Caroline Bald

School of Health and Social Care
Postgraduate Research Student
School of Health and Social Care
 Caroline Bald
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 874958

  • Location

    2S2.3.21, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    Friday 1-2pm



Caroline has been a social work academic since 2016 after a twenty-year career in adult and juvenile criminal justice social work specialising in multi-agency risk management, including authoring serious case reviews (SCR) and serious further offence reviews (SFO) for the Local Safeguarding Board and Ministry of Justice, Public Protection Unit, respectively. Joining the University of Essex in February 2020, Caroline was the programme lead for the Masters in Social Work with Human Rights (2020-23) and the School lead for Student Recruitment (2020 to present). Caroline's teaching commitments span the social work curriculum, reflecting my commitment to human rights and ethics where practice and theory meet. She is currently module lead for MA and BA modules focusing on law, human rights, contemporary practice issues and research skills. Caroline's research focuses on education justice. She is interested in critical approaches to social work education in public policy, focusing on language, narrative and inclusive education. She is founding chair of the UK's Joint University Social Work Education Committee (JUSWEC) Admissions Special Interest Group (SIG). She is research fellow on an NIHR-funded project developing brain injury social work education curricula (Heads Together). Caroline is due to complete her doctoral research in early 2024 focusing on understanding how admissions decisions are made at the point of entry into the profession and explicitly exploring how suitability is framed as a narrative in social work education programmes in England. Caroline is active in the research community: a member of the European Society of Criminology collateral Consequences of criminal records working group, Book Review Editor on Social Work Education, the International Journal (2021-23) now social media board member, and peer reviewer for Qualitative Social Work, Journal of Social Work and Journal of Practice Teaching and Education. Caroline is currently co-editing two special issues for Social Work Education, the international journal due for publication in 2023 and 2024. Caroline is an experienced external examiner for Glasgow Caledonian University and Kingston University (from 2020) and an External Advisor at the University of Wolverhampton (2022). Caroline is the co-chair of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) criminal justice group and co-convenor of the European Social Work Research Association (ESWRA) social work, crime and criminal justice particular interest group. Caroline is a trustee for Unlock, Brain Injury Social Work Group (BISWG) and Mental Health Time for Action (MHTFA). Research Interests: 1) social justice and human rights 2) social work education pedagogy (specifically, admissions and impact on learner experience) 3) Inclusive education (specifically, criminal records, care experienced)


  • Professional Doctorate in Social Care Education University of Essex,

  • PG Diploma Research Anglia Ruskin University, (2019)

  • Masters Social Work University of Glasgow, (1999)

  • BA (Hons) University of Strathclyde, (1997)


University of Essex

  • Lecturer (ASER), Social Work and Social Justice, University of Essex (3/2/2020 - present)

  • MA programme lead, University of Essex (3/2/2020 - 4/9/2023)

  • External Examiner, Social Work, Kingston University (6/9/2020 - present)

  • External Examiner, Social Work, Glasgow Caledonian University (7/6/2020 - present)

Other academic

  • School Lead for Student Recruitment, University of Essex (7/9/2020 - present)

Research and professional activities

Current research

Social work students with criminal records

Exploring the policies, processes and practices of admissions decision-making in relation to social work students with criminal records in England

Constructing Suitability

Exploring understandings and applications of suitability as a construction in decision-making in social work admissions in England

Heads Together: Brain Injury Social Work

Review of social work education, qualifying and CPD, to develop a bespoke learning tool to improve practice and intervene earning based on knowledge and skills.

Social Work Education Admissions

Researching decision-making practice in social work admissions in England in the last two years to better understand the construction of suitability.

