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Social Work: People


Mary Mitchell

Mary Mitchell
Dr Mary Mitchell
2.02 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK
+44 (0)131 6511530
Research Interests
Participation, Childhood and Youth Studies, Child Welfare, social work interventions, families, Reimagining Outcomes, repositioning positions of power, looked after children, Community social work, Recognition Theory in social work practice

Guidance and Feedback Hours

  • by appointment

A qualified social worker, I  have over thirty years professional experience in social work and community work, with a particular emphasis on work with children, young people and families. I have worked extensively in the voluntary, non-government and government sectors in both Australia and Scotland. I have also taught social work, community education and childhood practice at a number of academic institutions. In 2018  I  completed my PhD (Social Policy)  ‘Reimagining Family Group Conferencing (FGC) ‘Outcomes’’, which focused on investigating the contribution FGC makes towards outcomes for looked after children at risk of being accommodated, and their families.

My current research interests lie in investigating Family Group Conferencing as a self referral decision making process. I am also particulary interested in looking  at issues such as 'who defines outcomes', the role of recognition in social work practice and the value of community social work in social work education.

Winner – 2018 Scottish Graduate School of Social Sciences Impact and Knowledge Exchange Award for “Reimagining Family Group Conferencing ‘outcomes’’.

Current projects:

Recognition Matters: the value of recognition in child care and protection. This is a collaborative Knowledge Exchange and Impact project with Dr Ariane Crtchley, Edinburgh Napier Unievrsity and Family Group Decsiion Making Service, City of Edinburgh Council. 


Mitchell, M. (2019), Reimagining child welfare outcomes: learning from Family Group Conferencing  Child and Family Social Work, forthcoming

Mitchell, M., Tisdall , K., Riddell C.,(2018) Learning from FGC: Reimagining approaches and outcomes to child care and protection FGC, Research Briefing Paper:  CRFR and Children 1st

McMellon, C. and Mitchell, M. (2018) ‘Participatory Action Research and Young People’ in Building Research Design in Education: Theoretically informed Advanced Methods, John Ravenscroft and Lorna Hamilton (eds) , Bloomsbury publishing Ltd

McMellon, C. and Mitchell, M. (2016) Reinvigorating young people’s participation in Edinburgh, CRFR Briefing Paper 85

Young Edinburgh Action and CRFR Knowledge Exchange Project: A film exploring young people's experiences of being a young researcher 2016


PhD (Social Policy), 2018, The University of Edinburgh

Family Group Conferencing Certificate, 2013 (distinction), Robert Gordon University

MSc Childhood Studies, 2013 (distinction), The University of Edinburgh

MSc Integrated Service Improvement 2012, The University of Edinburgh 

Master of Social Work and Diploma in Social Work/CQSW 1996-1998, The University of Edinburgh 

Bachelor of Arts 1985 – 1990, Macquarie University 

If you are interested in being supervised by Mary Mitchell, please see the links below for more information:

PhD in Social Policy; PhD in Social Work