Dr Roxana Anghel

Senior Researcher and Senior Lecturer

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 Roxana Anghel has expertise in the field of leaving (residential/institutional) care in Central and Eastern Europe, and in qualitative research and evaluation. She is also the module lead for the social work skills-based programme Assessed Readiness for Direct Practice (ARDP).



A qualified social worker, Dr Roxana Anghel has worked in the field of international adoptions in Romania before coming to England on a European academic exchange programme to study social work. In 2010 she gained her PhD with a qualitative longitudinal study of the transition from institutional state care to independent living as experienced by Romanian young people and childcare practitioners. Since 2005 Roxana has been a member of the International Research Network on the Transitions to Adulthood from Care (INTRAC) representing 16 countries from Europe, the Middle East, Australia, Canada and the United States. Within this partnership, Roxana has continued to develop work on the topic of leaving care through publications and research undertaken abroad (Croatia, in the field of learning disabilities) with UK and European researchers.

In parallel, in partnership with lecturers and researchers, Roxana has conducted or has been consultant to a number of evaluations aimed at further developing the delivery of the social work course. These have focused on: the facilitation of service user and carer involvement in social work education (UK; Israel), the use of experiential learning and self-reflection to facilitate the conceptual understanding of social work students, and the value of concept mapping to evaluating meaningful learning. Since 2012 Roxana has also taken a lecturing role, and is a member of the Faculty Research Ethics Panel.

Research interests

  • The implementation of global policy in transition contexts (particularly Central and Eastern European) and the role of care practitioners
  • Young people’s transitions from residential care to independent living and adulthood
  • Participatory methodologies of change, communities of practice
  • Meaningful learning, Resilience
  • Qualitative and mixed methods research
  • Evaluation methodologies

Dr Anghel’s research in Romania has highlighted the key role that care practitioners play in the transition experienced by young people from institutional care who need support to acquire skills and assets to enable them to integrate socially and live independently of state support. As ‘street-level bureaucrats’ who react to pressures, fears or support and apply policy selectively, the practitioners are the translators of policy into concrete practice and actual benefits to service users. This can further be made difficult by a cultural context unfamiliar with the conceptual shifts required and with few opportunities for critical thinking. As the lead of 'Preparing for Deinstitutionalisation in Croatia', a PAR project conducted in partnership with local and UK practitioners and researchers, Dr Anghel has explored the value of using a participatory approach to preparing for, coping with, and implementing change. Using arts-based methods and group reflection, the team has aimed to develop a community of practice within which the practitioners in a large institution for people with learning disabilities could analyse the concepts, practice methods, and priorities for change necessary to implement the rapid process of deinstitutionalisation demanded by the national government and the EU.

Areas of research supervision

  • PhD 2nd supervisor – Narrative inquiry on the transition between independence and dependency on domiciliary care, and how that impacts on older people’s sense of self and quality of life
  • DProf Advisor – Exploring the implementation of the ‘Staying Put’ program for care leavers in the UK
  • DProf Advisor – Exploring the value of collaborating with service users and carers to mental health treatment and recovery


Roxana is the module leader of 'Assessed Readiness for Direct Practice (ARDP)', a skills-based social work programme delivered to BA, BA PT, and MA first year social work students across the three main university sites. She also teaches Research Methodology on the social work MA course and is supervisor to MA and BA dissertations. Roxana is personal tutor and academic placement tutor on the BA course.


  • PhD (Anglia Ruskin)
  • PG Cert (Anglia Ruskin)
  • BA (Bucharest)

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • Project Lead of ‘Developing a culturally-attuned tool for assessing the needs of residents with intellectual disabilities for transition from Croatian asylum to community living’. Partners: Stančić Rehabilitation Centre and Faculty of Education & Rehabilitation (University of Zagreb). 2013-14. CYRI: £2,570
  • Project Lead of ‘Preparing for Deinstitutionalisation in Croatia – Pilot’. Partners: Stancic Rehabilitation Centre, University of Zagreb, Music Therapy Department (ARU), and Poetry in Wood (social enterprise, London). 2012-2013. FHSCE: £6,500
  • Researcher in ‘Understandings of relational practice with children in the care of the state in Belgium, Denmark and Germany: the contribution of social pedagogic concepts and theories’. FHSCE. Lead: Prof Claire Cameron
  • Site Research coordinator of Developing Robust Citizen Involvement on Social Work Degree Courses: a cross-country collaboration. Comparative multi-site mixed methods evaluation project involving senior citizens as co-researchers and the year 3 BA students at ARU and Tel Hai College, Israel. 2010 -2011. British Council: £25,000. Lead: Prof Shula Ramon
  • Consultant on ‘A product and a process to model best practice in service user and carer involvement in FHSC: the development of e-learning technology by an inter-disciplinary action learning set’. 2009 – 2010. INSPIRE: £5000. Lead: Joanna Fox
  • Project Lead of Experiential Workshops Exploring ‘Self’ in Social Work Practice/Education. 2008 -2009. INSPIRE: £5000
  • Researcher in ‘Longitudinal study looking at the experiences and the decision-making of economic migrants’. East of England Development Agency (EEDA). Leads: Deb Holman and Claudia Schneider
  • Project Lead of ‘Evaluating Outcomes of Social Work Education (OSWE)’. 2005 -2008. Social Care Institute of Excellence (SCIE), and the Subject Centre for Social Work and Social Policy of the Higher Education Academy (SWAP): £4,000 + INSPIRE: £5000. External coordinators – Prof John Carpenter and Hilary Burgess
  • Researcher on ‘Evaluating the implementation of the Programme: Service User and Carer Involvement (SUCI) in Social Work Education’. FHSCE: £10,000. 2004-2005. Lead: Prof Shula Ramon