Social Work Education and Criminal Records

Decision-making at social work education admissions regarding applicants with criminal records

The Interdependence of Independence: A Network Map of Children’s Services

This project aimed to map out the many individual and organisational national actors in Children’s Services in England. Notwithstanding current limitations, we live in a world with high expectations of transparency and unparalleled access to information. The amount of information we are faced with can make it difficult to understand bigger pictures. This project collated over 1,000 publicly documented connections between policymakers; public, private and third sector organisations; individuals; and other actors between 7th May 2021 and the 1st November 2021, drawing them into a single network map. The network map visualisation is interactive — you can click on any actor to read a brief description of their work in Children’s Services, or on any line between actors to view details about their link.
More information about this project

Evaluation You Can Programme in Tendring

The purpose of the You Can programme is to develop and establish a range of virtual and physical interventions based on the Health Education England Health & Care Academy model. This aims to promote how different employers and providers operating in Tendring can offer multiple education and training opportunities and career paths for young people as well as adults of working age. It also aims to enable the target audiences identified by the programme to access and benefit from such opportunities in collaboration with local partners. The model initially focused on the North East Essex health and social care sectors, with the intention to then investigate and pursue options to expand the model into other sectors where there are local workforce and skills shortages (e.g. education and construction). This should form the basis of a long-term partner strategy. The overarching vision for this partnership programme is to “grow talent in Tendring”. The first cohort of the You Can programme started in March 2021, with the course being actively marketed through partner contacts, social media and other channels. The You Can programme did not evolve as originally envisaged (mainly due to the national situation arising from the COVID-19 pandemic) so the original start date was delayed and the course was delivered online, rather than face to face, with significantly lower numbers than originally anticipated. The evaluation approach was therefore changed to reflect the project needs going forwards.

Conferences and presentations

Human rights teaching in social work education: experiences and research outcomes across Europe

European Conference Social Work Research (ECSWR), Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy, 14/4/2023

Making Headway - Think Tank

Invited presentation, World Congress on Brain Injury IBIA, Dublin Conference Centre, Dublin, Ireland, 30/3/2023

Stronger Together - the fragmentation of generic social work by marketisation, lessons from criminal justice

Joint University Social Work Education Conference, Leeds, United Kingdom, 23/6/2022

Empowerment, Human Rights and the Mental Capacity Act

Invited presentation, Dr Melanie George Memorial Conference: Complex decision-making in mental capacity practice, Friends House, London, 29/4/2022

Addressing long-term challenges impacting children in care and care leavers - improving educational attainment, addressing mental health concerns, and reducing offending rates

Invited presentation, Improving support for care leavers - educational progression and employment, coordination, addressing long term challenges, and priorities for policy, Westminster Education Forum policy conference, 24/1/2022

Modernisation or Mistake?

13th International Conference on Practice Teaching and Field Education in Health and Social Work, Journal of Practice Teaching and Learning, 8/10/2021

Justice Social Work is Social Work

Invited presentation, Mothers on Trial, Green Templeton College, Oxford, United Kingdom, 5/10/2021

Criminal Records and Public Sector Professional Education: exploring the role of enhanced criminal records checks in decision-making processes at admissions to social work courses in higher education in England, as case study

Invited presentation, European Society of Criminology, European Society for Criminology, Switzerland, 10/9/2021

"This is my oasis": an evaluation of the support for social work students' wellbeing and development of professional resilience in a Teaching Partnership

Joint University Social Work Education Conference, Joint University Social Work Education Conference, Cardiff, United Kingdom, 8/7/2021

The Pearly Gates

2nd Online International Doctoral Research in Education, Centre for Educational Research, Liverpool, United Kingdom, 7/7/2021

Realising Criminal Records: Exploring the role criminal records play in decision-making about admissions to social work programmes in England

European Conference for Social Work Research 2021, Bucharest, Romania, 5/5/2021

Realising criminal records: an examination of the role of criminal records checks in social work education admissions

European Conference of Social Work Research (ECSWR), European Social Work Research Association (ESWRA), Amsterdam, Netherlands, 7/4/2021

'Sharing Innovation in Undergraduate Psychiatric Education'

Invited presentation, AUTP Annual National Conference 2020, Birmingham Conference and Events Centre, Birmingham, United Kingdom, 14/2/2020

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Introduction to Law and Social Policy (HS191)

  • Critical Issues in Contemporary Social Work (HS652)

  • Social Work and Human Rights (HS656)

  • Relationship Based Practice (HS225)

  • Practice Placement 1 (HS654)

  • Speech and Language Therapy - Adults 4 (HS839)

  • Occupational performance and process (HS893)

  • Development of Practical Skills, Practice Supervisor Report 1 (HS729)

  • Development of Practical Skills, Practice Supervisor Report 2 (HS738)


Journal articles (13)

