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Dr Kelly Devenney

Lecturer in Social Work

BA Social Work (Bradford) MRES Social Work (York) PhD (York)
Programme Leader Social Work

Visit Dr Kelly Devenney's profile on the York Research Database to see a full list of publications and browse her research related activities.


Areas of interest

  • Unaccompanied asylum seeking children and young people
  • Refugee and Migrant youth
  • Care leavers

Academic biography

Having dropped out of my first university degree I returned to education as a mature student and finally completed a BA in Social Work. Following this, I completed both my MRES and PhD at the University of York. My PhD research centred on the experiences of unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people as they transition to adulthood. This research developed creative visual methods for engaging young people from a diverse range of backgrounds in the research process.

On completing my thesis I spent two years lecturing in Childhood and Youth studies at York St John University before returning to the University of York in September 2018.


Recent publications

Devenney, K (forthcoming) “My own Blood”: The family relationships of asylum seeking young people in the UK, Families, Relationships and Societies

Devenney, K (2017) Pathway planning with unaccompanied young people leaving care: Biographical narratives of past, present and future, Child & Family Social Work 22:3 1313-1321

Professional activities

Professional activities

  • Founding Co-editor and Advisory Board Member- York Policy Review
  • Member- Community of Researchers in transition (CORIT)an international group of researchers interested in young people’s transitions from care.
  • Member- Social Policy Association
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Degree programmes and modules

  • MA Social Work
  • Integrated Masters Social Work

Research and PhD supervision

Supervision interests

  • Childhood & Youth
  • Young People and transition to adulthood
  • Migration and Immigration

Contact details

Dr Kelly Devenney
Lecturer in Social Work Programme Leader Social Work
School for Business and Society

Tel: +44 (0) 1904 321260