I am a registered social worker and have practiced as a social worker and practice teacher in statutory settings within local authorities and in integrated services. I graduatedfrom Edinburgh University with a Masters in social work and returned to University in a teaching capacity in 2003 when I joined the University of Dundee as a Teaching Fellow. At Dundee I directed undergraduate child protection CPD provision, including the Certificate in Child Care and Protection. I moved to the University of Stirling in 2008 as a senior teaching fellow and has continued to teach and research in the field of child welfare and protection. I am currently the programme director for post-qualifying programmes in social work and module coordinator for APSPG01 (Understanding Children's Needs) APSPG13 (Working with risk and uncertainty) and APSPG18 (dissertation module). I am a member of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Scottish branch of the British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (BASPCAN).
Event / Presentation
Analysis in practice: A study of sense-making in a children and families social work team. . WithScotland Webinar December 2014
A webinar presentation of findings from an ethnographic study of judgement in a social work office.
Sense-making in child and family assessments. Reconstruct Annual Conference
Making the Meaningless Meaningful - Analysis in Assessment. Professional Judgement
Chair. GIRFEC 2013
Keynote speech. Child Inclusive Practice Annual Forum
Testing the application of GIRFEC in child protection practice. BASPCAN Scottish Branch Conference
Analysis and Professional Judgement in Child and Family Assessment. BASPCAN Scottish Branch Conference
Ecology of Judgement in Child Welfare and Protection . Ecology of Judgement Seminar
Analysing and Reporting Children’s Needs and Experiences. Pre-conference workshop - Child Inclusive Practice (Australia) A day-long workshop developing enhanced skills and knolwedge in analysis of children and young people's needs in assessments.
Judgements or Assumptions? The role of analysis in assessing children and young people’s needs. ESRC Seminar ‘Interrogating Harm and Abuse Across the Lifespan’
Judgements or Assumptions?. Making Research Count seminar (York)
My doctoral studies are in the field of judgement and decision-making in social work. I have a particular interest in sense-making and analysis in professional practice. I have published books, chapters and journal articles exploring the nature and use of intuition in social work. I have conducted ethnographic research into sense-making in social work offices and I have developed an ecological model of judgement to promote discussion and critical reflection on the subjective nature of professional judgement. I am a member of a number of local, national and international research networks.
Helm D (2015) A study of Informal Peer-aided Judgement in a Children and Families Social Work Team. ESA Midterm-Conference: Risk, Uncertainty and Transition, 8.4.2015 - 10.4.2015, Stuttgart, Germany. Available from: https://www.miun.se/siteassets/forskning/center-och-institut/rcrcenter/programme_webb_v150331nypdf
Helm D (2015) The Ecology of Judgement in Child Welfare and Protection: Findings From an Ethnographic Study of Judgement and Decision-Making in a Children and Families Social Work Office. British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (BASPCAN) National Congress, 12.4.2015 - 15.4.2015, Edinburgh. Available from: http://www.baspcan.org.uk/files/CongressAbstracts_web%20100415.pdf
Daniel B, Scott J, Taylor J, Barlow J, Collins V, Helm D & Whincup H (2013) in collaboration with Action for Children, 'Childhood Neglect: Improving Outcomes for Children – adaptation for Scottish Context' (Training Resources). Edinburgh: Scottish Government.
Daniel B, Scott J, Taylor J, Barlow J, Collins V, Helm D & Whincup H (2012) in collaboration with Action for Children, 'Childhood Neglect: Improving Outcomes for Children' (Training Resources). London: Department for Education.