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Plenary speakers EUSARF-2010


Koos Duppen

Vice-President and Professor University of Groningen


Hans Grietens

President Eusarf, Professor University of Groningen


Wied Ruijssenaars

Acting Dean and Professor University of Groningen


Erik Knorth

Professor University of Groningen

Erik J. Knorth is professor and head of the Department of Special Needs Education and Youth Care (in Dutch: Orthopedagogiek), University of Groningen, the Netherlands. His research concentrates on service and intervention characteristics that impact treatment outcomes for children and youth with psychosocial problems. Related topics of interest are: evaluation of home-based interventions and out-of-home care, pedagogical work in residential care, ethnic diversity, and transitions into and out of care. In cooperation with the UMCG Department of Health Sciences he currently is involved in an extensive longitudinal study on service use and outcomes of children in care in the Northern part of the Netherlands. Erik Knorth chairs the editorial board of the Dutch academic journal Kind en Adolescent, is associate editor of the International Journal of Child and Family Welfare, and serves as the vice-president of Eusarf.


Ian Sinclair

Professor University of York

Following an initial academic training in philosophy and ancient history, Ian Sinclair had a varied career in supply teaching, industrial research, probation, counselling and social work. He gained his PhD with a study of probation hostels while working at the Home Office Research Unit. Over the past 28 years Ian has worked consistently in research, albeit with a period of teaching while Professor of Social Work at York University. Twelve of these years were spent as director of research at the National Institute of Social Work, where he was responsible for a large programme of research concerned with elderly people. More recently he has focussed on looked after children, first as Co-director of SWRDU and then as Research Professor. Here his major work has focussed on foster and residential care and movement among looked after children. Ian's work has contributed substantively to attachment theory and to the understanding of foster and residential care, and methodologically to the development of cross-institutional designs. He was vice-chair of the Social Policy and Social Work panel, and academic co-ordinator to the Department of Health research initiative on the Costs and Effectiveness of Children in Need. He is now officially retired but has been re-employed half-time to work on specific studies. Professor Sinclair was honoured for his work with the award of an OBE in the 2006 New Year Honours list.

Research interests: The evaluation of social work and social services with a particular interest in the relevance to this of attachment theory, and methodologies that combine quantitative and qualitative work. My recent work has been particularly concerned with foster care, residential work with children and young people and patterns of movement in the care system.


Marianne Berry

Professor University of Kansas


Nina Biehal

Professor University of York

Nina Biehal is Professor and Research Director of the Children and Young People’s Social Work Team at the Social Policy Research Unit, University of York, in England. Her research has focused mainly on children in and on the edge of care. Her published work includes studies of preventive work with adolescents, the reunification of children in care with their families, leaving care and runaways from care. More recently, she has completed studies of outcomes in long-term foster care and adoption, the reunification of children looked after due to abuse or neglect and Multi-dimensional Treatment Foster Care (MTFC) for young offenders. Her current work includes the national evaluation of MTFC for older children in care, the national evaluation of the DCSF’s social pedagogy pilot programme and a review of research on allegations of abuse by foster carers.


Bram Orobio de Castro

Professor experimental developmental psychopathology Utrecht University

Bram Orobio de Castro (1970) studied developmental psychology at the University of Amsterdam (Cum Laude). In 2000 he received his PhD at Free University in Amsterdam in collaboration with the Bascule Child Psychiatric Care. Orobio de Castro’s dissertation on social information processing by highly aggressive boys was given the best European dissertation award over the years 1999-2001 by the European Society for Developmental Psychology. In 2006 he was appointed as full professor. De Castro earned a VENI from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and numerous grants from ZonMW, government agencies, and child mental health institutions for his research.

His research focuses on the development of behavior problems, with an emphasis on experimental research into social-cognitive factors and longitudinal/experimental intervention studies. Emphasizing the need for developmental psychology to move from correlational and descriptive findings to causal explanations of development, he focuses on (longitudinal) experimental designs to unravel causal mechanisms driving differential development. To this end he developed valid and reliable measures of social cognitive processes and experimental procedures. Simultaneously, he set up randomized trials of the effectiveness of interventions to reduce disruptive behavior problems, with the secondary aim to study mediation processes. He is currently principal investigator of multiple randomized intervention trials.

De Castro heads the Utrecht University academic master developmental psychology, where he also teaches developmental psychology, intervention research, and intercultural development. He publishes in leading journals on aggressive behavior, such as Psychological Science, Development & Psychopathology, Child Development and the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology and cooperates internationally with leading researchers and clinicians in his field.




