Molly Manister: “Agent of support or agent of surveillance? The expectations on children’s social care professionals in the prevention of youth radicalisation”

In Students by General Account

I have been working as a Research Assistant in the Contextual Safeguarding Team at Durham University since 2021, and was previously employed from 2020 in the same team at The University of Bedfordshire. Before this I was working for a children’s charity. In 2018 I completed an MA in Human Rights at UCL, and in 2017 I graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a BA in World Religions and Theology.

My project will explore UK social workers’ obligations to operate within the ‘pre-criminal space’, specifically the responsibility to identify and address potential radicalisation in young people. I will consider whether the values of social work align with the values underpinning the existing ‘Prevent Duty’, which places a duty on those working in the welfare and care sector to identify and refer those vulnerable to perceived radicalisation into policing systems. I will explore how conflicting value bases might be navigated when safeguarding young people and more broadly, when working in a care and welfare capacity with individuals deemed at risk of committing future crime. Crucially, I will consider how social workers can preserve the values of their profession and safeguard those at risk of harm – both from the process of radicalisation and in punitive system responses.