Dr Lesley Deacon


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Senior Lecturer Applied Social Studies and Social Work

I am a Senior Lecturer in Applied Social Studies and Social Work and teach on the following programmes: MSc Practice Development; MA Social Work and BSc Health and Social Care. I am also a Fellow of the HEA. I qualified as a social worker in 2007 and worked in front-line child protection at a local authority until becoming a lecturer in 2011.

I teach modules across levels 4 to 7 primarily focused on social work theory, practice and research.

Teaching and supervision

Module Leader:
SSC227 Working Together to Safeguard Vulnerable Children, Young People and Adults
SSCM08 Practice Development
SWKM30 Social Work Research Methods
SWKM32 Social Work Dissertation

Past teaching

  • Module Leader:
  • SSC106 Understanding Health and Social Care
  • SWK113 Psychology and Human Growth and Development
  • SWK224 Social Work Principles and Practice 2
  • SWK334 Social Work Principles and Practice 3
  • SWK322 Social Work Dissertation
  • SWK335 Social Work Ethics


PhD supervision

  • Director of Studies PhD, 2018–present, ME and the true self: Stigmatisation of living with an invisible illness ME/CFS
  • Co-Supervisor PhD, 2018–present, Exploration of women’s experiences of domestic violence in Kaduna State, Nigeria.
  • Co-supervisor M.Phil., 2017, Exploring Individual Perceptions of Adults Diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome using a Cultural Framework.
  • Co-Supervisor PhD, 2015–present, Child Labour, Child Education and Poverty in Nigeria

Examiner / AMR Panel Member

  • Internal Examiner PhD by Publication, 2018, Dyslexia, Traumatic Schooling and Career Success
  • AMR Panel Member, 2017, Exploration of women’s experiences of domestic violence in Kaduna State, Nigeria
  • AMR Panel Member, 2017, ME and the true self: Stigmatisation of living with an invisible illness ME/CFS
  • Internal Examiner, Professional Doctorate, 2016, “I will make a difference”; Using Action Research to Improve Audiological Issues for Adults with Learning Disabilities and Hearing Loss
  • Internal Examiner, 2016, Mock Viva, An Investigation of the Impact of Workplace Cultures on Health and Safety Management: A Case Study in Mears Group PLC.

Research interests for potential research students

My research interests include: social work theory and practice; practice development; critical realist grounded theory; post-positivism; organisation and management theory; practitioner research; safeguarding; harmful sexual behaviour; disability; dyslexia; working with children; vulnerable adults and working with marginalised groups.

Research

My research is primarily focused on practice and how services can respond to people who have more specialised needs. This is supported by the concept of the practitioner researcher – the need for social work practitioners to be researchers; and for research to be identified and developed through practice, in order to inform practice.

My published doctorate concerned Children’s Social Care Services Response to Children who Display Harmful Sexual Behaviour. This was written from a critical realist perspective using grounded theory to present data from a reality-orientated qualitative enquiry with a Local Authority case study. From this research generative mechanisms were identified in order to inform future research and make best practice recommendations.

Dyslexia & Practice Research: this extended research project, with Dr Stephen J Macdonald, has so far produced two co-authored papers. The research itself is in three parts. Firstly the quantitative analysis of data from the Multiple Homeless Exclusion Project in which the over-representation of people with dyslexia in the homeless population was identified as well as their susceptibility to addictive drug use. A social survey was then completed with people who have dyslexia; followed by biographical interviews. The final part of this research involves health and social care practitioners in order to understand how they respond to these adult service users who may have particular needs in relation to their dyslexia.

Isolation and loneliness: two projects have been completed in this area. Firstly a small-scale study to analyse the impact holistic services can have on the wellbeing of parent carers of children with disabilities and/or life-limiting conditions. This involved quantitative entry and exit surveys followed by qualitative semi-structured interviews with parent carers who accessed the service. The project aimed to evaluate the success of these services in order to determine their effectiveness in reducing the negative impact of stress, isolation and loneliness often experienced by parent-carers; which, it is argued, is a by-product of the increasing impact of Neoliberalism on today’s society

The second project was a large-scale Community Research Project. The project aimed to understand experiences of isolation and loneliness in the City of Sunderland in order to identify effective intervention. The project was funded by the Public Health Department, Sunderland City Council. Qualitative Biographical interviews were completed with 15 participants of varying age, gender and ethnicity. This then informed the quantitative study which identified disability as a significant factor in feelings of emotional loneliness and social isolation. The qualitative research identified the continued feelings of loss people experience throughout their lives which impacts on their feelings of emotional loneliness. It also emphasised the need to look outside of the Monday–Friday, 9–5pm areas of support and consider these people during evenings and weekends when feelings of isolation and loneliness are magnified.

My post-doctoral research has developed through the post-positivist perspective; using different theoretical perspectives in order to inform effective practice. This is also informed by my co-authored book Social Work Theory and Practice (2017) which identifies the need for practitioners to refer to an eclectic toolkit of theories and models to inform inclusive and anti-discriminatory practice. My developing research now takes a particular mixed-methods approach by firstly conducting qualitative research to hear the service user voice; this is then followed by quantitative research to test this. This methodological position utilises a social scientific approach to inform practice. It has culminated in a co-authored book chapter in the Routledge International Handbook of Social Work Theory (2018) ‘Disability Theory and Social Work Practice’.

