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University of Bedfordshire
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Dr Debra Allnock

Senior Research Fellow

Debra Allnock

I have a very active research background spanning nearly 20 years within both the United States and the United Kingdom. In the US, I worked on studies investigating substance abuse, racial crime and health care. In the UK, my interests have shifted to the area of child protection/ safeguarding and child maltreatment, with particular emphasis on child sexual abuse / exploitation.

I joined the International Centre in January 2015 and have worked on a variety of research and knowledge dissemination projects related to child sexual exploitation and related vulnerabilities.

My previous employment in the UK includes the National Evaluation of Sure Start followed by the NSPCC, carrying out a range of projects in the field of sexual abuse and violence. Across all of this work, I have developed excellent research skills in a range of quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis, including reviews, online data collection methods and in-depth interviews on highly sensitive topics.

I am active in publishing (a selection of which can be seen below) and attending and presenting at conferences. I am also involved in delivering practice-oriented, applied workshops with practitioners including the police and social care professionals.

I am also active in teaching at the University of Bedfordshire and continue to develop my skills in teaching within higher education, having achieved Research Fellow of the HEA and continuing study for a post-graduate certificate in higher education. I apply my experience and research knowledge within lectures at University of Bedfordshire to deliver contemporary and current information on child protection and abuse to students.


  • PhD - University of Bristol, United Kingdom (January 2015)
  • MA Sociology - University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  • BA Sociology - University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Teaching Expertise

  • Research Fellow of the HEA
  • Part way through a PG Certificate in HE
  • Previous role as course coordinator of Child Protection and Research Methods (UG level)
  • Teaching on the CSE Short Course (Master’s level)
  • Guest lecture across all degrees including UG, MA, MA in Social Work, PhD and Professional Doctorates
  • Director of Studies, MA
  • Supervision of Professional Doctorate students
  • Internal Examiner

Research Interests

  • Child sexual abuse/exploitation
  • Disclosure of child sexual abuse
  • Therapeutic provision for children and young people following CSA
  • Policing and vulnerabilities


  • Project Manager of the CSE and Policing Knowledge Hub (
  • Project Manager of research investigating models of policing of CSE in England
  • Previously projects with the IC include a mapping exercise of therapeutic services for children and young people following child sexual abuse, commissioned by the NSPCC and a review and evaluation of a co-designed service for adult survivors of child sexual abuse, commissioned by Victim Support.
  • Contribute to various projects in the Centre including Making Noise, Making Justice Work and Children’s Voices (HMIC)

External Roles

  • External Examiner at Durham University
  • Various Advisory Group roles


  • Allnock, D. (2016) Child neglect: the research landscape. In Gardner, R. (ed) Tackling Child Neglect. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  • Allnock, D. (2016) Exploring the relationship between neglect and adult-perpetrated intra-familial child sexual abuse: Evidence Scope 2. RiP, AfC and NSPCC.
  • Allnock, D., Sneddon, H. and Ackerley, E. (2015) Mapping therapeutic services for sexual abuse and exploitation. London: The University of Bedfordshire and the NSPCC.
  • Allnock, D. (2015) Child maltreatment: How can friends contribute to safety? Safer Communities, 14(1), 27-36.
  • Allnock, D., & Hynes, P. (2015) Self-reported experiences of therapy following child sexual abuse: messages from a retrospective survey of adult survivors. Journal of Social Work.
  • Allnock, D. & Miller, P. (2013) No one noticed: no one heard: A study of disclosure of abuse in childhood. London: the NSPCC.
  • Allnock, D. & Hutchinson, A. (2014) Employment-Based Training on Alcohol and Other Drugs in England: Bridging the Gap. Social Work Education: The International Journal, DOI: 10.1080/02615479.2014.919068.
  • Galvani, S. & Allnock, D. (2014) The nature and extent of substance use education in qualifying social work programmes in England. Social Work Education, The International Journal, 33(5), 573-588.
  • Hutchinson, A. & Allnock, D. (2014) The development of employment-based education on substance use for Social Workers in England: Embedding Substance Use Training in Frameworks of Continuing Professional Development. Social Work Education, The International Journal, 33(5), 589-604.
  • Hutchinson, A. & Allnock, D. (2014) Implementing Rigorous Survey Methodology within Context of Social Work Education, Training and Practice: a Case Study in Substance Misuse. Social Work Education, The International Journal, 33(5), 605-618.
  • Erooga, M., Allnock, D. & Telford, P. (2012) ‘Sexual Abuse of Children by People in Organisations: What Offenders Can Teach Us About Protection’. In Erooga, M. (ed.) Creating Safer Organisations. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Allnock, D., Radford, L., Stafford, A., Bunting, L. & Morgan-Klein, N. (2011).‘In demand: Therapeutic services for sexually abused children and young people’. Child Abuse Review, 21 (5), 318-334.
  • Allnock, D. & Barns, R. (2011). ‘Editorial: Research sexual abuse: methodological issues’. Child Abuse Review, 20, 153-157.
  • Allnock, D., Tunstill, J., Akhurst, S. & Garbers, C. (2006). ‘Constructing and Sustaining a Sure Start Local Partnership: Lessons for Future Inter-agency Collaborations.’ Journal of Children’s Services, 1(3), 29-39.
  • Tunstill, J., Allnock, D., Akhurst, S. & Garbers, C. (2005). ‘Sure Start Local Programmes: Implications of Implementation Data from the National Evaluation of Sure Start.’ Children & Society, 19 (2) 158-171.
  • Garbers, C., Allnock, D., Akhurst, S. & Tunstill, J. (2005). ‘Facilitating Access to Services for Children & Families: Lessons from Sure Start Local Programmes.’ Child & Family Social Work, Published online July 2006. j.1365-2206.2006.00436.x.

Contact Details

T: +44 (0)1582 743692

Bedfordshire University

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