Child Neglect & Emotional Abuse: Understanding, Assessment & Response


Celia Doyle & Charles Timms

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    About the Authors

    Celia Doyle started her professional career as a social worker in a local authority children's team but under the 1968 Seebohm Report reforms became ‘generic’. Subsequently, she focussed on psychiatric social work, then for over eleven years was a specialist in child protection employed by the NSPCC. After a break for family commitments, she acquired qualifications in psychology recognised by the British Psychological Society and became an independent play worker. Subsequently, while working as a senior lecturer in university settings she undertook research into the emotional abuse of children, which culminated in a doctoral thesis. She has published extensively in the field of child protection. She continues to research and lecture in child protection particularly in early childhood studies at the University of Northampton.

    Celia Doyle is a Research Associate in child welfare at the University of Northampton.

    Charles D Timms originally qualified in biomedical sciences at Southampton University where he developed an interest in the influence of very early experiences on later health outcomes and the Barker hypothesis. He undertook research into foetal malnutrition, then continued his investigations into the impact of childhood nutrition on health in later life at Swansea University. He also gained insights into the nature and effect of head injury and brain lesions, including those associated with substance misuse, while working at St Andrew's Hospital in Northampton. He then turned his attention to the practical application of his studies and in order to qualify as a doctor, became a graduate-entry student studying medicine at St Georges, University of London.

    Charles Timms is currently studying medicine at St George's Medical School, University of London.


    First, we would like to thank all those colleagues who have inspired us, notably Professor Doreta Iwaniec, with her profound insights into the emotional abuse of children, and former mentors Margaret Oates, David N. Jones and Maddy Collinge. Other inspirational colleagues include Gill Handley, Eunice Lumsden, Sally Romain, Sukhwinder Singh, Prospera Tedam and staff at the University of Northampton.

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