudes , Child Abuse & Neglect, 2015, p1-13 Journal Article, 2015 URL

Devaney, J., Lazenbatt, A., Bunting, L., Davidson, G., Hayes, D. and Spratt, T., The Relationship Between Cumulative Adversity in Childhood and Adolescent Suicide and Accidental Death, Developing Practice, 38, (4), 2014, p17 - 31 Journal Article, 2014

Spratt, T., Nett, J., Bromfield, L., Heitamaki, J., Kindler, H. and Ponnert, L., Child Protection in Europe: Development of an International Cross-Comparison Model to Inform National Policies and Practices, British Journal of Social Work, 2014, p1 - 18 Journal Article, 2014

McGavock, L. and Spratt, T., Prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences in a University Population: Associations with use of Social Services, British Journal of Social Work, 44, (3), 2014, p657 - 674 Journal Article, 2014

Hayes, D. and Spratt, T., Child Welfare as Child Protection then and now: What Social Workers did and continue to do, British Journal of Social Work, 44, (3), 2014, p615 - 635 Journal Article, 2014

Spratt, T., Why Multiples Matter: Reconceptualising the Population Referred to Child and Family Social Workers, British Journal of Social Work, 42, (8), 2012, p1574 - 1591 Journal Article, 2012

Spratt, T., Families with multiple problems: Some challenges in identifying and providing services to those experiencing adversities across the life course, Journal of Social Work, 11, (4), 2011, p343 - 357 Journal Article, 2011

Houston, S., Spratt, T. and Devaney, J., Mandated prevention in child welfare: Considerations from a framework shaping ethical inquiry, Journal of Social Work, 11, (3), 2011, p287 - 305 Journal Article, 2011

Davidson, G., Devaney, J. and Spratt, T., The impact of adversity in childhood on outcomes in adulthood: Research lessons and limitations, Journal of Social Work, 10, (4), 2010, p369 - 390 Journal Article, 2010

Devaney, J. and Spratt, T., Child abuse as a complex and wicked problem: Reflecting on policy developments in the United Kingdom in working with children and families with multiple problems, Children and Youth Services Review, 31, (6), 2009, p635 - 641 Journal Article, 2009

Spratt, T., Identifying families with multiple problems: Possible responses from child and family social work to current policy developments, British Journal of Social Work, 39, (3), 2009, p435 - 450 Journal Article, 2009

Spratt, T. and Devaney, J., Identifying families with multiple problems: Perspectives of practitioners and managers in three nations, British Journal of Social Work, 39, (3), 2009, p418 - 434 Journal Article, 2009

Hayes, D. and Spratt, T., Child welfare interventions: Patterns of social work practice, British Journal of Social Work, 39, (8), 2009, p1575 - 1597 Journal Article, 2009

Spratt, T., Possible Futures for Social Work with Children and Families in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, Child Care in Practice, 14, (4), 2008, p413 - 427 Journal Article, 2008

Spratt, T. and Callan, J., Parents' views on Social Work Interventions in Child Welfare Cases, British Journal of Social Work, 34, (2), 2004, p199 - 244 Journal Article, 2004

Spratt, T., Child Protection Work and Family Support Practice in Five Family Centres, Child Care in Practice, 9, (1), 2003, p19 - 30 Journal Article, 2003

Spratt, T., The Influence of Child Protection Practice Orientation on Child Welfare Practice, British Journal of Social Work, 31, (6), 2001, p933 - 954 Journal Article, 2001

Houston, S., Magill, T., MaCollum, M. and Spratt, T., Developing Creative Solutions to the Problems of Children and their Families: Communicative Reason and the use of Forum Theatre, Child and Family Social Work, 6, (4), 2001, p285 - 294 Journal Article, 2001

Houston, S., McCullough, W., Spratt, T. and Hasson, F., Integrated Family Centres: Directions for Future Developments, Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies, 2, (3), 2000, p56 - 72 Journal Article, 2000

Spratt, T., Decision Making by Senior Social Workers at Point of First Referral, British Journal of Social Work, 30, (5), 2000, p597 - 618 Journal Article, 2000

Spratt, T., Houston, S. and Magill, T., Imaging the Future: Theatre and change within the Child Protection System, Child and Family Social Work, 5, (2), 2000, p117 - 127 Journal Article, 2000

Spratt, T. and Houston, S., Developing Critical Social Work in Theory and in Practice, Child and Family Social Work, 4, (4), 1999, p315 - 324 Journal Article, 1999

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

Safeguarding Children Research: A United Kingdom Perspective in, editor(s)Lorraine Waterhouse and Janice McGhee , Challenging Child Protection, London, Jessica Kingsley, 2015, pp77 - 88, [Trevor Spratt] Book Chapter, 2015

