Charlie Whittaker

Charlie is the curriculum lead for motivational interviewing (MI) on the Frontline programme. Prior to joining Frontline in 2016, she worked as a research fellow at the Tilda Goldberg Centre where she was involved in studies evaluating the effectiveness of MI in child and family social work. As part of these projects she provided coaching and support to social workers on using MI in the context of child protection.

Charlie is also a qualified social worker with experience of working in residential settings and statutory child protection services. She is currently a part-time PhD student with the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University. Building on her passion for MI, Charlie is interested in understanding how it can be used to support social work conversations about child welfare.

Research interests
Motivational Interviewing, strengths-based child protection and the relationship between social work skills and outcomes for families.
Selected publications

Forrester, D., Westlake, D., Killian., Antonopoulou, V., McCann, M., Thurnham, A., Thomas, R., Waits, C., Whittaker, C., & Hutchison, D. (2019). What is the relationship between social worker skills and outcomes for families in child and family work? The British Journal of Social Work. 0. pp 1-20 

Forrester, D., Westlake, D., Killian., Antonopoulou, V., McCann, M., Thurnham, A., Thomas, R., Waits, C., Whittaker, C., & Hutchison, D. (2018). A randomized controlled trial of training in Motivational Interviewing for child protection, Children and Youth Services Review. Vol 88, pp. 180-190.   

Whittaker, C.E., Forrester, D., Killian, M. & Jones, R.K. (2016) Can we reliably measure social work communication skills? Development of a scale to measure child and family social work direct practice, International Journal of Child and Family Welfare 2016, 17 (1/2), 47-63 

Wilkins, D. and Whittaker, C. (2017). Doing child-protection social work with parents: what are the barriers in practice? British Journal of Social Work, 48(7), 2003-2019 

Conference Presentations
Whittaker, C.E., Forrester, D., Killian, M. & Jones, R.K. (2017) ‘Can we reliably measure social work communication skills? Development of a measure of quality in direct child and family social work practice’ at: SSWR 21st Annual Conference, New Orleans

Wilkins, D. & Whittaker, C.E. (2016) ‘Doing child protection social work ‘with’ (not ‘to’) parents: what are the barriers in practice?’ at: International Social Work Conference: Participatory Social Work: Approaches, Barriers, Critique, Lodz, Poland

Whittaker, C.E. (2015) ‘What is effective communication in child protection social work?’ at: BASPCAN Congress, University of Edinburgh

Thomas, R. & Whittaker, C.E. (2013) ‘Someone to watch over me? Challenges and opportunities of having social work practice observed’ at: JSWEC Conference, Royal Holloway University, London

Whittaker, C.E. & Thomas, R. (2013) ‘Conversations can change lives: working with difficult conversations in a child protection context’ at: JSWEC Conference, Royal Holloway University, London

Research funding
£30,000 Central Bedfordshire Council (2014) Motivational Interviewing for a Family Support Team: Evaluation of a Skills Development Package, Whittaker, C.E.
Teaching
Charlie has taught on Motivational Interviewing and coding on the Frontline programme and with the University of Bedfordshire.

Location: London

Frontline,
1 Rosebery Avenue,
London,
EC1R 4SR