Dr Joanna Fox

Senior Lecturer (Social Work)

Faculty:Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care

School:Education and Social Care

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Social Work and Social Policy

Research Supervision:Yes

Dr Joanna Fox is a qualified and registered SWE Social Worker. Her interests are in mental health, the recovery approach, family carers, and research led and supported by service users and carers who have themselves experienced or cared for someone with mental ill-health.



Joanna's interests are in developing research with patients and public who have themselves experienced disability, illness, or cared for someone who has. She has a keen interest in supporting the involvement of service users and carers in training social work students. Her PhD, completed in 2013, focused on the role of family carers in supporting people with mental health needs, and their commitment and interest in the recovery approach. This work has been further developed with the receipt of two successful internal research bids into a blended learning programme currently being delivered and evaluated.

Research interests

  • Service user involvement in social work education
  • Service user involvement in research
  • Recovery approach in mental health
  • The role of carers in supporting people with mental ill health
  • Shared decision-making in mental health medication management
  • Blended learning and participatory research

Joanna is very interested in developing the service user voice in all aspects of social work education, research and support. This is particularly in connection with mental health service research and monitoring and the development of the recovery approach.

Areas of research supervision

Joanna would be pleased to consider supervising doctoral students with the following research interests/topics:

  • Service user involvement in research
  • Service user involvement in education
  • Recovery concept and its relevance for mental health services
  • Supporting the role of mental health carers
  • Increasing representation of service users and carers in influencing and designing mental health services


  • BA (Hons) Social Work
  • Joanna teaches the third year BA (Hons ) Social Work moduleUndergraduate Major Project
  • Joanna supports teaching of the Preparation for Practice module for BA (Hons) Social Work students on their first year training.


  • Postgraduate Certificate in (HE) Teaching and Learning, Anglia Ruskin University 2013-2014
  • PhD, Anglia Ruskin University 2007-2013
  • BTEC in Management Studies, Hertfordshire Regional College, 2007
  • MA in Mental Health Professional Practice, Anglia Ruskin University 1999-2003
  • Diploma in Social Work, Anglia Ruskin University 1995-1997
  • BA Joint Hons, Durham University 1990-1993

Memberships, editorial boards

  • SWE Registered Social Worker
  • HEA Fellow

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • Service user member of Lived Experience Advisory Panel, Refocus on Recovery, Institute of Psychiatry
  • Anglia Ruskin Learning and Teaching Fellowship Award: An evaluation of the use of concept maps in social work education
  • Anglia Ruskin Learning and Teaching Fellowship Award: Developing best practice in service user education across health and social care

Selected recent publications

Fox, J & Gasper R., forthcoming. The choice to disclose (or not) mental health ill-health in UK higher education institutions: a duoethnography by two female academics. Journal of Organisational Ethnography.

Fox, J & Videmšek, P (2019): Looking back, looking forward: using a duoethnographic study to explore the role of personal positioning in social work education in the UK and Slovenia, European Journal of Social Work, DOI: 10.1080/13691457.2019.1689927

Fox, J., and Videmsek, P., forthcoming. Exploring the mental health and spiritual recovery of an expert-by-experience: a discussion of the unique contribution social workers can make to support this journey, Ljetopis Socijalnog Rada, Annual of Social Work

Fox, J., 2017, Building on the recovery approach: the development of a conceptual model of service design for carers in mental health. Journal of Research, Policy and Practice, 32,3, 183-196

Fox, J., Smith, A, Kenedler, L, Evangelinos, G, in preparation and under review, Reflections on developing a blended learning recovery programme for family carers of people diagnosed with mental ill-health.

Videmsek, P & Fox, J, 2017, Exploring the value of involving experts-by-experience in social work research: experiences from Slovenia and the UK. European Journal of Social Work. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13691457.2017.1292220

Fox, J, Ramon, S, Morant, N, 2015, ‘Exploring the meaning of recovery for carers: Implications for social work practice’, The British Journal of Social Work, 45 (suppl_1): i117-i134. doi: 10.1093/bjsw/bcv109

Recent presentations and conferences

Fox, JR, 2019, Promoting good mental health in the workplace for people who experience mental ill-health: an insider perspective Refocus on Recovery. Nottingham: Sept 4-6 2019.

Fox, J, 2018, Promoting good mental health in the workplace for people who experience mental ill-health: an insider perspective. British Autoethnography conference. Bristol: July 23rd – 24th 2018.

Fox, J, 2017, Reflections on developing a blended learning recovery education programme for mental health carers, Refocus on Recovery 2017. Nottingham. September 18 – 20, 2017.

Fox, J and Smith A, Developing a recovery course for carers. Connecting People: Parity of Esteem and Well-being. Hertfordshire Partnership Foundation Trust, Stevenage: 10.10.16

Fox, J, 2016. The relevance of the recovery concept to carers of people with schizophrenia. 'Creative Approaches to Working with and Engaging Family and Carer Systems'. Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. 24.03.16

Fox J, 2015, A personal reflection on working with parents with mental ill-health: Obstacles and opportunities for delivering best practice. Parental Mental Health and Child Welfare Work. Pavilion Publishing and Media Ltd, London, 02.12.2016