Writtle University College and ARU have merged. Writtle’s full range of college, degree, postgraduate and short courses will still be delivered on the Writtle campus. See our guide to finding Writtle information on this site.

Rachel Fowler

Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Health, Medicine and Social Care
School of Allied Health and Social Care
Areas of Expertise:
Social Work and Social Policy

Rachel is the Course Leader for the Step Up to Social Work course. She is also a qualified Substance Misuse Practitioner. 

[email protected]


Rachel began her social work career working for Cambridgeshire County Council in a children and families safeguarding team. She is experienced in a range of social work roles and responsibilities, including child safeguarding and protection, and working with children in the care system.

Rachel brings to ARU, her experience and understanding of the importance of critical reflection to practice, alongside her passion to make theory accessible to student Social Workers.  She holds a particular interest in the emotional experience of vulnerability and intervention, encouraging students to explore the foundations of emotional reactions from service users towards social work intervention, alongside the impact of practice on practitioner emotions. Her MA dissertation focused on the impact of shame on caregiver engagement in child protection practice.

Prior to qualifying as a Social Worker, Rachel worked in residential children’s homes, Youth Offending Services and the Probation Service, becoming a qualified Substance Misuse Practitioner during her time working for Trafford Probation Service.  She developed a volunteer mentor programme to support young people involved in offending and contributed to the development of restorative justice volunteer involvement during her time at Trafford.

After these roles in Criminal Justice, Rachel joined the Multisystemic Therapy team in Trafford, as a Multisystemic Therapist and Secondary Supervisor on one of the first UK pilot sites. Rachel developed her skills in working with families in crisis and engaging the whole family, alongside school, community and peer systems, to address concerns. Rachel brings her passion and understanding of Systems Theory in practice, alongside her experience of contextual safeguarding with adolescents and shares this with students within her work at ARU.

Research interests
  • Shame and the label of ‘disguised compliance’ in social work practice.
  • The experiences of students in relation to racism in placements and the role of white allyship.
  • Emotional responses of practitioners to challenging situations and how this can impact upon assessment of risk.
  • Contextual safeguarding and social work with adolescents.
  • Rachel is the Course Leader for the PG Dip Professional Social Work Practice and is a module tutor for the course.
  • She has also taught on the BA Advanced Skills for Practice module across Cambridge and Chelmsford ARU and the Social Work Apprenticeship course at Peterborough ARU.
  • MA Advanced Social Work Practice (ARU)
  • Advanced Certificate in the Management of Substance Misuse (Manchester Metropolitan University)
  • BA Hons in Criminology and Applied Social Studies (Keele University)
Memberships, editorial boards
  • Social Work England registration: SW114957