Dr Alhassan Abdullah


College of Education, Psychology and Social Work

place Bedford Park
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Alhassan Abdullah is a Lecturer in Social Work (Teaching and Research) at the College of Education, Psychology, and Social Work. He has practice experience in child protection. Alhassan’s research primarily embrace issues affecting the wellbeing of children and families. His research focuses on child neglect and abuse (child maltreatment), child protection, kinship foster care, family violence, and community-centered and culturally-relevant approaches to child maltreatment prevention. He is particularly interested in understanding cultural characteristics and violence/abuse against children and women, especially in rural contexts. Alhassan’s approach to research and scholarship brings theoretical rigor to the study of child maltreatment and family violence prevention, and adopts a cultural lens to investigate community/neighborhood- based protective measures against child maltreatment.

Alhassan has carried out survey research projects and conducted research using data from Nepal, Hong Kong, Korea, Tunisia, Australia and China. He has led research projects on child maltreatment, funded by UNICEF Ghana, and research on child labor in Ghana, funded by the International Labour Orgnaization (ILO). He recently implemented a nationally representative survey of violence against children and families in Ghana.

Alhassan has published over 55 peer-reviewed articles (over 20 as first author) in leading social work journals, and 5 book chapters. He serves on the Editorial Boards of Child Abuse & Neglect (IF = 4.863, ranked 1 in social work by Google Scholar) Practice: Social Work in Action, and Child Protection and Practice.


PhD in Social Work

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (Honours)

Honours, awards and grants


  • Elderly Abuse in South Australia. Uniting Communities Research Grant, AUD $15,000, Chief Investigator, 2023
  • Towards a multi-sectorial child welfare practice: An exploration of young people’s trajectory in the child welfare service in South Australia, EPSW Research Seed Grant, AUD $13,700, Chief Investigator, 2023
  • Unravelling the Normative Underpinnings of Child Labor in Ghana: A Bottom-Up Study Among Hotspot Communities. RTA Fellowship Grant, International Labour Organization (ILO)(USD$ 10,000),PI, 2021-2022
  • Child Maintenance as a Tip of the Iceberg: Exploring the Limitation of Case Assessment Approaches in Ghana. UNICEF Research Grant for Child Protection Research, (USD $ 8,300), PI, 2021-2022
  • National study on violence against children in schools in Tunisia. UNICEF Tunisia, (USD $ 95,795), CO-PI, 2022-2023
  • Assessment of Implementation of the Roadmap for Deinstitutionalisation in Ghana. UNICEF Ghana, (USD $ 9,000), 2021-2022
  • Developing a model of virtual mentoring for first-year doctoral students during COVID-19 pandemic. U21 Graduate Collaborative Research Award, (USD $ 5,000), 2021-2022.

Honours and Awards

  • Life Path Promising Scholar Conference Award, for ResilienceCon Conference. Award institution, Life Path Research Center, Tennessee United State, 2021
  • Travel Support for Research Postgraduate Students for International Academic Training/Research Activities (Grant award USD $2,634), 2022
  • The University of Hong Kong Postgraduate Research Fellowship to pursue PhD programme in Social Work. Monthly stipend and conference support. 2019
  • Youth Excellence League (YEL) Awardee for academic exellence. Award value (GHS 5000.00), 2017
  • Best undergraduate dissertation, Faculty of Social Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, 2017

Key responsibilities

Course Coordinator, Bachelor of Social Work Honours, 2023 -

Deputy Lead: Research Capacity Building and Impact, 2024 -

Teaching interests

Child wellbeing and protection

Social work with children and families

Research Methods in Social Work

Theories in Social Work

Violence and abuse

Culturally appropriate child protection

Topic coordinator
SOAD7012 Social Work Honours Thesis
SOAD7031 Research Principles and Practices
SOAD3013 Children & Families: Well-being and Protection
SOAD9206 Social Work Research in Practice Settings
Topic lecturer
SOAD7012 Social Work Honours Thesis
SOAD3013 Children & Families: Well-being and Protection
SOAD7031 Research Principles and Practices
SOAD9206 Social Work Research in Practice Settings
Supervisory interests
CALD, culturally and linguistically diverse, needs
Child abuse
Child and family wellbeing
Child protection
Child wellbeing
Domestic violence
Family violence
Foster care
Marriage and intimate relationships
Multicultural studies
Role of extended family support for carers
Expert for media contact
Child abuse
Social work
Child neglect & abuse
Child protection
Family violence
Kinship foster care
Available for contact via
Or contact the media team
Media expertise
  • Child abuse
  • Childcare
  • Social work
  • Child neglect & abuse
  • Child protection
  • Family violence
  • Kinship foster care
  • Polyvictimization