Dr Sally Richards
BA, MSW, MSc, PhD
Research Visiting Fellow
Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work
Currently a visiting research fellow, Sally provides teaching for undergraduate and postgraduate modules. This is often - but not exclusively in the area of social work with older people.
Since her PhD (an ethnographic study of the community care needs assessment of older people), Sally's research and publications have focused on work with older people in social and health care settings and on issues in social work education. Sally has a particular interest in developing on-line research-based learning resources and is joint author, with Michelle Lefevre and Pamela Trevithick, of the multi-media e-learning resources on Communication Skills published by the Social Care Institute for Excellence. Most recently Sally has worked with colleagues to develop an online resource for continuing professional development in Social Work Practice with Older People commissioned by the Chief Social Worker for Adults. Her presentation on Newly Qualified Social Workers and work with older people and other presentations by members of Gero (G8) at a 'Making Research Count' day seminar ‘Rethinking Social Work with Older People’, are also available online.
Research group membership
Sally is a member of Gero (G) 8, a special interest group whose members are academics engaged in research and teaching in gerontology and gerontological social work. The group work to promote and enhance professional practice with older people and their families, primarily through developing research and resources to support social work practitioners and students working in this area. The group aims to reinvigorate professional practice and academic interest in social work with older people and their families and to ensure that this specialist area of social work is defended, developed and invested in.
Research grants and awards
- Continuity of Care a Scoping Exercise, NHS Service Delivery and Organisation National R&D Programme, £26,133, with Freeman, G, Shepperd, S., Robinson, I., & Ehrich, K. (2000).
- The Quality Project: National Evaluation of PMS pilots, funded by Department of Health, £7,272.00 (2000)
- The Quality Project: National Evaluation of PMS pilots, funded by Department of Health, £9,300.00 (2001)
- Teaching and Learning Communication Skills in Social Work Education, a research review commissioned by Social Care Institute for Excellence, £2,200.00 (2003).
- Communication Skills – E learning resources, subject expert commissioned by Social Care Institute for Excellence, £8, 800.00 (2007-8).
- Dignity in care of older people – bridging the gap between policy and practice, Dunhill Medical Trust, £125,000, with Victor, C., Williams, V., Martin, W., Le May, A. and Oliver, D.
Memberships of professional bodies
- Member of British Society of Gerontology
- Member of Reference Group Oxford Centre for Spirituality and Wellbeing (OCSW)/OxINMAHR
- Member of Steering Group Spiritual Care of Older People Project, Oxford Diocese.
Areas of expertise
- Gerontological social work
- Spirituality and ageing
- Qualitative research methods
- Narratives in practice and research
- Critical and reflective practice
Presentations since 2000
- Sept 2000 What do Older People Want from Primary Health Care?, paper presented at British Society of Gerontology Annual Conference - ‘Old Age in a New Age’, Keble College, Oxford (with Robison, J., Steiner, A. & Webb, D.)
- March 2001 The Message in a Bottle or the Spy in the Camp? The Challenges for Social Workers Conducting Participant Observation Research in Social Work Settings, paper presented at Social Work Research Association Conference - ‘Making a Real Difference’, Oxford Brookes University (with Postle, K.)
- May 2001 Older People and the Assessment Process: The User Perspective, invited paper at Kings Fund Conference - ‘Assessment of Older People’, Regents College, London.
- July 2003 Learning and Teaching Communication Skills in Social Work Education: a review of the evidence, paper presented at 5th UK Joint Social Work Education Conference - ‘Social Work Education: Learning from Our Past, Shaping Our Future’, University of Warwick (with Lines, L., Moss, B., Trevithick, P. and Phillips, J.).
- Feb 2004 Key Findings from the SCIE/SWAPltsn Research Review, invited plenary presentation at SWAP/SCIE Workshop - ‘Teaching and Learning Skills for Social Work Practice’, Coventry (with Trevithick, P.).
- June 2004 Battling Against the Odds? Older People, Care Practitioners and Person-centred Care, invited plenary presentation at AGEnet Research Network Workshop – ‘Research for a New Age: New Dimensions for Ageing’, University of Reading.
- July 2004 Communication Skills Training for Practice: the ethical dilemma for social work education, paper presented at 6th UK Joint Social Work Education Conference - ‘Social Work Education: learning together for effective and ethical practice’, University of Glasgow (with Trevithick, P.).
- Sept 2004 ‘Yes we do need to get personal’: assessment and the challenges of person-centred care, paper presented at British Society of Gerontology 33rd Annual Scientific Meeting - ‘Challenging Perceptions of Later Life’, Roehampton, University of Surrey, (with Anstey, K.).
