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I have worked as a researcher, specialising in child protection, since 1987. I have directed child protection research projects since 1992. From that time, I have carried out major projects into organised child sexual abuse (CSA), the physical and sexual abuse of children by strangers, the attrition of cases of child abuse and neglect in the criminal justice system, and international and internet CSA. I have also carried out research into looked after children. I have had research grants from the Charity Commission, the Department of Health, the Economic and Social Research Council (3), the Home Office, New Horizons (Child Care) Ltd., the NSPCC and The Nuffield Foundation. Prior to this, I worked with Jane Gibbons on a Department of Health funded follow-up study of physically abused children (1988-1992), David Farrington and Donald West on the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development (1984-87), and Sue Creighton in the NSPCC Research Unit (1987-88) Before becoming a researcher, I worked as a residential social worker, for almost four years, in a variety of children’s homes in London.
I am currently an Associate Editor with Child Abuse Review.
I am currently a member of the Institute for Research in Citizenship and Applied Human Sciences and the Centre for Applied Childhood, Youth and Family Research.
My special area of interest is child protection but I am also interested in the care of looked after children. Given the sensitivities of child protection research, along with the challenges arising from other studies I have worked on, I am concerned, in addition, with the methodological and ethical issues that arise in social research.
I have been awarded the following research and research-related grants in the last five years:
Gallagher, B (2017) ‘Child sexual exploitation A national threat?’ NOTA News (82), pp. 22-26.
Sharratt, K., Boduszek, D., Gallagher, B. and Jones, A. (2017) ‘Factor structure and factorial invariance of the strengths and difficulties questionnaire among children of prisoners and their parents’ Child Indicators Research . ISSN 1874-897X
Gallagher, B (2016) ‘The Role of Digital Technology in Child Protection: Still Helping and Harming?’ Child Abuse Review , 25 (5), pp. 327-331. ISSN 0952-9136
Gallagher, B., Berman, A., Bieganski, J., Jones, A., Foca, L., Raikes, B., Schiratzki, J., Urban, M. and Ullman, S. (2015) ‘National Human Research Ethics: A Preliminary Comparative Case Study of Germany, Great Britain, Romania, and Sweden’ Ethics & Behavior . ISSN 1050-8422
Sharratt, K., Boduszek, D., Jones, A. and Gallagher, B. (2014) ‘Construct validity, dimensionality and factorial invariance of the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale: A bifactor modelling approach among children of prisoners’ Current Issues in Personality Psychology , 2 (4), pp. 228-236. ISSN 2353-4192
Gallagher, B (2014) ‘In Rotherham blame game, media ignores those who did good work’ The Conversation . ISSN 2044-5032
Gallagher, B (2014) ‘Butler-Sloss stands down, but politicians still fail to face the facts on child sex abuse’ The Conversation . ISSN 2044-5032
Gallagher, B (2014) ‘Rolf Harris guilty : but what has Operation Yewtree really taught us about child sexual abuse?’ The Conversation . ISSN 2044-5032
Balfe, M., Gallagher, B., Masson, H., Balfe, S., Brugha, R. and Hackett, S. (2014) ‘Internet Child Sex Offenders' Concerns about Online Security and their Use of Identity Protection Technologies: A Review’ Child Abuse Review . ISSN 0952-9136
Gallagher, B (2013) ‘Why dont we just . trust social workers?’ The Big Issue .
Gallagher, B (2013) ‘Child Sex Abuse: Have We Learnt Anything?’. In: University of Huddersfield Public Lecture Series, 11th December 2013, Huddersfield, UK
Jones, A., Gallagher, B., Manby, M., Robertson, O., Sch�tzwohl, M., Berman, A., Hirschfield, A., Ayre, L., Urban, M., Sharratt, K. and Christmann, K. (2013) Children of Prisoners: Interventions and mitigations to strengthen mental health . Huddersfield: University of Huddersfield. ISBN 9781862181168
Gallagher, B (2013) ‘Involving children in research : challenges and opportunities’ Justice for children of prisoners newsletters : Looking forward .
