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Karen Gaughan - Principal Practice Tutor

Karen Gaughan

Karen joined Frontline as a Principal Practice Tutor in May 2017. Since 2014, she had been working in a variety of roles including as a clinical practitioner supporting units using systemic ideas and doing direct clinical work with families. Alongside this, she worked as a trainer and coach teaching social workers and managers in systemic practice within social work contexts across the country. For the past two years Karen has also been a Learning Development Advisor coaching social work managers on the Firstline programme.

From 2000 – 2014 Karen worked as a social worker and manager in a variety of settings such as child protection, edge of care, looked after children, leaving care, fostering and adoption and youth offending.

Karen first started using systemic ideas to enhance her social work thinking and skills whilst working as a consultant social worker in the Hackney Model in 2008.

Research interests

Karen is passionate about using systemic family therapy within mainstream social work. She is currently researching the impact of learning systemic family therapy on social worker’s thinking and experience of their social work role.

Selected publications

Gaughan, K. & Kalyniak, S. (2012) in Goodman, S. & Trowler, I. (eds) The Centrality of Relationships in Social Work Reclaimed: Innovative Frameworks for Child and Family Social Work Practice. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.


MA in Social Work, PGDip Practice Education and Learning, PGDip in Systemic Practice with Families and Couples, Advanced Certificate in Systemic Practice with Families and Couples Karen is currently completing an Msc in Family Therapy (2017).


Karen has been a training facilitator for the Frontline programme’s systemic practice elements for the past two Summer Institutes. She has experience of teaching and coaching a range of social workers and managers in using systemic ideas in a variety of social work contexts.

Location: London

1 Rosebery Avenue,

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