- July 2005 Standing Secure Amidst a Falling World? Practitioner Knowledge in the Making, paper presented at British Society of Gerontology Annual Conference – ‘Ageing Societies: Critical Perspectives on the Past, Present and Future’, Keele University (with Donovan, S.).
- Nov 2006 Mining an Adjacent Seam: Rewards and Hazards in Secondary Analysis of Qualitative Data, paper presented in a methodological symposium at the Gerontological Society of America’s 59th Annual Scientific Meeting, Dallas, Texas.
- July 2008 “No we can’t use less words! Or can we?” Reflections on a journey into e-learning, paper presented at 10th UK Joint Social Work Education Conference – ‘ Social Work: People, Place and Politics’, Homerton College, Cambridge (with King, D., Lefevre, M. and Trevithick, P.)
- Oct 2008 Communication Skills-a SCIE e-learning resource set, launch presentation in plenary session ‘Innovations in communication teaching and research’ at interdisciplinary workshop, Professional Communication the Research-Practice Interface, University of York (with King, D., Lefevre, M. and Trevithick, P.).
- July 2009 Not just for specialists! Developing communication skills through e-learning, workshop at 11th UK Joint Social Work Education Conference – ‘Changing Identities’, University of Hertfordshire (with Lefevre, M., Trevithick, P. and King, D.)
- March 2011 Fit for purpose? Reflections on the experience of developing a secondary analysis of a qualitative data set to investigate practitioners’ understandings and knowledge of old age, paper presented at 1st European Conference of Social Work and Social Care Research: Innovation, Interdisciplinarity and Impact, St. Catherine’s College, Oxford.
- July 2011 Malignant Symptomatology? Gerontological social work research and education, paper presented in symposium ‘On the Critical List: Social Work with Older People’ at British Society of Gerontology 40th Annual conference: Understanding and Promoting the Value of Old Age, University of Plymouth (with Sullivan, M.P. and Tanner, D.).
- July 2011 Bridging the Gap between Policy and Practice: Dignity in Care for Older People, poster presented at British Society of Gerontology 40th Annual conference: Understanding and Promoting the Value of Old Age, University of Plymouth (with Cairns, D., Victor, C., Martin, W., Williams,V., Le May, A., and Oliver, D.)
- March 2012 Social Work’s other Tragedy: the care of older people in the UK, paper presented at 2nd European Conference for Social Work Research, Basel, Switzerland by Milne, A., and Sullivan, M.P. (on behalf of Ray, M., Richards, S., Tanner, D., Beech, C. and Phillips, J.).
- July 2012 Bridging the Gap between Policy and Practice: dignity in care for older people, paper presented at British Society of Gerontology 41st Annual Conference, Keele University (with Cairns, D., Victor, C., Martin, W., Williams,V., Le May, A., and Oliver, D.).
- Nov 2012 Dignity in Care for Older People: bridging the gap between policy and practice, poster presented at Gerontological Society of America, 65th Annual Scientific Meeting, San Diego California by Cairns D. and Victor, C. (on behalf of Martin, W., Williams,V., Le May, A., Richards, S. and Oliver, D.)
- Sept 2013 Dignity in care for older people: protecting the vulnerable or promoting autonomy – professionals’ perspectives, paper presented at British Society of Gerontology, 42nd Annual Conference, Keble College, Oxford by Cairns, D. and Williams V. (with Martin, W., Victor, C., Richards, S., Le May, A., and Oliver, D.)
- Sept 2015 Laying the Foundations: how can we encourage our NQSWs to work with older people? Presentation at Making Research Count Day Seminar - Rethinking Social Work Practice with Older People: threats and opportunities. Kings College London.
- June 2016 Working with Complexity: Supporting Social Work with Older People. Webinar with Prof Mo Ray, available at http://gsw.ripfa.org.uk
- July 2016 Working with Complexity: Supporting Social Work with Older People. Presentation at Department of Health - Excellent Social Work with Older People Day, London. (with Prof Mo Ray)
- July 2017 One Older Man and his Dog: meeting the challenge of developing an on-line learning resource for research-informed practice, paper presented at British Society of Gerontology 46th Annual Conference: "Do Not Go Gentle" - Gerontology and a Good Old Age, Swansea University (with Ray, M., Lloyd, L., Milne, A. and Tanner, D.).
- June 2019 Barrier Or Enabler? Navigating Language and Spirituality, paper presented at Seminar: Spiritual, Religious and Existential Well-Being in Health and Social Care. Brunel University (with Buckeldee, J.).
- 1996- 2003 Lecturer in the Department of Social Work Studies, at the University of Southampton
- 2004-2010 Lecturer in the School of Health and Social Care, at the University of Reading
- 2010-2014 Senior Lecturer in Social Work, Oxford Brookes University.