Gallagher, B. and Green, A. (2013) ‘Outcomes among young adults placed in therapeutic residential care as children’ Journal of Children's Services , 8 (1), pp. 31-51. ISSN 1746-6660
Gallagher, B. and Green, A. (2012) ‘In, out and after care: Young adults' views on their lives, as children, in a therapeutic residential establishment’ Children and Youth Services Review , 34 (2), pp. 437-450. ISSN 0190-7409
Gallagher, B. and Jones, A. (2011) COPING: Children of Prisoners, Interventions and Mitigations to Strengthen Mental Health. Perspectives of Children, Parents and Carers Ethical Procedures Report University of Huddersfield
Gallagher, B (2009) ‘Attempted and Completed Incidents of Stranger-Perpetrated Child Sexual Abuse and Abduction’. In: 7th Annual BASPCAN (British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse) Conference, 13th - 16th September 2009, Swansea, Wales , p. 59
Gallagher, B (2009) ‘Child sexual abuse: informed or in fear?’ Criminal Justice Matters , 77 (1), pp. 6-7. ISSN 0962-7251
Gallagher, B (2009) ‘The UK Register of Child Protection Research - 1990 Onwards’. In: 7th Annual BASPCAN (British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse) Conference, 13th - 16th September 2009, Swansea, Wales , p. 133
Gallagher, B (2009) ‘International and Internet Child Sexual Abuse: Typologies, Extent, Nature, and Policy and Practice Implications’. In: 7th Annual BASPCAN (British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse) Conference, 13th - 16th September 2009, Swansea, Wales , p. 71
Gallagher, B (2008) ‘Commentary on School-based education programmes for the prevention of child sexual abuse’ Evidence-Based Child Health A Cochrane Review Journal , 3 (3), pp. 637-639. ISSN 15576272
Gallagher, B (2008) ‘Preventing child deaths’ Child Abuse Review , 17 (5), pp. 289-296. ISSN 0952-9136
Gallagher, B (2008) ‘International and internet child sexual abuse’. In: British Society of Criminology, 9th - 11th July 2008, University of Huddersfield, UK
Gallagher, B (2008) ‘The sexual abuse and abduction of children by strangers’. In: British Society of Criminology Conference 2008, 9-11 July 2008, University of Huddersfield, UK
Gallagher, B (2008) ‘Fear of the unknown’ Safer Communities: a journal of practice, opinion, policy and research , 7 (3), pp. 22-25. ISSN 1757-8043
Gallagher, B., Bradford, M. and Pease, K. (2008) ‘Attempted and completed incidents of stranger-perpetrated child sexual abuse and abduction’ Child Abuse & Neglect , 32 (5), pp. 517-528. ISSN 0145-2134
Gallagher, B (2008) ‘Dangerous worlds? The problems of international and internet child sexual abuse’ Community Safety Journal , 7 (2), pp. 8-11. ISSN 1757-8043
Gallagher, B (2007) ‘Don't call us: More support is needed for child telephone helplines’ childRIGHT , pp. 12-13. ISSN 0265-1459
Gallagher, B (2007) ‘Stranger danger’ Jane's Police Review , pp. 24-25. ISSN 0309-1414
Gallagher, B (2007) ‘International and internet child sexual abuse: The typology, extent and nature of known causes, and their implication for policy and practice’ childRIGHT , pp. 14-17. ISSN 0265-1459
Gallagher, B (2007) ‘International and internet child sexual abuse: the typology, extent and nature of known cases’. In: NOTA 17th Annual Conference: Challenging sexual abuse - challenging assumptions. Towards best practice, research and theory, 19th - 21st September 2007, Edinburgh, UK
Gallagher, B (2007) ‘How should policy and practice respond to international and internet child sexual abuse?’. In: NOTA 17th Annual Conference: Challenging sexual abuse - challenging assumptions. Towards best practice, research and theory, 19th - 21st September 2007, Edinburgh, UK
