Dr Mary Baginsky
Reader in Social Care
Dr Mary Baginsky was a Visiting Senior Research Fellow in the Unit from 2013-2017, joining the Unit in 2017. She became Reader in Social Care at the Unit in 2023. In 2022 she was appointed as a NIHR School for Social Care Research (SSCR) Senior Fellow. Mary leads on the Unit's contribution to the SSCR.
During her time in HSCWRU she has led:
- an evaluation of a fast-track programme for training social workers
- the evaluation of three projects in the Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme – MTM’s Signs of Safety project (Stages 1 and 2) across ten English local authorities and the introduction of the New Orleans Intervention Model into a London Borough.
- a scoping review of fostering research commissioned by the Department for Education to inform its fostering stocktake.
- an ESRC funded project on Decision-making and Multiagency Working
- an evaluation of the West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership.
- a series of projects during the pandemic looking at the impact of COVID-19 on social work practice
- research into the operation and impact of Care Act Easements during COVID-19
- various evaluations of reorganisations in local authorities
She is currently:
- leading a research project on the role of adult social care when children are removed following child care proceedings from parents with learning disabilities (NIHR SSCR funded)
- working with University of Cardiff on regulation of social care workforce (NIHR funded)
- examining the impact of training for the social work profession during the pandemic in partnership with University of Winchester
- a member of the senior management team on SOCRATES project - an NIHR funded project supporting Social Care Rapid Evaluations
- a member of NIHR SSCR CB Management Team and co-chairs the Career Development Awards Cohort group.
- a member of NIHR Policy Research Programme Committee
- an expert member of the Social Care Research Ethics Committee
- Visiting Research Fellow, University of Winchester
- a member of ESRC Peer Review College
In the past five years she has presented papers at conferences in the UK, Belgium, Italy, Hong Kong and Denmark. She convenes the Contemporary Issues and Debates in Social Work Education, Research and Practice seminar series and is a convenor of the Decisions, Assessment and Risk Special Interest Group (DARSIG) of the European Social Work Research Association.
She is currently supporting practice development work in Denmark and working with the Danish Association of Social Workers to look at workforce issues in the two countries. She is also working with a group of researchers from Australia, Israel and Japan to explore the literature on social work identity and work towards the development of a new measure.
Mary has held positions in academic, public, voluntary and independent and private sectors. She has worked in and with government departments and agencies in the United Kingdom and overseas, local authorities and partnerships, higher education institutions, charities and service providers.
Before coming to the Unit Dr Baginsky was:
- Professional Adviser on Research and Evaluation at Department for Education
- Assistant Director at Children’s Workforce Development Council
- Head of Research at Children’s Workforce Development Council
- Senior Consultant at GHK Consulting
- Senior Research Officer at NSPCC
She has also had periods of secondments to:
- Department for Education and Skills to conduct the evaluation of the role of Investigation and Referral Support Consultants
- Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London to work on strategic options
- Department for Children, Schools and Families to support the work of the Social Work Task Force.
Dr Baginsky was a 2013 Churchill Fellow examining approaches to social work training in USA, Canada and Europe.
Dr Baginsky spoke on the Social Work Research Podcast (22 August 2022) about parents' views of social workers.