Mary Shannon

  • Allerton Building C604
  • T: 0161 2956779
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Office Times

Office hours availability by email


Mary is a qualified Social Worker with extensive practice experience in a number of areas including the Children and Families field, having worked for a number of years in Statutory services in both the UK and Ireland. Mary has a specific qualification in Family Support and has undertaken small scale studies in this area leading to publication outputs. She has also worked as a writer and tutor on an Early Years practitioner programme. Mary has undertaken consultancy work with three Local Authorities in recent years around Safeguarding, supervision and the implementation of a newly-qualified programme.


Currently Mary is the Programme Lead for ‘Step Up to Social Work’ in the Greater Manchester and Yorkshire/Humber region. She has taught research and children and families modules on the MA Social Work programme along with post qualifying courses for practitioners

Research Interests

Key research interests are in family support, children and families services, resilience, social support and social policy more broadly. Mary is currently undertaking PhD studies at the University based on the theoretical underpinnings of Family Support

  • 'No Second Night Out Salford and Gate Buddies: An evaluation for Riverside ECHG’. SHUSU February 2015, Butler D, Shannon M & Brown P.
  • ‘Supporting Children & Families: a comparison in service delivery’. Shannon M & Smyth B. February 2013
  • ‘Evaluation of Signs of Safety’. In-house report for Salford City Council Children’s Services Director, Manchester
  • ‘Evaluation of SIPH in Salford’ SHUSU May 2016, Shannon M, Martin P, Brown P & Long, T

Current projects:

  • Evaluation of the integration of a Strengths Based Perspective on the MA Social Work programme
  • Evaluation of the Signs of Safety’ initiative, one year on- for Salford City Council
  • Stockport, Oldham and Tameside Help for Single Homeless Evaluation

Qualifications and Memberships

  • External Examiner on MA Advanced Child Protection at the University of Kent
  • External Examiner - BA Social Work at University Campus Suffolk (Sept '11 to Set 2015)
  • External validation panel member- MA Advanced Practice, university of Bedfordshire, May 2013.
  • Journal Reviewer ‘Social Work Education’ and ‘British Journal of Social Work’; Book reviewer for Sage Publications
  • BASPCAN Policy Committee member
  • International Review Panel European Association for Social Work Research
  • Member of the British Sociological Association


Selected Current and Recent Publications

• Shannon, M. (pending). Supporting families: a historical lens on the contradiction of support and neoliberal objectives. Social Work and Social Sciences Review

• Smyth B, Shannon M & Dolan P, 2015. ‘Social support and resilience across borders: A case for unaccompanied asylum seeking children/separated children’. Transnational Social Review. *Featured on the Irish Government Child and Family agency website available at: * Featured currently in the list of ‘most read’ articles in the journal:

• Dolan, P & Smyth, B & Smith, M & Davis, J 2015 'Family Support and Child Welfare in Ireland: Capacities and Possibilities', in: Early Intervention: Supporting and Strengthening Families, Dunedin, Edinburgh, UK. *Featured on the Irish Government Child and Family agency website available at:

• Devaney, C & Smith, M, 2010. ‘Child Protection & Family Support: Natural Bedfellows?’. Practice: Social Work in Action. Vol 22 (2)

• Smith, M, 2013 ‘Child Protection Service User Involvement in Social Work Education’. Journal of Practice Teaching & Learning.11 (2), pp 77-91

• Book contract with Palgrave: ‘Family Support: A Critical Analysis of Principles and Practice for Social Work and Social Care Practitioners’

Selected Conference Presentations

• The ethos of Family Support: Policy-practice restraints and possibilities. (European Conference for Social Work Research 2016, Lisbon, Portugal, April 2016).

• Translating Intensive Family Support Lessons for Social Work Practice (European Conference for Social Work Research 2015, LJUBLJANA, Slovenia, April 2015).

• Troubled Families:Policy continuity and discontinuity (British Sociological Association conference, Glasgow, United Kingdom, April 2015).

• Supporting Children & Families:a comparison in service delivery (BASPCAN Congress, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, April 2015).

• Translating Family Support Lessons (Five Nations Family Support Conference, Leeds Beckett University, United Kingdom, September 2014)