I am currently Head of the School of Law (since January 2016).

Prior to that appointment I was mainly engaged in post graduate teaching and research. I was Director of the MA in Child Care Law and Practice for many years and developed and directed the MA in Safeguarding Adults: Law, Policy and Practice from its introduction in 2011. I have also taught extensively across BA and MA Social Work programmes at Keele delivering all aspects of the social work law curriculum.

I hold a PG Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Authority. In 2017 I was nominated for a national Teaching Fellowship.

I am a qualified solicitor (non practising). Before joining Keele I lectured at Wolverhampton University and before that I was employed as a local authority solicitor specialising in Social Services work, including child protection, adoption, mental health and community care, as well as some education and planning work.

I have maintained links with the public sector and am regularly engaged to speak at conferences aimed at practitioners and to deliver bespoke training for local authorities, health authorities and other special interest groups.

I am author of ‘Social Work Law’ (fifth edition forthcoming’  and Series Editor of the Focus on Social Work Law Series,  including my text on  ‘Safeguarding Adults’.

B.A. 1985, (Sussex). Solicitor of the Supreme Court.

Research and scholarship

My main areas of interest relate to the interplay between law and social work practice – a theme which is fully explored in my book, Social Work Law.

I am interested in two particular aspects of that interplay, the law relating to child care law and practice and the law relating to adult safeguarding, as well as the comparisons between both areas of practice. I have a longstanding interest in the application of law to adult abuse, whether this is located in private or institutional settings.

Current projects include analysis of tribunal reports which evidence abuse in residential settings for vulnerable adults; and inter disciplinary research with colleagues into shared parenting. 


Research grants include:

British Academy (PI) ‘Mothers of Children Removed under a Care Order: Outcomes and Experience.

ESRC funded seminar series (PI) The Care Act 2014: A New Legal Framework for Safeguarding Adults in Civil Society.

SALLY 'Safeguarding Adults and Legal Literacy'


I am lead supervisor for PHD student, Sally Dowding



Undergraduate Teaching:

BA Social Work
Introduction to legal processes and Area of Practice: Adults,: Children and Families,


Postgraduate Teaching:

MA Social Work
Introduction to legal processes and Area of Practice: Adults,: Children and Families,

MA Child Care Law and Practice
Modules: Foundations and Principles; Contemporary Issues; Looked After Children;
Research Training and Dissertation supervision .

MA Medical Ethics and Law, Mental Health law.

MA Safeguarding Adults: Law, Policy and Practice

Modules: Emergence of Adult Safeguarding;  Interventions; Safeguarding and Mental capacity

Safeguarding and Carers.

Best Interests Assessor Award

Further information

External Examiner at Nottingham University on UG and PG programmes (previously also Northumbria, Hull  and Glyndwr).

Legal Editor of the Journal of Adult Protection.

Consultant to the Open University on development of their new Law and Social Work Programme.

Trustee at BASW (British Association of Social Workers).

Convenor of the Social Work Law association for academics and educators of social work law.

Panel member for New Chapters Foster care Independent Agency (2015 -2018)

Trustee, CASS, Carers Association South Staffordshire (2015-2017)

I was promoted to a personal chair as Professor of Social Work law in 2015. My inaugural lecture,



Richardson, V. and Brammer, A. 2020 Mothers of children removed under a care order: Outcomes and experiences. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 42:3, 360-376, DOI: 10.1080/09649069.2020.1796223

School of Law
Keele University
Tel: +44 (0) 1782 733218
Fax: +44 (0)1782 733228
Email: School of Law Office

Admissions enquiries:
Tel: +44(0)1782 733218

Postgraduate enquiries:
Tel: +44 (0) 1782 733218