Ms Anne Wright

Senior Lecturer in Social Work

Email address: Phone number: 01902 323429 Location: Wolverhampton Faculty: Faculty of Education Health and Wellbeing School/Institute: Institute of Public Health, Social Work and Care Areas of expertise: Social Work with Children and Families; Service User and Carer involvement in social work education; child development


I have twenty seven years’ experience in children and families’ community and social work, first in the voluntary sector as a group worker for women and children, from 1993 as a qualified social worker in the statutory sector, and since 2007 as a senior lecturer in social work.  Enduring influences from my previous undergraduate studies include the substance monism of Spinoza’s Ethics and the complementary dialectical historical materialist methods of Vygotsky and Luria’s school of Psychology.

After moving into a specialist permanency service in 2003, I was one of the first practitioners within the UK to undertake training in Theraplay® and the Marschak Interaction Method (TTI, USA).  A focus on social relationships, as opposed to an atomistic individualistic approach, strongly resonated with my own Vygotskyian perspective adopted as a Social Science undergraduate back in the 1980s.  Similarly, the very notion that the capacity for self-control develops during ontogenesis through adult-child relationships, and on the internalisation of social relationships more generally, is a recurring theme within the English translations of Vygotsky’s collected works which have since become available.

Having recently updated my Theraplay training, I am currently keen to develop partnerships with agencies where I could provide Theraplay Informed Practice. I currently lead a Therapeutic Caregiving and Transitions Study Group which meets three times a year and am interested in pursuing evaluation of Theraplay Informed Practice for doctoral studies. 


Research interests

  • An evaluation of Theraplay interventions.
  • The development of Vygotskyian theory and its applications in social work practice.
  • Critical analysis of attachment as a concept, drawing on the work of Hrdy.

Membership of professional bodies

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (recognition reference 40571) since April 2010
  • Registered Social Worker with the Health and Care Professions Council (Registration number 1063093)


NB As a Social Science undergraduate I specialised in Psychology leading to a British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited degree.  I never actually applied for membership, preferring to develop a career in community and social work.



Date attained

MA Social Work, Warwick University

Certificate in Working with Women and Girls, Birmingham Polytechnic

BA (Hons) Social Science 2.1, The Polytechnic Wolverhampton





Book review: Wright, A (2016) Schutt, R K, Seidman, L J and Keshevan, M S (2015) ‘Social Neuroscience: brain, mind and society’.  US:  Harvard University press.  Social Work Education: The international Journal.


Conference Presentations

Nye, Pat and Wright, Anne (2010) ‘Service User and Carer contribution to Social Work Training’, Social Work and Employment Conference, 27 January, University of Wolverhampton.

Wright, Anne (2010) ‘The Who, What, Where, How and Why of the More Expert Other in Social Work Education’, JSWEC, 12th UK Joint Social Work Education Conference, 30 June to 2 July, University of Hertfordshire.

Wright, Anne (2010) The Who, What, Why and How of the More Expert Other in Social Work Education Marxism and Psychology Conference, 5-7 August, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada.


Previous professional experience


Date From

Date To

 Senior Practitioner in a specialist Permanency Service temporarily to help meet the new National Adoption Standards for England.  The post involved working closely with children with complex needs, birth parents, foster carers, prospective adopters and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.  Specialist training for this post included a 5 day Introductory Workshop in Theraplay and Marschak Interaction Method.


Level B social worker for a locality team, with main responsibility for children and young people with more complex needs, child protection and court proceedings. 


Social Worker, Children and Families’ Assessment and Care Management.  Initially I worked mainly with children in need, including children with disabilities and children looked after.  From 1994, my responsibilities mainly concerned children subject to Child Protection Plans or court proceedings.


Blakenhall Community Advice Centre, Group Worker for Women and Children:-

Worked jointly with local residents, community workers, social workers, housing officers and health visitors, exploring the needs of women and children in the area and setting up groups to meet these needs.  Was involved in setting up various groups (eg credit union, carer and toddler group, playgroups, play schemes, summer camps, multi-cultural music and dance groups).


Full-time parent


St Chad's Community Centre, Community Librarian:-

Provision of books and services in different languages and formats to meet specific needs eg Urdu, Punjabi, Gujarati, large print, house-bound service and storytelling sessions.


Temporary Research Assistant/part-time lecturer, Psychology Section, The Polytechnic, Wolverhampton.  Completed research here at the university on Nurse Wastage and Dropout for Wolverhampton Health Authority, Taught introductory Psychology and the therapies associated with different personality theories whilst completing temporary contracted research.


As a pre-nursing A level student (Suffolk College of Higher and Further Education) I undertook 1 day/week placements in a variety of mental health and general hospital ward settings























































Further information


Since joining the social work department at the University of Wolverhampton, my main contribution has been as Co-ordinator for Service User and Carer Involvement (SUCI) in Social Work courses, involving development of the university's own SW SUCI database, forum and hub group.  In February 2009 these improvements were commended by the GSCC as an example of good practice.  The model has since been extended and developed as the model for the whole faculty.

My studies for the PGCert HE enabled me to revisit an early interest in Vygotskyian theory originating from my undergraduate studies in Psychology.  I attained grade A for PGCert HE projects on technology supported learning and for the module on curriculum design.  My continued interest and small-scale evaluation and research of my teaching in these areas formed the basis of 2 subsequent conference papers