Ass. Professor University of Groningen

Jana Knot-Dickscheit is assistant professor at the Department of Special Needs Education and Youth Care (in Dutch: Orthopedagogiek), University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Her research concentrates on evaluation of prevention programmes for families and young persons at risk and on evaluation of intensive ambulant pedagogical home care programs for families and young persons in multi-problem situations. Related topics of interests are the quality of care and evidence based and practice based research. Jana is also in training as cognitive behavioural therapist at a mental health institute (Molendrift) and diagnoses and treats there children en adults with mental en behavioural problems.


Friedrich Linderkamp

Professor University of Oldenburg

Friedrich Linderkamp is professor of psychology at the Institute of Special Needs Education, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Germany, with the special topics of psychodiagnostics with children and adolescents, quantitative research methods, cognitive-behavioural trainings and evaluation. His research focuses on children and adolescents with learning and behavioural disorders in families at risk. Currently, on the basis of empirical results of evaluation studies, LeJA (Lerntraining für Jugendliche mit Aufmerksamkeitsstörungen) has been developed, which is a training to build up organisation and learning skills for adolescents with ADHD. A large evaluation study in a pre-post-follow-up-, multi-trait-multi-method-design has started. Additionally he has recently finished a prospective longitudinal study including 158 foster families to assess over a 2-years period the mental condition of foster children and foster parents. Friedrich Linderkamp is also involved in postgraduate education for child and adolescent psychotherapists.


Robbie Gilligan

Professor Trinity College Dublin

Robbie Gilligan is Professor of Social Work and Social Policy at Trinity College Dublin. He is Head of the School of Social Work and Social Policy, and Associate Director of the Children's Research Centre at TCD. Other Career Highlights: * Co-founder (with Ms. Sharon Jackson, Dr. Ronit Lentin, Professor David Little, Dr Peter Muhlau, Professor James Wickham) of Trinity Immigration Initiative. * Director of Children, Youth and Community Relations Research Programme * Elected Fellow of Trinity College Dublin, 2004. * Co-Founder (with Dr Virpi Timonen) of Social Policy and Ageing Research Programme (now Centre), TCD , 2004. * First Holder of Chair of Social Work and Social Policy at TCD, 2001. * Co-founder (with Dr Sheila Greene, Dept of Psychology) of Children's Research Centre,TCD, 1995. * Founder of multi-disciplinary post-graduate diploma in child protection and welfare, 1990, and subsequent companion MSc in Child Protection and Welfare,1995, TCD. * Frequent invitations as Plenary Speaker at International Conferences (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Ukraine, United Kingdom). * Has served as external examiner at many institutions and universities. * Former youth worker, social worker and foster carer. * Has been a board member of, and consultant to, various social service organisations.


Jorge F. del Valle

Professor University of Oviedo

Jorge Fernandez del Valle is Titular Professor at the Faculty of Psychology, University of Oviedo, Spain. He started as a social educator in residential care and then as a psychologist in family intervention programs in the municipality of Oviedo. Currently, he is the Director of the Child and Family Research Group (Grupo de Investigación en Familia e Infancia –www.gifi.es-) devoted to program evaluation in child care, particularly in residential and foster care. This research group has developed a number of tools to evaluate the quality of residential care programs. For example, the SERAR (Recording and evaluation system for residential care) is used in most of the Autonomous Communities in Spain and some regions in Portugal. In the last years he has undertaken the first national research about outcomes evaluation in foster care funded by the Ministry of Health and Social Policy. Currently, he is working on a study about mental health needs of young people in residential care.

He is associated director of Psicothema (Journal of Psychology) and member of several editorial committees of journals in the field of child care and social interventions.


Emily Munro

Research Fellow Loughborough University

Emily Munro is Research Fellow at the Centre for Child and Family Research, Loughborough University, England. She has undertaken a number of studies funded by the Department of Health and Department for Children, Schools and Families to inform policy and social work practice and promote positive outcomes for vulnerable children and families. Emily is currently directing the evaluation of R2BCared2 and the Staying Put 18+ Family Placement Pilot Programme. These initiatives both aim to improve young people’s transitions from care to adulthood. Her publications include ‘Babies and young children in care: Life pathways, decision-making and practice’ (co-authored) and ‘Young people’s transitions from care to adulthood: International research and practice’ (co-edited).


Mike Stein

Professor University of York

Currently, I am a Research Professor, in the Social Policy Research Unit, at the University of York. During the last 30 years I have been researching the problems and challenges faced by young people leaving care, including the contribution of leaving care services to outcomes. I have also researched mentoring for care leavers and the experiences of young people running away from home and care. My current research includes the neglect and maltreatment of adolescents. I am a co-ordinator of the International Research Network on the Transitions to Adulthood for Young People Leaving Public Care (Intrac). I have been involved in the preparation of best practice and training materials, as well as Guidance for Leaving Care legislation in the UK, and have also been consulted on the development of leaving care services internationally. I have published extensively in the field (see www.york.ac.uk/spru).

Last Updated on Saturday, 21 August 2010 09:21