Dr Nhlanganiso Nyathi

Senior Lecturer

Course Leader

Faculty:Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education

Department:School of Education & Social Care

Location: Peterborough (Guild House)

Areas of Expertise: Social Work and Social Policy

Dr Nhlanganiso Nyathi qualified as a generic social worker more than 20 years ago. Most of his post qualifying practice experience is in the area of children and families social work, and child protection in particular, which he's very passionate about.

Email: nhlanganiso.nyathi@anglia.ac.uk

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Prior to being appointed as a Senior Lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University Nhlanganiso was Review Manager with the Safeguarding and Standards Unit of the Cambridgeshire County Council. In that role he was responsible for coordinating, planning and ensuring continuous quality improvement through monitoring and reviewing interprofessional safeguarding systems. In addition he was an independent reviewing officer (IRO) for looked after children. Nhlanganiso has more than twenty years post qualifying work experience at practice, supervisory, and managerial levels in both, statutory and non-statutory settings in the UK and abroad. His post qualifying international social work experience spans from working as social worker for Bulawayo City Council, Government Social Welfare Officer (both in Zimbabwe) and social worker for London Borough of Sutton and Cambridgeshire County Council. In addition he is the founding Chairperson for the multiagency Bulawayo taskforce on street children in Zimbabwe. He was also involved in strategic human resource management work experience and research work during his MBA studies with international corporations such as Anglo American Corporation (UNICEM), Rainbow Tourism Group and British Vita PLC in Southern Africa.

Research interests

  • Inter-professional practice
  • Assessment and management of risk
  • Professional judgement and decision making in safeguarding vulnerable children.

The title of Nhlanganiso’s doctoral thesis was: Factors that are key influences to effective interprofessional collaborative child protection decision making and practice: social workers’ perceptions.

Combining elements of two systems models, Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) learning together systems model (SCIE, 2012) and Falkov’s systemic family focused model (Falkov, 2013), a constructivist-interpretivist qualitative research design was adopted. Among its key findings was that the effectiveness of interprofessional collaborative child protection decision making and practice, as perceived by social workers, and the systematic identification and the systemic understanding are determined by four factors: multi-level relationship influences; multi-level organisational influences; external influences and decision making influences.

The main conclusion that can be drawn from this study is that research focused on social workers’ knowledge and understanding of interprofessional collaborative child protection decision making and practice, as the lead professionals, proposes a conceptual model for the systematic identification of child protection concerns and the systemic understanding of this process, with some degree of discretion in professional judgement and decision making.

Areas of research supervision

Nhlanganiso would be pleased to consider supervising doctoral students with the following research interests/topics:

  • inter-professional collaboration
  • child protection or safeguarding children
  • social work with children and families
  • risk assessment and management in social work
  • professional judgement and decision making in social work
  • values and ethics in social work

Recent and current doctoral supervision as first supervisor:

  • Nhlanganiso is currently supervising undergraduate and postgraduate major projects


Nhlanganiso is currently teaching the following undergraduate modules:

  • Knowledge evidence and practice
  • Social work with children and families
  • Analytical thinking and decision making
  • Assessed readiness for Direct Practice (ARDP)
  • Undergraduate major project

He is also course leader for the BA Social Work degree course (part time). Previously, Nhlanganiso has taught the following modules:

  • Ethics and Values
  • Principles and skills of social work
  • Post qualifying social work award
  • Social work power and responsibilities


  • PhD, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge
  • Post Qualifying Social Work Award, Anglia Ruskin University
  • Bachelor of Social Work Degree, University of Zimbabwe
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching (Higher Education), Anglia Ruskin University
  • Master in Business Administration (MBA), National University of Science and Technology (Zimbabwe) in association with Birmingham University Business School

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Registered Social Worker with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
  • Fellow Higher Education Authority (FHEA)
  • Member of the FHSCE Inter-professional safeguarding group
  • Member of the FHSCE Inter-professional Working Group

Selected recent publications

Nyathi, N. and Akister, J. (2016) A Practitioner’s perception of interprofessional collaboration influences in safeguarding children. Childhood Remixed, http://www.ucs.ac.uk/Faculties-and-Centres/Faculty-of-Arts,-Business-and-Applied-Social-Science/Department-of-Children,-Young-People-and-Education/Childhood-remixed-Feb-2016.pdf pp90-101.

Nyathi, N., 2007. Identifying multiagency professionals' perceived key indicators for positive outcomes in child protection intervention. Children Workforce and Development Council (not available online). 

Nyathi, N and Akister, J., 2017. Working with multi-level relationships to improve child protection outcomes in families experiencing mental health difficulties. In: Parental Mental Health and Child Welfare Work, Volume 2. Pavilion. ISBN 9-781-9110-2870-3 (accepted).

Nyathi, N., 2017. Decision-making in interprofessional collaborative child protection practice. In: Special Issue of the Journal of Social Work Practice (draft submitted on 3 April 2017 and final version due on 31 October 2017).

Recent presentations and conferences

Presented a paper titled: ‘Social workers’ perceptions of factors that influence effective interprofessional collaboration in child protection practice’ at an international conference on Children and Childhoods Conference 2015, University Campus Suffolk, Ipswich, UK on 14 July 2015.

Presented a poster titled ‘Social workers’ perceptions of factors that influence effective interprofessional collaboration in child protection practice’ at an international conference on Children and Childhoods Conference 2015, University Campus Suffolk, Ipswich, UK on 14/07/15.

Presented a paper titled: “Behind Closed Doors” Contemporary Issues in Safeguarding Conference, Anglia Ruskin University, Postgraduate Medical Institute, Chelmsford, 2014.