Staff profile

Tonimarie Benaton

Senior Lecturer in Social Work


College of Health, Psychology and Social Care


School of Allied Health and Social Care





I qualified in 2000 and have been registered since that time. Currently, this is with Social Work England.

My main role is within the BA Hons Social Work program, but I also interlink within the MA Masters program in social work. I cross teach on a range of programs in the department in relation to a key area of interest which is Identity Through Life Story Work. My main passion within social work remains focused on the experience in children care, as well as understanding the role of the virtual school in the education of children in care.  I have had a number of opportunities recently particularly within the development of 360 films for Curious Monkey as well as undertaking research in the areas of children in care, vicarious trauma of students, and interprofessional working. 

I have a number of years of experience supporting BASW. This has entailed supporting practitioners and students to continue their academic and evidence-based practice through local seminars. I have developed strong academic development for students by bringing experts within the industry from a range of local authorities and organizations connecting theory to practice and enhancing evidence-based learning using a variety of mediums and online platforms.

Teaching responsibilities

I am a Module Leader for a range of modules on the BA Hons degree in Applied Social Work. I also work within the MA Social Work Master Program

Year 2-3 - Tutor Role: including tutor role for placements

MA Admission Tutor

Placement Learning PL1 Tutor

MA Year 2 Tutor

Module Leader for Preparation for Practice and Safeguarding & Protecting Children and Young People

IS Tutor – Year 3

MA – Internal Moderator on Protecting Children and Young People and International Social Work

Professional interests

Research interests

Working and research within the field of developing Social Work practice and work in relation to children in care and care experienced children as well as interprofessional working, vicarious trauma, and more recently the role of the virtual school in relation to children in care and the provisions of education. 

Membership of professional bodies


Recent conferences

Advance HE (2019) Teaching & Learning Conference: 

Experience in industry

I have 16 years of practice in Social Work within the areas of Children and Families: Looked After Children, Adoption and Fostering, Training and Educational, and within the Independent Reviewing Team. My passion for social work remains in the area of children in care, their participation, and education as well as life story work and how this can be developed and enhanced using evidence-based practice within the classroom. I'm currently an active researcher and within the third year of my PhD. study exploring the experiences of social workers within the arena of children in care and assimilation of the child's voice. 

I have previously worked for SOVA as an advocate and as a member of the Board of Trustees for NAIRO: involved in parliament discussions regarding the role of IRO, national conference development, and delivery at a local and national level. I moved to the UoD in 2016 as a Senior Social Work Lecturer. I am also an external examiner for Hertfordshire University, and I have provided book reviews to well-known publishers such as Sage.

Additional interests and activities

Development of Social Work Practice via BASW and research within the area of Children in Care and Education Children Care and of the Virtual School. I am currently working with the University in relation to developing a range of rehabilitation videos regarding substance use with a local rehabilitation centre in Staffordshire.

Recent publications

Via the lead researcher ex Nunn -

Placement in Youth Community and Social Settings – Co-writing chapter: Fran Fuller and Dr Pauline Green: Resilience. This is with Macmillan International Publishers