Gallagher, B (2007) ‘What is international child sexual abuse?’. In: Safeguarding Children? Current Debates Future Prospects, 6th - 7th September 2007, University of Huddersfield
Gallagher, B (2007) ‘Internet-initiated incitement and conspiracy to commit child sexual abuse (CSA): The typology, extent and nature of known cases’ Journal of Sexual Aggression , 13 (2), pp. 101-119. ISSN 1355-2600
Gallagher, B (2007) ‘Criminal contacts’ Jane's Police Review , pp. 24-25. ISSN 0309-1414
Gallagher, B (2007) ‘Dangerous liaisons’ Community care (1658), pp. 34-35. ISSN 0307-5508
Gallagher, B., Fraser, C., Christmann, K. and Hodgson, B. (2006) International and internet child sexual abuse and exploitation Huddersfield, UK: University of Huddersfield
Gallagher, B (2005) ‘Internet child sexual abuse’. In: 1st US/European Summit on Missing and Exploited Children, 25th - 27th October 2005, Buonas, Switzerland
Gallagher, B (2005) ‘Book reviews: Child Pornography: An Internet Crime. Max Taylor, Ethel Quayle, Brunner-Routledge, Hove, 2003. 236 pp. ISBN 1-58391- 244-4.’ Journal of Sexual Aggression , 11 (2), pp. 227-228. ISSN 1355-2600
Gallagher, B (2005) ‘New technology: helping or harming children?’ Child Abuse Review , 14 (6), pp. 367-373. ISSN 0952-9136
Gallagher, B., Brannan, C., Jones, R. and Westwood, S. (2004) ‘Good practice in the education of children in residential care’ British Journal of Social Work , 34 (8), pp. 1133-1160. ISSN 1468-263X
Gallagher, B., Christmann, K., Fraser, C. and Hodgson, B. (2003) ‘International and internet child sexual abuse and exploitation - issues emerging from research’ Child and Family Law Quarterly , 15 (4), pp. 353-371. ISSN 1358-8184
Gallagher, B (2002) ‘Book review: Public inquiries into abuse of children in residential care (by Corby, B., Doig, A. and Roberts, V., 2001)’ Research, Policy and Planning: The journal of the Social Services Research Group , 20 (1).
Gallagher, B., Bradford, M. and Pease, K. (2002) ‘The sexual abuse of children by strangers: its extent, nature and victim characteristics’ Children and Society , 16 (5), pp. 346-359. ISSN 0951-0605
Gallagher, B (2001) ‘Assessment and intervention in cases of suspected ritual child sexual abuse’ Child Abuse Review , 10 (4), pp. 227-242. ISSN 0952-9136
Gallagher, B (2001) ‘Understanding child abuse’ Child Abuse Review , 10 (2), pp. 75-80. ISSN 09529136
Gallagher, B (2000) ‘Ritual, and child sexual abuse, but not ritual child sexual abuse’ Child Abuse Review , 9 (5), pp. 321-327. ISSN 09529136
Gallagher, B (2000) ‘The extent and nature of known cases of institutional child sexual abuse’ British Journal of Social Work , 30 (6), pp. 795-817. ISSN 00453102
Gallagher, B (1999) ‘The abuse of children in public care’ Child abuse review , 8 (6), pp. 357-365. ISSN 0952-9136
Gallagher, B (1999) ‘Institutional Abuse’. In: Child Sexual Abuse: Responding to the Experiences of Children. : Wiley. pp. 197-210. ISBN 9780471983347
Gallagher, B (1998) ‘'Forked tails and forked tongues' book review: Speak of the devil, Tales of Satanic Abuse in Contemporary England by Jean La Fontaine (1998)’ Times Higher Education .
Gallagher, B (1998) ‘The nature and extent of known cases of organised child abuse in England and Wales’. In: Organised abuse - the current debate. : Ashgate. pp. 215-230. ISBN 9781857422849
Gallagher, B (1998) Grappling with smoke: investigating and managing organised child sexual abuse: a good practice guide . Policy Practice Research Series. London, UK: NSPCC. ISBN 9780902498839
Hughes, B., Parker, H. and Gallagher, B. (1996) Policing child sexual abuse: the view from police practitioners . : Home Office.
