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CQSW PhD (Brist) CertWSt (Open)Anita Gibbs image

Contact details

Room 6C17, Richardson Building
Tel +64 3 479 5677

Anita trained as a social worker in the UK and worked in criminal justice, notably probation.

She completed her PhD at the University of Bristol and after postdoctoral research at the University of Oxford she moved to Otago in 1999.

She has taught numerous social work, sociology and criminology courses since with a particular interest in teaching in the area of families. Her research studies have included electronic monitoring, mental health, adoption, transcultural parenting, defining social work research, making social work accessible to sociologists, auto-ethnography, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and its impact on families, and the scholarship of publication.

Anita is a registered social worker and facilitates a parent support group for families where FASD is an issue.


I co-ordinate and teach:

Postgraduate supervision

  • Adoption
  • Fostering
  • FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder)
  • Qualitative Research
  • Social Work Research
  • Family Welfare and Policy
  • Hidden/Invisible Disabilities

Current and recent students

Penelope Kinney (PhD)

Transitions from hospital to community with a regional forensic service

Suzi Wereta (PhD)

Exploration of youth suicide among Māori

Harriet Toa (Honours)

Parental capacity of parents with intellectual disability

Angela Jackson (Honours)

Achieving permanence through Home for Life

Amanda Kennedy (Honours)

Promising Interventions for Mothers and Children with Maternal Problematic Substance Misuse


Gibbs, A., Flanagan, J., & Gray, L. (2023). An Australian online training and support program for caregivers of children and youth with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Families linking with families. Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, 2271757. Advance online publication. doi: 10.3109/13668250.2023.2271757

Gibbs, A. (2023). Living in the fire: The impacts of child and adolescent to parent violence and abuse on caregivers of children with fetal alcohol spectrum. Drug & Alcohol Review, 42(Suppl. 1), 64. doi: 10.1111/dar.13749

Milne, K., Henderson, L., Gibbs, A., Johnston, T., & Chu, J. T. W. (2023, October). Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: What is needed to enable tertiary students to achieve. Workshop presentation at the Neuroability Symposium, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Gibbs, A. (2023, October). Expanding knowledge and awareness of neurodiversity for health, welfare and justice professionals and tertiary learners. Verbal presentation at the Neuroability Symposium, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Gibbs, A. (2023, August). Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: The lived reality and ways in which professionals and helpers can make a positive difference. Whāraurau National Training Day: Neurodiversity, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from

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