Dr Joe Smeeton

PhD, MA, MA, PGDip, DipSW, PGCertHE, BA (Hons), FHEA

Department of Sociological Studies

Lecturer in Social Work

Joe Smeeton
+44 114 222 6415

Full contact details

Dr Joe Smeeton
Department of Sociological Studies
Elmfield Building
Northumberland Road
S10 2TU

I am a social work academic and educator with a wealth of experience in social work & higher education in the UK. My practice background is within Child & Family Social Work within South Yorkshire and Derbyshire and I have worked in and managed looked after children, care leaver and child protection teams.

I initially joined the University of Sheffield in 2006 but have also taught at the University of East Anglia, Nottingham Trent University and the University of Salford.

I’m very happy to have re-joined the department of Sociological Studies in April 2019.

Research interests

I am particularly interested in the use of philosophical approaches in making sense of social work practice and the knowledge bases that inform social work decision-making, especially regarding adoption and out of home care. My publications have focused on the experience of social work from parent and practitioner perspectives.


Journal articles


  • Smeeton J (2020) From reflection to reason In Megele C (Ed.), Complexity, Reflection & Learning from Practice: Celebrating social work practice & values RIS download Bibtex download
  • Smeeton J (2013) Systems Approaches In Davies M (Ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Social Work (pp. 488-491). John Wiley & Sons RIS download Bibtex download
  • Smeeton J (2013) Signs of Safety In Davies M (Ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Social Work (pp. 466-468). John Wiley & Sons RIS download Bibtex download
  • Smeeton J (2012) Child Protection social Work in Practice In Davies M (Ed.), Social Work with Children & Families (pp. 155-169). Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan. RIS download Bibtex download

Book reviews

Website content

  • Smeeton J In search of meanings within child protection social work in the UK. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Sen R, Smeeton J, Thoburn J & Tunstill J Children's entry into state care when working with families who are homeless or at high risk of imminent homelessness. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Smeeton J A Call to Arms. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Smeeton J Research Findings on Social Pedagogy. RIS download Bibtex download
Teaching activities

I teach across all the social work programmes with a focus on continuous professional development (CPD) for social workers in practice.