I am a registered social worker since 1993. I established the Social Work subject group on the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University in 2008 and was appointed as a senior lecturer in 2009 and acted as subject head until February 2013. I was promoted to associate professor from 1 January 2016.
My teaching philosophy is founded primarily on the social constructivism teaching approach with a strong emphasis on authentic learning and the incorporation of blended learning activities. I received the Institutional Teaching Excellence Award in 2015 from the North-West University, Vaal Triangle Campus and was also awarded the campus winner. I also received a commendation for teaching excellence from the Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of South Africa in 2015. .
I am a researcher in the sub-programme Pathways to Resilience and Post-Traumatic Growth within the Optentia Research Programme. My research interests include: prevention of child sexual abuse; forensic social work, a right-based approach to victims of child sexual abuse; and strengths-based interventions. I am involved in a multi-disciplinary, longitudinal research project funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF) on post-traumatic growth in women who have experienced sexual abuse as a child. I am also involved in a participatory action research project, aiming to prevent child sexual abuse by means of empowering parents in high risk communities; and a right-based research project aiming to investigate the rights of child witnesses during criminal proceedings. In addition, I am also a collaborator in the World University Network (WUN) ‘Resilience in Service Providers in Public Health Project’ Studies Working Group.
I have extensive experience in the investigation of allegations of child sexual abuse, the assessment and therapeutic intervention with children, adolescents and adults as well as short-term focussed intervention in workplace issues. I am also the presenter and co-presenter of workshops presented country wide on: assessment of child sexual abuse; expert witnessing in criminal cases; prevention of child sexual abuse; acting as an intermediary; therapeutic tools for adolescents and adults; and bereavement counselling.