Dr Nicola Jones

Senior Lecturer in Social Work

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

School:School of Allied Health

Location: Chelmsford

Nicola is a qualified and registered SWE Social Worker. Her background includes extensive experience in the community and voluntary sector, as well as statutory work with disabled adults with complex needs. Her research interests focus on issues of disability, family life and personalisation.


Alongside her role as a practicing social worker, Nicola gained her MA in Disability Studies from the University of Leeds in 2014, going on to complete her doctorate at the University of East Anglia’s School of Social Work in 2020. During her time at UEA, Nicola worked as an Associate Tutor and then Lecturer in the School of Social Work, sharing her knowledge and supporting students to become confident, reflective, analytical, and resilient social workers. She joined Anglia Ruskin University in 2021 and teaches on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules in social work.

Research interests

  • Disabled people’s experiences of parenting with support
  • Family life and disability issues
  • Personal assistance relationship dynamics

Nicola's research interests build upon her professional social work experience, and centre on the intersection of disability and family life. Her PhD thesis explores the impact of personal assistance on relationships between disabled parents and their children. Findings shed light on the intricate and constantly evolving interplay between parents, children and PAs, and reveal the intensity and complexity of relationships. Nicola is keen to develop her research into the significance and impact of PA presence in family life.


Nicola currently teaches on a range of undergraduate and post qualifying courses, including Social Work with Children and Families, Applied Social Work Theories, Safeguarding in Context.


  • PhD in Social Work, University of East Anglia, 2015-2020 Thesis title: Personal assistance, disabled parents and their children: roles and relationships
  • MA in Disability Studies, awarded with Distinction, University of Leeds, 2012-2014 Dissertation title: Personalised Support: examining the complexities of the employer/employee relationship – an exploratory study
  • BA (Hons) in Social Work, First Class, University Campus Suffolk, 2009-2012

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Registered with Social Work England
  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Selected recent publications

Jones, N. (2013) Good Enough Parents? Exploring Attitudes of Family Centre Workers Supporting and Assessing Parents with Learning Difficulties, Practice, 25 (3), pp.169-190

Recent presentations and conferences

September 2016 8th Biennial Lancaster Disability Studies Conference – poster presentation

March 2017 UEA/University of Tokyo Research Colloquium on Disability – oral presentation

March 2017 UEA Qualitative Research Symposium on ‘Diversities in modern families and households: challenges and opportunities for qualitative research’ – poster presentation

2017 July UEA Conference: "Doing Doctoral Research: Your Academic Voice" – oral presentation, winning a prize for presenting complex information in an accessible format.

April 2018 European Social Work Research Association Conference, Edinburgh – oral presentation.

September 2018 9th Biennial Lancaster Disability Studies Conference – oral presentation.

November 2018 UEA/Centre for Research on Children and Families seminar – oral presentation.

May 2019 Nordic Network on Disability Research Conference: “Inclusion and Exclusion in the Welfare Society”, Copenhagen – oral presentation.