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David Shemmings

David is the author of over 60 articles, books and chapters on relationally-based social work theory, research and practice. With his partner, Yvonne, they have recently published Understanding Disorganized Attachment: Theory and Practice of Working with Children and Adults (JKP Books) and, with David Wilkins and the late Brian Corby, Child Abuse: A Evidence Base for Confident Practice (MacGraw-Hill).    

David leads the Advanced Child Protection stream in the West London Alliance Post-qualifying Initiative (involving eight London boroughs). David also co-directs with Yvonne the Assessment of Disorganised Attachment and Maltreatment (ADAM) Project in over 30 child protection organisations across the UK and Europe (including the MoD). Finally, he is co-Director, with Dr Jane Reeves, of the online Centre for Child Protection at the University of Kent which has recently established a multi-disciplinary and international distance-learning MA in Advanced Child Protection as well as ‘serious, interactive games’ to enhance practitioners’ skills.

Prior to moving to Kent, where he is Professor of Child Protection Research, David was Professor of Social Work Research at Middlesex University. He qualified in 1974 and worked with traumatised children for a number of years. He then became a policy adviser for services to children and families to the Director of Social Services in Essex and was then Deputy Director of Social Services in Southend, before joining the University of East Anglia, Norwich in 1988. David spent 17 years at UEA, where he completed his PhD under the supervision of Professor David Howe, an internationally renowned expert on the implications of attachment theory for social work practice. He has spent the past 12 years looking at the implications of attachment theory in the field of child protection.



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