My names is Andressa Gadda. I am originally from the South of Brazil, a land far less exotic than the usual images depicted in the telly of Carnival, sandy beaches and wild jungles. At the age of 16 I went on my first trip abroad – I came to London to learn English and never went back! After leaving home I spent many years doing all sorts of jobs all over the UK and Europe. At the turn of the Millennium I moved to Scotland and embarked in the greatest, and most challenging, adventure yet – returning to school! I first enrolled on an Access Course to Languages and Humanities and then went on to spend many years at the University of Edinburgh – where I have completed an Honours Degree in Sociology, a Masters in Social Research and a PhD in Social Work.
Since 2012 I have been working as a Research Associate at the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland (CELCIS), based at the University of Strathclyde. Prior to this I worked as a research officer for the Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People and as a research and survey assistant at the Social and Public Health Sciences Unit based at the University of Glasgow. I have also worked for many years as a Youth Worker in Edinburgh – a job I really loved and which taught me a lot! As I enjoy working with young people, and care about the environment, I have been a volunteer with the Green Team for the past couple of years.
At the present I am carrying out a number of research projects focusing on issues around permanency planning for looked after children and young people. My key research interests are within the fields of childhood and youth studies, particularly in relation to looked after children and young people and their interaction with the care and protection and justice systems and professionals. I am also very interested in social work practice, social and political theory and methodological issues (particularly when involving children and young people in research).