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Dr Charlotte Scott

Profile summary

Professional biography

I have worked in social care for almost 25 years, with my first job as a Housing Officer in a direct access nightshelter and hostel in Brighton.  I qualified as a Social Worker in 2004 and worked as an Approved Mental Health Professional in Community Mental Health Teams before moving into management roles within a Local Authority, including Principal Social Worker.  I am a Practice Educator and Best Interests Assessor and completed a PG Diploma in Psycho-social Interventions in Health and Social Care.  Alongside work in the Local Authority I undertook an ESRC funded PhD at the University of Leeds, School of Healthcare and contributed to teaching on the Social Work programme both at Leeds and the University of York.  I am a Social Work England Partner and Associate with Research in Practice.

I remain a registered Social Worker with Social Work England (SW80303).

I am a member of the British Assocation of Social Work.


Research interests

My PhD research explored how Approved Mental Health Professionals make decisions during Mental Health Act assessments, using observations of practice and reflective interviews to gather the data.  I am interested in Rights Based practice,  the application of policy/statute to practice, professional discretion, power, coercion, and the ways in which this is understood by practitioners.  My research explored how practitioners develop legal literacy, and the ethics and values of practice.  I am inspired by the Social Model of Disability and the Survivor movement within Mental Health, exploring ways in which I can contribute my research knowledge and experience to support and promote research from the perspective of people with lived experience.

In recent years I have carried out qualitative research in prisons, exploring drug use and the impact of drug testing regimes. 

Current research activities include a scoping review of the experiences and identity of Mental Health Social Workers in non-healthcare settings, in collaboration with Professor Sarah Vicary (Open University) and Dr Kevin Stone (University of Warwick), and the value and importance of reflective spaces (including supervision) to support practitioners to work from a person centred, anti oppressive, rights based perspective.  I am also interested in the experience of practioner-researchers and what being an ethically informed researcher entails.  


Stone, K., Vicary, S., Scott, C., & Buckland, R. (2019). Ethical Approval and Being a Virtuous Social Work Researcher. The Experience of Multi-site Research in UK Health and Social Care: An Approved Mental Health Professional Case Study. Ethics and Social Welfare14(2), 156–171.

Webber, Martin Paul, Scott, C., Carr, Sarah et al. (2015) Evaluation of Mental Effectiveness Training for People with Experience of Using Mental Health Services: Final Report for Comic Relief. Research Report. International Centre for Mental Health Social Research, University of York , York. 

Teaching interests

I am interested in anti racist practice and allyship, mental health, the Social Model of Disability, Social Work in prisons, professional identity, values and ethics, and law.

I have presented at a wide range of international conferences including the International Congress for Mental Health Law (Vienna & Prague), European Social Work Research Conference (Ljubiana, Bolzano, Edinburgh), Qualitative Research in Mental Health (Crete).

During my PhD I was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council to undertake an overseas instiute visit to The University of Melbourne, hosted by Professor Lynette Joubert, and University of Newcastle, Australia, presenting my work and meeting with Social Work academic and Mental Health colleagues to explore the similarities and differences between UK and Australian Mental Health legislation.