Publications

Number of items: 5.

Article

Macdonald, Stephen J, Deacon, Lesley and Merchant, Jacqueline (2016) ‘Too Far Gone’: Dyslexia, Homelessness and Pathways into Drug Use and Drug Dependency. Insights on Learning Disabilities, 13 (2). pp. 117-134. ISSN 1949-1212

Macdonald, Stephen J and Deacon, Lesley (2015) No Sanctuary: Missed Opportunities in Health and Social Services for Homeless People with Dyslexia. Social Work and Social Sciences Review., 17 (3). ISSN 1746-6105

Conference or Workshop Item

Ihejieto, Chinyere, Fulton, John, Hayes, Catherine and Deacon, Lesley (2016) Child Labour, Child Education and Poverty in Nigeria; Conducting Research with Children. In: Young Persons Advisory Group North East, 1 Dec 2016, Great North Museum:Hancock, Newcastle Upon Tyne. (Unpublished)

Thesis

Deacon, Lesley (2015) PhD: Children’s Social Care Services Response to Children who display Sexually Harmful Behaviour. Doctoral thesis, University of Durham.

Deacon, Lesley (2015) Children’s Social Care Services’ Response to Children who Display Sexually Harmful Behaviour. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

This list was generated on Tue Feb 19 14:34:30 2019 GMT.

Areas of expertise

Advanced computer skills in software packages: Word, Excel, Access, Pagemaker and SerifPlus. Most of these skills were acquired working in the publishing industry.

Editorial skills: proofreading, editing, design and page layout. These were acquired through academic study on MPhil Publishing Studies, then in publishing roles such as Project Manager, Freelance Proofreader and Editor and Editorial Manager.

Further information

Publications

Macdonald, S.J. & Deacon, L. (2019) ‘Disability Theory and Social Work Practice’ in M. Payne and E.R. Hall Routledge Handbook on Social Work Theory. Oxford: Routledge.

Macdonald, S.J., Deacon, L. and Nixon, J. (2018) ‘The Invisible Enemy: Disability, Loneliness and Isolation’, Disability & Society. https://doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2018.1476224

Macdonald, S.J., Nixon, J. and Deacon, L. (2018) ‘Loneliness in the City: Examining socio-economics, loneliness and poor health in the North East of England’. Public Health, 165, pp.88–94.

Deacon, L. and Macdonald, S.J. (2017) Social Work Theory and Practice. London: SAGE Publications.

Deacon, L. (2017) ‘Human Growth and Development’ in L. Deacon and S.J. Macdonald Social Work Theory and Practice. London: SAGE Publications.

Deacon, L. (2017) ‘Deontology’ in L. Deacon and S.J. Macdonald Social Work Theory and Practice. London: SAGE Publications.

Deacon, L. (2017) ‘Utilitarianism’ in L. Deacon and S.J. Macdonald Social Work Theory and Practice. London: SAGE Publications.

Deacon, L. (2017) ‘Virtue Ethics’ in L. Deacon and S.J. Macdonald Social Work Theory and Practice. London: SAGE Publications.

Deacon, L. (2017) ‘Ethics of Care’ in L. Deacon and S.J. Macdonald Social Work Theory and Practice. London: SAGE Publications.

Deacon, L. (2017) ‘Radical Ethics’ in L. Deacon and S.J. Macdonald Social Work Theory and Practice. London: SAGE Publications.

Deacon, L. (2017) ‘Radical Social Work’ in L. Deacon and S.J. Macdonald Social Work Theory and Practice. London: SAGE Publications.

Deacon, L. (2017) ‘Classical and Modern Management Theory’ in L. Deacon and S.J. Macdonald Social Work Theory and Practice. London: SAGE Publications.

Deacon, L. (2017) ‘Organisational Theory’ in L. Deacon and S.J. Macdonald Social Work Theory and Practice. London: SAGE Publications.

Macdonald, S.J., Deacon, L. & Merchant, J. (2016). ‘Too Far Gone’: Homelessness, Addiction and Dyslexia: Insights on Learning Disabilities (ILD) From Prevailing Theories to Validated Practices.

Macdonald, S. J. & Deacon, L.(2015). ‘The Invisibles’: Conceptualising the Intersectional Relationships between Dyslexia, Social Exclusion and Homelessness. Learning Disabilities Worldwide at the International University of Venice.

Macdonald,S.J. & Deacon, L. (2015). ‘No Sanctuary': Missed Opportunities in Health and Social Services for Homeless Service Users with Dyslexia’. SOCIAL WORK AND SOCIAL SCIENCES REVIEW. Special Issue: Disability and Enabling Approaches. 17 (2) pp. 22-56.

Deacon, L. (2015) Children’s Social Care Services Response to Children who Display Sexually Harmful Behaviour. PhD, Durham University.


Last updated 05 December 2018