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Dr Roxana Anghel

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

Roxana Anghel has expertise in qualitative research, and in the field of leaving (residential/institutional) care to adulthood in Central and Eastern Europe. Roxana is the academic lead for the Social Work Research Lab (SWRL), and has been one of the Ruskin Modules trailblazer academics, co-developing and co-delivering the module ‘Climate Justice and Social Inequality: Could you be an Agent for Change?’ (2021). She has also introduced the topics of Sustainability and Environmental Justice in the ARU social work curriculum and has developed the module ‘Contemporary and Sustainable Social Work’ (2022).

[email protected]


Roxana Anghel is a Senior Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer at ARU. Since her PhD, gained in 2010 with a qualitative longitudinal study analysing the experience of Romanian care leavers and frontline workers in a post-communist context of multi-systemic transitions, leaving care has remained Roxana’s main research interest.

Her recent work has focused on factors such as discursive practices and practitioner discretion which contribute to sustaining the policy-implementation gap and the barriers to social inclusion and wellbeing experienced widely by this group of young people.

In 2005 Roxana joined the International Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood from Care (INTRAC) a forum now representing 47 countries across all continents (except Antarctica!). Roxana is a member of the INTRAC Steering Group and is co-chairing the INTRAC Global Conference Committee.

Roxana is working with a group of international researchers on an innovative project focused on developing consensus on Grand Challenges of Leaving Care framed by the challenges posed by climate change to the young people’s access to resources and social and environmental justice. Roxana is interested in promoting the equitable access of people with care experience to knowledge construction and to action for change.

Roxana takes a collaborative approach to developing research and education. Roxana’s other current and previous research activity has included partnerships with social work lecturers, researchers, and students, leading or being a consultant on several small-scale studies and evaluations aimed to enhance social work education, practice, and knowledge.

Topics have included: exploring imagination in social work; facilitating service user and carer involvement in social work education (in UK; Israel); understanding group conflict; understanding the role of personalised donations as messages of solidarity with forced migrants; exploring the link between acronyms and the professional encounter; the use of experiential learning and reflective use of ‘self’ to facilitate social work students’ conceptual understanding; and exploring the experiences of disclosing mental health difficulties by UK academics.

Roxana has also led the PAR project 'Preparing for Deinstitutionalisation (DI) in Croatia', conducted in partnership with local and UK practitioners and researchers. The project explored the value of using a participatory approach to preparing for, coping with, and implementing change. Using arts-based methods and group reflection, the research team aimed to support the practitioners in a large institution for people with learning disabilities to develop a community of practice to analyse the concepts, practice methods, and the priorities for change demanded by the rapid DI process expected by the national government and the EU.

Roxana is a member of the School Research Ethics Panel (SREP), the Centre for Education Research on Identities and Inequalities (CERII), and the Social and Community Inclusion Group (CSI).

Research interests
  • Transitions from care to adulthood. Liminality
  • Social work in transition or non-Western cultural contexts
  • Discourses in leaving care. Care-leaver voice and co-production of knowledge and practice
  • Global policy to meaningful local practice
  • Social work responses to new global challenges (sustainability and environmental justice; migration)
  • Communities of practice and critical learning in practice and education
  • Innovative learning environments and critical pedagogies in social work education
  • Participatory methodologies, case study, critical discourse analysis and other qualitative designs
Areas of research supervision
  • A critical analysis of the experience of an English Charity delivering social work services of navigating the challenges and the opportunities posed by the austerity policy between 2010-2020 (PhD 1st supervisor)
  • Listening to the voices of Newly Qualified Social Workers (NQSWs): a narrative inquiry of social work experiences of supervision within adult social care (EdD 1st supervisor)
  • Children in Childcare Homes: a qualitative exploration of their educational experiences in state schools in Goa (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 (PhD 2nd supervisor)
  • Doctoral supervision
  • Undergraduate and postgraduate social work courses
  • Ruskin Module (level 5, University-wide)

Roxana has extensive teaching and pastoral experience. Topics include: qualitative research; transition to professional social work practice; the relationship between wellbeing, life course, and health and social inequalities; and sustainability and environmental justice. Roxana’s teaching is informed by a critical analysis of contemporary contexts, research, and theory and is promoting a decolonised and transformative approach to teaching which includes experiential and active learning.