Cross-national comparison of caseworkers' attitudes towards child welfare issues and their impact in risk assessments and decisions to place a child out-of-home in, editor(s)C. Canali and T. Vecchiato , Foster care in Europe: what do we know about outcomes and evidence?, Padova, Italy, Zancan Publishing, 2013, pp57 - 60, [Lopez, M., Koopmans, A.C., Knorth, E.J., Witteman, C. Benbenishty, R., Dv] Book Chapter, 2013

Devaney, J., Bunting, L., Davidson, G., Hayes, D., Lazenbatt, A. and Spratt, T., Still Vulnerable: The Impact of Early Childhood Experiences on Adolescent Suicide and Accidental Death, Belfast, Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, 2012, 1, 95 Report, 2012

Nett, J. and Spratt, T., An international study comparing child protection systems from five countries (Australia, Finland, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom) that provides scientifically founded recommendations for improving child protection in Switzerland, Bern, University of Applied Social Science, Bern, August, 2012, 1, 258 Report, 2012

Trevor Spratt, An Evaluation of Dr B's Kitchen, Belfast, Barnardo's , October, 2010, 1, 46 Report, 2010

The Changing Landscape of Social Care: Implications for Working with Involuntary Clients in, editor(s)Martin C. Calder , The carrot or the stick? Towards effective practice with involuntary clients in safeguarding children work, Lyme Regis, Russell House Publishing, 2008, pp12 - 24, [Trevor Spratt] Book Chapter, 2008

Current Understandings of Critical Social Work in, editor(s)Steven Hick, Jan Fook and Richard Pozzuto , Social Work: A Critical Turn, Toronto, Thompson Education Publishing, 2005, pp3 - 24, [Jim Ife, Karen Healy, Trevor Spratt and Brenda Soloman] Book Chapter, 2005

Radical Drama with Children: Working with Children Using Critical Social Work Methods in, editor(s)Steven Hick, Jan Fook and Richard Pozzuto , Social Work: A Critical Turn, Toronto, Thompson Education Publishing, 2005, pp105 - 120, [Trevor Spratt] Book Chapter, 2005

Pinkerton, J., Skehill, C. and Spratt, T., A Policy Evaluation of the Existing and Potential Contribution of Barnardo's to the Development of Family Support in Northern Ireland, Belfast, Centre for Child Care Research and the School of Social Work, Queen's University Belfast, June, 2001, 1, 112 Report, 2001

Child Care Legislation and Social Work Practice in Northern Ireland in, editor(s)D. Iwaniec and J. Szmagalski , Emotional Maltreatment and Failure to Thrive: Identification, Assessment and Treatment , Warsaw, University of Warsaw Press, 2001, pp57 - 63, [Trevor Spratt and Kathryn Higgins] Book Chapter, 2001

Trevor Spratt, Child Abuse and the Church, Frontiers, 4, (2), 2000, p17 - 21 Journal Article, 2000

Trevor Spratt, Constructing Child Abuse: Patterns and Possibilities, Belfast, University of Ulster and South and East Belfast Trust, 1999, 1, 103 Report, 1999

Trevor Spratt, Child Care Problems: Untying the Knot, Belfast, Down Lisburn Health and Social Care Trust, 1999, 1, 58 Report, 1999

Spratt, T., Hasson, S. and McCullough, W., An Evaluation of Newry Family Resource Centre, Belfast, Barnardo's and the Southern Health and Social Services Board, October, 1998, 1, 49 Report, 1998

Research Expertise

Description

1. Professional decision making. I have research experience in professional decision making with respect to children's protection and their welfare. Much of this has been concerned with national and comparative international investigations into knowledge and contextual determinants of decision making. 2. The translation of social policy into professional practices. I have undertaken research into patterns of practice in response to social policy initiatives pertaining to children and families. This work has been particularly concerned to investigate the relationship between official system output measures and child wellbeing indicators. 3. The life-course influences of multiple adversities experienced in childhood. This interdisciplinary research has been concerned with investigating associations between early childhood adversities and later health, economic and social outcomes in adulthood and drawing out implications for policy makers and practitioners concerned with evidence informed interventions.

Projects

  • Title
    • Decision Making in Child Welfare
  • Summary
    • This is an international study comprising partners in Northern Ireland, Israel, the Netherlands and Spain. A case study methodology and standardised questions is used to examine maltreatment substantiation, risk assessment and interventions recommendations, and the role of professionals' child welfare attitudes.
  • Funding Agency
    • The Harav Institute Israel
  • Date From
    • 01/08/09
  • Date To
    • 31/12/15
  • Title
    • The effectiveness of service provided by the Daughters of Charity
  • Summary
    • The development of standardised instrumentation to measure the efficacy of services provided to children and families by the Daughters of Charity. Staff will be trained in the use of these instruments and the results will be analysed to measure any effect of service intervention over time.
  • Funding Agency
    • The Daughters of Charity
  • Date From
    • 01/09/19
  • Date To
    • 31/12/17

Recognition

Memberships

Registered Social Worker with the Northern Ireland Social Care Council 2004 – 2014


Last updated 4 June 2015 School of Psychology (Email).