The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T +44 (0)1227 764000
- 01227 823166
Karen has joined the Tizard Centre as a researcher to work with Dr Michelle McCarthy on a project examining Domestic Violence and Women with Learning Disabilities which is funded by the NIHR School for Social Care.
Karen was admitted as a solicitor in 1985 and practicised law in London for seventeen years. She worked in private practice and local government, specialising in family, social services and education law. During this time she developed a particular interest in working with women who had experienced domestic violence.
Karen completed an MSc in Forensic Psychology at Kent University in September 2008 and has retained her links with the University working as a research assistant on two research projects. She worked on the REACH Project (2008) with Professor Dominic Abrams, Dr Tirza Leader and Professor Adam Rutland at the Centre for Study for Small Group Processes. This research involved testing the impact of role models' messages for Black boys and Black young men and it helped to inform the REACH role model programme. Karen also worked with Professor Alex Stevens and Dr Cinzia Brentari on the Connections Project (2009-2010) at the European Institute of Social Services Programme. This research investigated the integrated responses to drugs and infections across the European criminal justice system and helped to promote good practice in preventing drugs and related infectons in European criminal justice systems.
Karen currently works as a specialist advocate for a charitable organisation (SEAP) which provides an Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy Service in Kent. This work involves supporting adults who have been assessed as lacking the capacity under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to make important decisions about their future accommodation and serious medical treatment, as well as supporting them during care reviews. Karen also works with people who have been deprived of their liberty as a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Independent Mental Capacity Advocate.
Karen is a volunteer for HTV Circles and supports an offender with learning diabilities in a Circle of Support and Accountability.back to top
Karen is currently working with Dr Michelle McCarthy at the Tizard Centre on the NIHR School of Social Care funded project on Domestic Violence and Women with Learning Disabilities. The project aims to explore the experiences of women with learning disabilities of domestic voilence via in-depth-interviews, as little is known about this area. It will also explore the attitudes and practices of professionals in social care and also the police, through surveys (and some interviews). The research will build on the large body of existing evidence on domestic violence in the general population and the much smaller body of evidence on domestic violence for women with physical and sensory impairments. The findings will be disseminated via direct communications with women with learning difficulties and the professionals who support them as well as through the usual academic papers and presentations.
The Connections Project: investigated the integrated responses to drugs and infections across the European criminal justice system and helped to promote good practice in preventing drugs and related infections in European criminal justice systems.
Karen carried out a review of international guidelines and good practices on controlling the use of drugs and preventing and managing infections in prisons and criminal justice systems in Europe and also identified and gathered new examples of good practice in the UK and across Europe.
Karen prepared the research report "Good Practice in Preventing Drug Misuse and Related Infections in Criminal Justice Systems in Europe", drafted the recommendations on what further work needs to be done in this area for inclusion in the report to the European Commission and contributed to the final project report that was submitted to the European Commission.
The REACH Project: tested the impact of role models' messages for Black boys and Black young men and it helped to inform the REACH role model programme.
Karen assisted with the collection of data from young people in schools and further education colleges in London.
Karen's main research interests include domestic violence, learning disabilities and the criminal justice system (in particular, the prevention of drug use and related infections).back to top