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Dr Laura Tucker



Areas of expertise

  • Mental health social work
  • Professional roles in mental health
  • Social interventions in mental health

Academic Biography 

I am a qualified social worker with a background working in the health and social care sector since 2004, across a range of voluntary and statutory agencies with a primary focus on mental health. In 2017, after years of being mistakenly identified as a psychiatric nurse, I completed an MRes in Social Work at the University of York focusing on the role of the social worker in mental health services. Following this, I joined the academic team at York delivering the Think Ahead programme, which is a fast-track programme for mental health social work, before starting a PhD in 2018 exploring the impact of context on professional roles in mental health social work.


Current research

Section 17 leave: supporting unpaid carers (

This study aims to develop a new s.17 standard for the Triangle of Care (guidance for NHS Mental Health Trusts on how to fully engage with carers) and test if it shows promise in practice. The s.17 standard will define the support to be provided to carers before, during and after periods of s.17 leave.

Supporting Academics into Practice
Evaluating a project which seeks to enable social work academics to spend time in practice with frontline social workers, with a view to developing a mutually-beneficial, sustainable model for academic and social work practitioner collaboration.


Tucker, L., Webber. M. and Jobling, H. (2021). Mapping the matrix: understanding the structure and position of social work in mental health services in England and Wales.  The British Journal of Social Work.

Tucker, L. and Webber, M. (2021). ‘Maybe a Maverick, Maybe a Parent, but Definitely Not an Honorary Nurse’: Social Worker Perspectives on the Role and Nature of Social Work in Mental Health Care, The British Journal of Social Work, 51(2), 545-563.





 ‌Laura Tucker profile page

Contact details

Laura Tucker
Research Associate
School for Business and Society

Tel: 01904 326686