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Jennifer Simpson

Dr Jennifer Simpson

Senior Lecturer

Social Work, Care and Community

Staff Group(s)
Social Work and Health


Dr Jennifer Simpson is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work and Course Leader for MA Advanced Social Work in the Department of Social Work, Care and Community at NTU.

She lectures on the undergraduate, postgraduate and professional Social Work courses, including modules encompassing topics such as Looked After Children, Leading and Managing Social Work Services and a variety of CPD modules that consolidate learning from industry experience as well as allowing learners (upon completion) to supervise, teach and assess social work students.

Career overview

Before joining NTU, Dr Simpson taught on the Social Work courses as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Northampton.

Jennifer undertook her PhD at the University of Edinburgh, focusing on the area of Looked After Children and issues related to contact, which she completed in 2012. The research aimed to capture how contact between Looked After Children and their birth families has changed as a result of 3G telecommunications and social media, and whether or not there is a tangible impact in terms of key areas of local authority care.

Prior to joining NTU, Jennifer has also spent her career in a variety of practitioner roles, working as a Safeguarding Development Officer for a County Council and continuing on to become a Social Work Practitioner specialising in Fostering, before working at The Open University for 10 years as a Team Manager, Area Manager, and the Head of Social Work England.

Alongside all of this, Jennifer has conducted various research projects, had multiple articles published and been invited to be part of the Editorial Board at the Journal of Social Work Practice.

Research areas

Jennifer has done research in areas spanning social media and social work; child, adult and family social work/ services; as well as higher education continual professional development (CPD) for integrated social services workforces, in which she now teaches a variety of CPD modules as the Course Leader for the MA Advanced Social Work course here at NTU.

External activity

Dr Simpson is an External Examiner at Liverpool John Moores University and holds a position on the Journal of Social Work Practice Editorial Board.


Simpson, J. E. and Rai, Lucy (2020) Listening to stories of study: identity and the awarding gap experienced by Ethnic Minority students in the context of distance education. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-learning.

Simpson, J.E. and Clapton, G. (Jan 2020) A Brief History of Contact in Fostering and Adoption: Practice and Power plus The Coming of the Mobile Phone. Journal of Adoption and Fostering, Volume 44 issue: 3, pp. 272-284.

Simpson, J.E. (2020) Children in care and their use of mobile devices and the internet for contact. Iriss Insight 53.

Simpson, J.E. (2020) Twenty First Century Contact: Young people in care and their use of mobile communication devices and the Internet for contact. Journal of Adoption and Fostering. Vol. 44 (1) pp. 6-19.

Harrington-Vail, A; Simpson, J.E., Haider, S. Bardsley,J., Brown, G., Bayley, K. and Dale-Emberton, A. (2017) Addressing the needs of the children’s integrated workforce: A method for developing collaborative practice through joint learning Journal of Playwork Practice, 3(2) pp. 107-124.

Simpson, J.E. (2017) Staying in touch in the digital era: New social work practice Journal of Technology in Human Services, 35(1) pp. 86-98.

Taking advantage of dissonance: a CPD framework (2017) Simpson, J.E.; Bardsley, Janet; Haider, Sharif; Bayley, Kenneth; Brown, Gill; Harrington-Vail, Amanda and Dale-Emberton, Ann. Journal of Children's Services, 12(1) pp. 1-15.

Simpson, J.E.; Bardsley, Janet; Bayley, Kenneth; Haider, Sharif; Brown, Gill; Dale-Emberton, Ann and Harrington-Vail, Amanda (2016). Developing a CPD Framework in a time of organizational cultural conflict. In: MBAcademy International Business Conference, 15-17 April 2016, Brunel University, London.

Simpson, J.E. (2016)   Technology and the Fostered Child: A New Social Work Response Technology and Youth: Growing up in a Digital World Sociological Studies of Children and Youth. 19. pp. 351-367.

Simpson, J.E. (2016) A divergence of opinion: how those involved in child and family social work are responding to the Internet and social media.  Child and Family Social Work Child and Family Social Work, 21(1) pp. 94-102.

Simpson, J.E. (2014). "It's good to talk?". Every Child Journal, 4(2) pp. 49–54.

Simpson, J.E. (2013). Managing unregulated contact in the age of new technology: Possible solutions. Adoption and Fostering, 37(4) pp. 380-388.

Simpson, J.E. (2012). Grief and loss: a social work perspective. Journal of Loss and Trauma: International Perspectives on Stress and Coping, 18(1) pp. 81-90.

Press expertise

Experience of speaking in relation to Children in Care and their use of digital devices and the Internet.

Course(s) I teach on