Elsbeth Neil

Professor of Social Work, University of East Anglia, UK

Beth Neil (BSc Psychology; MA Social Work; PhD) is a Professor of Social Work at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England where she is the School of Social Work’s Research Director.
Beth has carried out a wide range of studies over her 25+ years academic career at UEA, focusing predominantly on adoption as it is experienced by adopted children and adults, birth relatives and adoptive parents. Her research has explored adopted people’s support needs from infancy through to adulthood, their birth family connections, and their own perceptions of being adopted-including how adoption shapes their personal, ethnic and social identity and understanding of life story. She has directed a three stage, 18 year longitudinal study focused on post adoption contact. She has recently completed a study exploring the life story narratives of adopted men and women who have become parents, and adoptive parents who are now grandparents.
Beth is a registered social worker, and although no longer in practice she works alongside practitioners and people with lived experience in trying to use research findings to have a positive impact in practice. She has been part of a team developing practice resources to enable a more child focused approach to transitioning children from foster care to adoption (https://www.movingtoadoption.co.uk/). She is currently working with the National Adoption Team in England on a programme of culture change work addressing openness in adoption.