Ravalier, J., Wegrzynek, P., Mitchell, A., McGowan, J., McFadden, P. and Bald, C., (2023). A rapid review of social work reflective supervision.. The British Journal of Social Work. 53 (4), 1945-1962

Bald, C., (2023). Modernization or mistake? The impact of Covid-19 on social work course admissions in a university in England. Journal of Practice Teaching and Learning. 19 (3), 67-82

Howells, A. and Bald, C., (2022). ‘This is my oasis’: an exploration of student hub support for social work students’ wellbeing. Social Work Education. 41 (4), 556-576

Bald, C., (2022). SILENCE!: the great silencing of the working class culture. Social Work Education. 41 (8), 1-2

Bald, C., Wyllie, A. and Martinez Herrero, MI., (2022). Criminal records and public sector professional education: the role of criminal background checks in admissions to social work courses in England. Probation Journal. 69 (3), 337-352

Bald, C. and Howells, A., (2019). How do we professionalise social work without losing our soul? A reflection on the role and purpose of practice placements within social work education. Journal of Practice Teaching and learning. 15 (3), 75-87

Bald, C., (2019). Domestic abuse: The work undertaken by Community Rehabilitation Companies. Probation Journal. 66 (1), 138-140

Bald, C., (2002). Book Review: Good Practice with Vulnerable Adults. Probation Journal. 49 (2), 178-179

Bald, C., (2002). Book Review: Encyclopedia of Women and Crime. Probation Journal. 49 (1), 59-60

Bald, C., (2002). Book Review: Residential Work with Offenders. Probation Journal. 49 (4), 325-326

Bald, C., (2001). Book Review: Encyclopedia of Women and Crime. Probation Journal. 48 (4), 1-2

Bald, C., (2001). Book Review: Domestic Violence: Guidelines for Research-Informed Practice. Probation Journal. 48 (2), 161-162

Bald, C., (2000). Reviews : Making an Impact: Children and Domestic Violence - A Reader Marianne Hester, Chris Pearson and Nicola Harwin Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2000; pp194; £15.95, pbk. Probation Journal. 47 (2), 151-152

Book chapters (5)

Bald, C. and Amadiegwu, A., (2023). Decolonisation and critical social work pedagogies. In: Social work‘s histories of complicity and resistance. Editors: Wyllie, A. and Ioakimidis, V., . The Bristol University Press. 244- 260. 978-1447364283

Bald, C., Tynan, RR. and Dehnavi, O., (2022). A New Emancipatory Script: gendered post-sentence discrimination and experiences of reintegration. In: The Routledge Handbook of Women's Experiences of Criminal Justice. Editors: Masson, I. and Booth, N., . Routledge International Handbooks. 487- 498. 1032064307. 9781032064307

Bald, C. and Walker, S., (2020). Covid-19 and Social Inequalities in Health in the UK. In: Covid-19, Law and Human Rights : Essex Dialogues. A Project of the School of Law and Human Rights Centre. Editors: Ferstman, C. and Fagan, A., . University of Essex. 159- 166. 978-1-5272-6632-2

Bald, C., Carter, L., Ferstman, C., Fagan, A., Gilbert, G. and Wyllie, A., (2020). The Impact on Vulnerable Populations. Vulnerability: A Discussion. In: Covid-19, Law and Human Rights : Essex Dialogues. A Project of the School of Law and Human Rights Centre. Editors: Ferstman, C. and Fagan, A., . University of Essex. 147- 148. 978-1-5272-6632-2

Bald, C., (2020). Class of 2020 Social Work and Covid-19: Relationship-based Practice in a Global Pandemic. In: Social Work and Covid-19: Relationship-based Practice in a Global Pandemic. Editors: Buzzi, P. and Megele, C., . Critical Publishing. 135- 154

Reports and Papers (1)

Bald, C., (2019). Post-release supervision for short-term prisoners: thematic review

Grants and funding


Heads Together - Understanding Acquired Brain Injury: Addressing the knowledge and skills gap in Social Work education in order to improve practice and outcomes

National Institute for Health Research

Social work with conviction

University of Chester


Mid-Essex asset mapping for C360


Evaluation of the Tendring Health & Care Academy Programme

North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group

+44 (0) 1206 874958


2S2.3.21, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

Friday 1-2pm