  • PhD
  • PG Certificate in Education
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • BA Social Work
Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange
  • Academic organiser of a Knowledge Exchange Day for MA social work students taking the MA Dissertation module – the event involves a dialogue with experts by experience and social workers invited to present social issues which students could tackle through their research. 2022   
  • Project lead for the Social Work Research Lab (SWRL), an innovative pedagogical and knowledge exchange project dedicated to students learning experientially to excel in understanding, using, and producing research that has relevance to social work practice. SWRL has been developed and grows with input from community partners such as social workers from partner Local Authorities, alumni students, and experts by experience from ARU SUCI.  
  • Project lead for Mapping current and upcoming Grand Challenges of Leaving Care – towards an evidence-informed Global Conference for Social and Environmental Justice. Partners: researchers from the German Jordanian University, University of Johannesburg, University of Ghana, University of Zurich, Addis Ababa University, and University of Ottawa. 
  • Consultant on The experience of disclosing or not disclosing mental health difficulties by academic staff in UK HEIs. Lead: Joanna Fox
  • Project lead on Representations and Discourses in 21st Century Leaving Care Research: problematizing the familiar in the construction of the ‘care leaver’. Partners: researchers from University of Oslo, and the German Jordanian University
  • Lead organiser of an International Knowledge Exchange Seminar on Leaving Care. Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge – event organised with ARU colleagues for Local Authority and NGO directors and practitioners from Austria, Bulgaria, Moldova, and Romania. 2019
  • 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 Ramo
  • 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: £5,000
  • 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: £5,000. 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

Anghel, R. (2021). From ‘the New Man’ to Care-Leaver Activists – communist and contemporary discourses shaping fifty years of leaving care in Romania. Children and Family Social Work. Special Issue: Young People's Transitions from Care to Adulthood: Exploring Historical Narratives, 26, p.258-269. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cfs.12819

Anghel, R. & Grierson, J. (2020). Addressing Needs in a Liminal Space: the citizen volunteer experience and decision-making in the unofficial Calais migrant camp – Insights for Social Work. European Journal of Social Work, 23(3), p.486-499, https://doi.org/10.1080/13691457.2019.1709158

Van Breda, A D, Munro, E, Gilligan, R, Anghel, R, Harder A, Incarcato, M, Mann-Feder, V, Refaeli, T, Stohler, R, Storø, J. (2020). Extended care: Global dialogue on policy, practice and research. Child & Youth Services Review, 119. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2020.105596

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 & Storø J. (2021). Representations and Discourses in 21st Century Leaving Care Research: problematizing the familiar in the construction of the ‘care leaver’. EUSARF Conference, 1-3 September, Zurich

Anghel, R (2021). Towards a Mainstream Participatory Approach to the Construction of Included Identities in Leaving Care. Participatory Inquiry Forum. Anglia Ruskin University

Anghel, R. & Grierson, J. (2019). Addressing Needs in a Liminal Space: the volunteer experience and decision-making in the unofficial Calais migrant camp - Insights for Social Work. IFSW Conference: Social Protection & Human Dignity. Vienna, Austria

Anghel, R. (2018). ‘Fifty Years of Leaving Residential Care in Romania – how leaving care has been shaped by Communism and the Child’s Rights agenda’. Part of the Invited Symposium ‘Transitions from care to adulthood: exploring historical narratives’. European Scientific Association on Residential & Family Care (EUSARF) Conference, University of Porto, 3-5 October

Anghel, R. (2016). History of Leaving Care in Romania. Invited talk at the International Seminar on History of Leaving Care. Loughborough

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