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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. (2024). Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Proceedings of the National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (NOFASD) Australia: The FASD Forum. Retrieved from Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Milne, K., Henderson, L., Gibbs, A., & Chu, J.T.W. (2024, March). Setting our tertiary students up for success. Webinar presentation for the New Zealand Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Care Action Network (FASD-CAN). [Research Presentation]. Other Research Output

Gibbs, A. (2024). ‘No one believed us: no one came to help’: Caregivers' experiences of violence and abuse involving children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/anzf.1575 Journal - Research Article

Gibbs, A., Wei, J., Gilmour, F., Dougherty, J., Bond, P., Bohn, S., Biggs, L., & Rakuita, T. (Eds.). (2023). Proceedings of the Sociology, Gender Studies & Criminology and Social & Community Work Postgraduate Symposium VII. Dunedin, New Zealand: Sociology, Gender Studies and Criminology Programme, University of Otago. 44p. Conference Contribution - Edited volume of conference proceedings

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 Journal - Research Article

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