Selected recent publications

Gutman, C., Hatman, S., Ben-Oz, M., Criden, W., Anghel, R., Ramon, S. (2014) Involving older adults as co-researchers in social work education. Educational Gerontology, 40(3), pages 186-197

Ramon, S., Hantman, S., Anghel, R., Gutman, C., Criden, W. and Ben-Oz, M. (2014). Learning from a cross-country evaluation of service users’ involvement in social work education and research. In A-L. Matthies and L. Uggerhoj, Participation, Marginalisation and Welfare Services. Concepts, politics and practices across European Countries. Farnham: Ashgate. Ch. 16

Anghel, R., Herczog, M. and Dima, G. (2013). The challenge of reforming child protection in Eastern Europe: The cases of Hungary and Romania. Psychosocial Intervention, 22, 239-49

Amas D, Hicks J and Anghel R, (2013). Mirror Mirror: Experiential workshops exploring ’self’ in social work education and practice. In McIntosh P & Warren D. (Eds) Creativity in the Classroom. Case studies in using the arts in teaching and learning in Higher Education. Bristol: Intellect.

Anghel, R. (2011). Transition within Transition: how young people learn to leave public care behind while their carers are stuck in neutral. Children & Youth Services Review. 33, p. 2526-2531

Anghel, R., Fox, J & Warnes, M., (2010). An Exploration of Concept Mapping as a Method of Evaluating Student Learning in Social Work. Evaluating Outcomes in Social Work Education. Southampton: SWAP/HEA Monograph

Anghel, R. and Ramon, S., (2009). Service Users and Carers' Involvement in Social Work Education: Lessons from an English Case Study. European Journal of Social Work, 12(2), p. 1 – 15

Anghel, R. and Dima, G., (2008). Romania. In Stein M. & Munro E., Young People's Transitions from Care to Adulthood. International Research and Practice. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Anghel, R. and Beckett, C., (2007). Skateboarding behind the EU lorry – the experience of Romanian professionals struggling to cope with transition while assisting care leavers. European Journal of Social Work, 10(1), pp. 3-19

Recent presentations and conferences

Anghel R., Cameron, C., Zganec, N., Thomas, J., Richards, E. and Christian, G. (2013). Preparing for Deinstitutionalisation in a Croatian Rehabilitation Centre - Lessons from a participatory pilot project. ENSACT. Istanbul

Anghel, R., Pinkerton, J., Cameron, C., Waller, T. (2012). Realising Care Leavers’ Rights: implementing the UN Guidelines for Alternative Care of Children - some notes of caution and encouragement. Eurochild Annual Conference, Sofia

Anghel, R., (2011). Keynote - Transition within Transition: how young people learn to leave institutional care behind while their carers are stuck in 'neutral'. Quality in Alternative Care. SOS Children's Villages International. Prague

Anghel, R. and Ramon, S., (2010). Evaluating a model of service user and carer involvement in Social Work education using an action research design. International Conference of the Collaborative Action Research Network. Anglia Ruskin University. Cambridge

Anghel, R., (2010). Experiencing the Transition from Residential Care to Independence in a Context of Transition: the case of Romania. 11th Biennial International EUSARF Conference Assessing Evidence Base of Intervention for Vulnerable Children and Their Families. European Scientific Association on Residential and Foster Care for Children and Adolescents (EUSARF). University of Groningen. The Netherlands

Anghel, R., Amas, D. and Hicks, J. (2010). (Re)Integrating 'Self' in Social Work Education through Experiential Learning and Reflection. 4th Annual Social Work Continuing Professional Development Conference. Integrated Practice. Institute of Psychiatry, King's College. London

Anghel, R. and Dima, G., (2009). Child Care and Leaving Care in Romania. International Perspectives in Child Welfare. Facing Challenges and Implementing Advances. University of Oviedo. Spain

Anghel, R., Amas, D. and Hicks, J. (2009). Exploring uncertainty, empathy and resilience through self-reflection, creative mediums, and experiential learning. 11th UK Joint Social Work Education Conference. University of Hertfordshire

Anghel, R. (2009). Evaluating learning about partnership with service users using Concept Mapping. Workshop. National Symposium organised by SWAP/HEA. London

Anghel, R. (2008). Plenary – Leaving State Residential Care in Bucharest: what helps and hinders the transition. Care Matters: Transforming Lives - Improving Outcomes Conferences. Incorporating the 8th International Looked After Children Conference. Keeble College. Oxford