Gallagher, B., Creighton, S. and Gibbons, J. (1995) ‘Ethical Dilemmas in Social Research: no easy solutions’ British journal of social work , 25 (3), pp. 295-311. ISSN 0045-3102
Gibbons, J., Gallagher, B., Bell, C. and Gordon, D. (1995) Development after physical abuse in early childhood a follow-up study of children on protection registers . Studies in child protection Department of Health. London, UK: The Stationery Office. ISBN 9780113217908
Gibbons, J., Gallagher, B., Bell, C. and Gordon, D. (1995) Development after Physical Abuse in Early Childhood . : HMSO.
Gallagher, B (1993) Family participation in initial child protection case conferences: report on a pilot project for Liverpool Area Child Protection Committee Liverpool Area Child Protection Committee
Farrington, D., Gallagher, B., Morley, L., St. Ledger, R. and West, D. (1990) ‘Minimising attrition in longitudinal research: methods in tracing and securing cooperation in a 24-year follow-up study’. In: Data Quality in Longitudinal Research. : Cambridge University Press. pp. 122-147. ISBN 9780521380911
Gallagher, B., Farrington, D., Morely, L., St. Ledger, R. and Brown, W. (1988) ‘A 24-year follow-up of men from vulnerable backgrounds’. In: The abandonment of delinquent behaviour: promoting the turnaround. New York, USA: Praeger. pp. 335-356. ISBN 9780275929282
Farrington, D., Gallagher, B., Morley, L., St. Ledger, R. and West, D. (1986) ‘Unemployment, school leaving and crime’ British Journal of Criminology , 26 (4), pp. 335-356. ISSN 0007-0955
There is much concern over cases of child sexual abuse (CSA) that have an international dimension. This includes cases of child trafficking and child sex tourism. There is, though, only a very limited literature on the problem of international CSA and some of this material is of questionable reliability. Moreover, much of the research to date has focused upon a very narrow range of cases. Proposals that explore any aspect of international CSA, for example, extent, nature of cases, policy and practices responses, are invited.
With the rise of the internet, concern has grown over this technology being used to groom children for child sexual abuse (CSA) or to obtain child pornographic images. Recent research has identified a further concern, that of offenders inciting, and conspiring with, one another to commit CSA. While there is a little research on internet-initiated grooming and child pornography, internet-related CSA is, overall, an unexplored area. Proposals that explore any aspect of internet CSA, or other new technology-related CSA (e.g. mobile phones, covert cameras and online games) are invited.
The criminal victimisation of children is a neglected research area, even though surveys show that this group experiences some of the highest rates of victimisation. There have been a few local crime victimisation surveys involving children but very few national surveys. Moreover, crime against children may be changing in line with wider societal developments e.g. greater mobile phone ownership among children. Proposals that explore crimes against children, especially the prevalence and nature of victimisation, are invited.
There is currently much concern over the attrition (i.e. non-convictions) of rape cases in the criminal justice system. Much of this concern has focused upon the rape of adults, in particular women. However, the limited research that there is suggests that attrition is high among not only sexual abuse cases involving children but also cases of physical abuse and neglect that involve children. There are, though, few data in the UK on the extent of this problem, the reasons why cases are terminated or the implications of attrition for policy and practice. Proposals are invited on these or any other aspect relating to the attrition of cases of child abuse and neglect in the criminal justice system.
Research by David Finkelhor in the United States suggests that the incidence of child sexual abuse (CSA) in the United States is declining. This has proven to be a controversial argument but reducing the incidence of CSA is clearly a central goal of policy and practice but also wider societal efforts. It is important to determine whether there has been a similar decline in CSA in the UK and to identify the reasons for any such change. Proposals that examine trends in the incidence of CSA and/or the reasons for these trends are invited.
In addition to the above, I am happy to consider any proposal that is related to any aspect of child protection or looked after children.