Dr Jo Finch is a highly experienced social work educator and doctoral supervisor. She has been working in the higher education sector for 19 years, with experience of teaching on a wide range of programmes, including: BA (Hons) Social Care, BA (Hons) Social Work, MA Social Work, post qualifying Practice Education courses, and Professional Doctorate Programmes (EdD, DSW). She is known internationally for her work on practice learning and has published widely on this topic. She also writes about PREVENT and social work, and undertakes commissioned research.
Jo began her career in social care, working with adults with learning disabilities. She then trained as a social worker and worked in a number of London Boroughs as well as charities, in both adults and children & family settings. She also worked as a play therapist and practice educator. Jo then moved into teaching social work students in 2002, and has worked at a number of universities.
Jo completed a BA (Hons) Politics, at Newcastle University (1993); a Diploma in Social Work and an MSC in Social Policy and Social Work studies at London School of Economics (1997); a Practice Teaching Award, Goldsmiths, (2001); a Post Graduate Diploma in Play Therapy, Surrey University; (2001); a PGCE (PCET) from Greenwich University (2007); and a Professional Doctorate in Social Work, Sussex University (2010).
Jo is currently undertaking a level 5 coaching qualification.
Advanced Research Methodology
Social work policy and practice
- Practice Learning
- Assessment of students in practice placements
- Learning disability and digital advocacy
- PREVENT and social work
- Social Work Education
Exploring parents’ experiences of being referred to social services because of PREVENT concerns (Leverhulme/British Academy)
Auto-digital-ethnography as an aid to writing
Interpreters working with domestic abuse (London Borough of Newham)
- Qualitative Research
- Creative and emancipatory research approaches
- Programme Evaluation
Selected publications (see ORCID ID: 0000-0002-7813-0046 for full listing)
Maclean, S., Finch, J. & Tedam, P. (2018) SHARE: A New Model for Social work, Kirwin Maclean Associates, Litchfield
Finch, J. (2017) Supporting Struggling Students on Placement: A Practical Guide, Policy Press, Bristol
McKendrick, D & Finch, J. (in press) Widening the securitisation net in social work in, Webb, S. (Ed) Routledge Handbook of Critical and Radical Social Work (2nd edition), London, Routledge
Finch, J. , Hill, N. & Rollins, W (2021) Assessment in Field Education, Capability, Competence and Contradictions in Egan, R., Hill, N., & Rollins, R (Eds) Challenges, Opportunities and Innovations in Social Work Field Work Education, Abingdon, Routledge
Finch, J. and Parker J. (2020) The history and context of contemporary social work (including global social work) Parker, J. (ed) Introducing Social Work, London, Learning Matters, Sage,
Finch, J. (2020) Looking After Yourself as a Social Work in Parker, J. (ed) Introducing Social Work, London, Learning Matters, Sage,
Finch, J. (2020) Emotions and the Importance of Personality in Development in Parker, J. and Ashencean Crabtree, S. (Eds) Human Growth and Development in Children and Young People: Theoretical and practice perspectives (Volume 1) Bristol, Policy Press
Finch, J. and McKendrick, D. (2019) Securitising Social Work: Counter Terrorism, Extremism and Radicalisation in Webb, S. (ed) Routledge Handbook of Critical Social Work, Routledge, London
Finch, J. (2017) "Yellow Star" in Doel (Ed) Social Work in 42 objects (or more) Kirwin Maclean Publishers
Finch , J. and Poletti, A. (2016) Italian and English Practice Educators Experiences of Working with Struggling or Failing Students in Practice Placements in Taylor, I .et al (Eds) Routledge International Handbook of Social Work Education, Routledge, London
Finch, J. & Schaub, J. (2015) Projective Identification as an Unconscious Defence: Social Work, Practice Education and the Fear of Failure. in Armstrong, D. & Rustin, M.(eds) Social Defences against Anxiety: Explorations in the Paradigm, Karnac, London
Finch, J. (2010) “It must be a fluke” – The Self-Perceptions of Learners Entering a College of Further and Higher Education, in Jones, P., Storan, J., Hudson, T and Brahma, J. (eds) 'Towards a New Agenda for Lifelong Learning: Access, Diversity and Participation' Forum for Access and Continuing Education, ISBN 1-904133-42-8
Hoskin, J. and Finch, J. (2020) Covid 19, Disability and the New Eugenics. Implications for social work policy and practice, in Social Work 2020 under Covid, 4th Edition, 2nd June 2020, available from https://sw2020covid19.group.shef.ac.uk/category/fourth-edition/dr-janet-hoskin-dr-jo-finch/
McKendrick D. and Finch, J. (2020) Social Work, Covid 19 and Securitisation, in Social Work 2020 under Covid, 2nd Edition, 24th April 2020, available from https://sw2020covid19.group.shef.ac.uk/2020/04/24/social-work-covid-19-and-securitisation/
McKendrick. D. and Finch, J. (2020) Pressure Drop: Securitising and De-Securitising Safeguarding, Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, Vol 32 (1) pp:61-72
Finch, J., Jonsson, J., Kamali, M. & McKendrick, D. (2019) Social Work and Countering Violent Extremism in Sweden and the UK, European Journal of Social Work,
McKendrick, D. and Finch, J. (2019) PREVENT, safeguarding and The Common-Sensing of Social Work in the UK, Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, Vol 31(2), 000–000.
