Tom Disney

Senior Lecturer

Research interests

I am a Social Geographer with interests in the geographies of children and families, care systems and interventions into the lives of families and young people. My work lies at the intersection of Geography, Social Work and Childhood Studies.

My previous research has focussed on residential care settings in Russia and I have also conducted research into family visits to prison in the UK. I have recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship on a major ESRC-funded longitudinal, ethnographic study of child protection work in the UK. This interdisciplinary research explored how social workers establish and sustain relationships with families in order to keep children safe.

More recently, I have completed a project titled ‘Young People Leaving Care in the Russian Federation’, funded through a British Academy Small Grant. The project critically explores the forms of transition and aftercare services available to care leavers in Russia. In the UK, I am currently conducting participatory research into the needs  of families accessing early help and social care services, in collaboration with local government. I am interested in developing collaborative research proposals to further develop cross-disciplinary dialogues between Social Work and Geography.

Organisational affiliations

Education/Academic qualification

  • PhD, University of Birmingham

  • PGCert, University of Birmingham

  • MA, University of Birmingham

  • MA (Hons), University of Glasgow

Professional Qualifications

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, FHEA

  • Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, FRGS