Dr Cynthia Okpokiri

Senior Lecturer in Social Work

Faculty:Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care

Department:School of Education and Social Care

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Social Work and Social Policy

Cynthia was a tutor and doctoral researcher at University of Sussex before taking up her role as Senior Lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University in September 2017.

01223 698132


Cynthia is a qualified social worker with wide-ranging knowledge and practice in children and families social work – she has over thirteen years’ experience in social care. She worked in child protection in several children and families teams across London before commencing her doctoral research at University of Sussex. During the PhD, Cynthia took on teaching roles with social work undergraduates and practice educators, as well as first year doctoral researchers.

Cynthia has also been engaged as an independent social work/social care consultant with various local authorities including, Thurrock, Barking and Dagenham, and Southwark, where she has provided research-informed child protection and parenting training to health and care practitioners and managers.

Spoken Languages

  • English
  • Igbo

Research interests

  • Children and family dynamics
  • Child protection; privileging children
  • Parenting; privileging parents/carers
  • Efficacy of social work
  • Migration, social cohesion, and ‘Ubuntu’
  • Well-being, equality and social justice
  • Theories of Social Science/Social Work

Areas of research supervision

Cynthia will welcome students for supervision in the following research areas:

  • Children and families social work
  • Social work practice education
  • Well-being, equality and social justice
  • Migration, difference, and group dynamics
  • Theories of Social work and social sciences


Cynthia teaches the following social work courses, in addition to dissertation supervision:

  • Well-being across the Life Course
  • Knowledge, Values and Skills in Social Work
  • The Application of Theory to Social Work Practice


  • PhD Social Work/Social Care
  • MSc Social Research Methods
  • Introduction to Teaching in Higher Education (ITHE)
  • MSc Social Work
  • BSc (Hons) Sociology and Anthropology

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Higher Education Academy, Associate Fellow
  • British Association of Social Workers, Member
  • Health and Care Professions Council, Member

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

ESRC Doctoral Research Award – 2011-2015

  • Southwark Children and Family Services - 'Assessment with Black African Children and Families', Sep 2016
  • Barking and Dagenham Children and Family Services - 'Alternative Childrearing Practices', Apr 2016
  • Thurrock Children and Family Services - 'Effective and Comprehensive work with Black African Children and Families', Nov 2014

Recent presentations and conferences

University of Oxford, ESRC Doctoral Conference - Poster presentation, 'Nigerian Immigrant Parents and Child Welfare Issues', Apr 2015.

University of Sussex, Centre for Cultural Studies - Paper presentation, 'Multiculturalism', Mar 2014.

University of Swansea, Wales - Paper presentation, 'Nigerian Immigrant Parenting in the UK', Feb 2014.

University of Sussex - Doctoral Students' Conference, Organiser/Convener, Jul 2012