McKendrick, D. and Finch, J. (2017) Downpressor man: securitsation, safeguarding and social work, Critical and Radical Social Work, Vol 5 (3) pp287-300 doi.org/10.1332/204986017X15029697482460
Finch, J. (2016) “…it’s just very hard to fail a student…” Decision making and defences against anxiety – an ethnographic and practice-near study of practice assessment panels. Journal of Social Work Practice, 32 (1) pp51-65 doi: 10.1080/02650533.2016.1158156.
McKendrick, D. and Finch, J. (2016) “Under Heavy Manners: Social Work, Radicalisation, Troubled Families and Non-linear War, British Journal of Social Work. 47 (2): 308-324.
Finch, J. (2014) “Running with the Fox and Hunting with the Hounds:” Social Work Tutors‘ Experiences of Managing Students Failing in Practice Learning Settings, British Journal of Social Work, volume 45 (7) pp2124-2141
Finch, J., Schaub, J. & Dalrymple, R. (2013) Projective Identification and the Fear of Failing: Making Sense of Practice Educators’ Emotional Experiences of Failing Social Work Students in Practice Learning Settings, Journal of Social Work Practice, Vol 28 (2), pp:139-154
Finch, J. and Poletti, I. (2013) ‘It’s been hell.’ Italian and British Practice Educators’ Narratives of Working with Struggling or Failing Social Work Students in Practice Learning Settings, European Journal of Social Work, Vol 17 (1) pp:135-150 DOI: 10.1080/13691457.2013.800026
Finch, J. and Taylor, I. (2013) The Emotional Experience of Assessing a Struggling or Failing Social Work Student in Practice Learning Settings, Special Edition – Field Education, Social Work Education, 32 (2) pp:244-258 DOI: 10.1080/02615479.2012.720250
Minnion, A. Kwiatkowska, G., Watts, P., Finch, J. & Wilkie, C., (2020) Rix media and Research Techforce Feasibility Report, Techforce
Finch, J. (2019) Supporting families that are experiencing domestic abuse and improving children’s mental health and wellbeing in the London Borough of Redbridge. London Borough of Redbridge and Barnados,
Briggs, S. Finch, J., & Farah, F. (2019) Evaluation of Grassroots men at risk of suicide project, East Sussex County Council.
Briggs, S., Farah, F., Hamblin- Opaluwa, L., Finch, J. (2017) Evaluation of Counselling Partnership - Survivors of Suicide to inform future provision and commissioning, East Sussex County Council
Briggs, S., Farah, F. Hamblin- Opaluwa, L, Finch, J. (2017) Evaluation of Grassroots training programme to inform future provision and commissioning, East Sussex County Council
Briggs, S., Finch, J. and Firth, R. (2016) Evaluation of a non-statutory ‘Place of Calm’ ,a service which provides support after a suicidal crisis to inform future commissioning intentions, Centre for Social Work Research, University of East London http://recovery-partners.co.uk/mailouts/Anna/PlaceofCalmFinalReport.pdf
Finch, J. (2013) A Critical Exploration of Practice Assessment Panels: Participation, power, emotional and decision making in relation to failing social work students, York, Higher Education Academy, http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/resources/detail/disciplines/hsc/Social-Work-and-Social-Policy/A_critical_exploration_of_PAP_Finch
Finch, J. (2010) An Analysis of Higher Education Student Progression in a College of Further Education, London, Havering College of Further and Higher Education.
Finch, J (2009) Communities and Widening Participation in Higher Education in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, Higher Education Funding Council of England/University of East London, London. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.5113.9602
Finch, J. (2006) The Needs and Expectations of Higher Education Learners in a Further Education College, Havering College of Further and Higher Education, London, DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.1327.5360
Finch, J. (2005) A small-scale evaluation of tutor support given to practice teachers where there are concerns about marginal or failing students, Falmer, University of Sussex DOI:10.13140/RG.2.1.4393.9603
Finch, J. (2005) A Critical Analytical Study: The Assessment of Marginal and/or Failing Students in Placement, Falmer, University of Sussex. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.5114.8567
Principal Fellow – Higher Education Academy
Registered Social Worker (Social Work England)