Researchers at UCD


Sarah Morton


School of Applied Social Science

Tel: 01 7168582


Dr Sarah Morton is Director of the Community Partnership Drugs Programme.  She holds a PhD from the Centre for Action Research in Professional Practice, University of Bath. She has extensive experience in policy, practice and outcome evaluation in relation to addressing complex issues including domestic and sexual violence and drug and alcohol use.   As Service Development Manager for Safe Ireland for ten years, she has took a lead role in identifying and responding to critical issues affecting women and children's lives in regard to violence and abuse, including substance use.

Over the previous five years, she has focussed on the interplay of domestic violence and substance use in families, developing national and regional response strategies for domestic violence services in Ireland, as well as leading organisation-based research and practice development in relation to drugs and alcohol.  Dr Morton's research interests include the intersection of substance use and violence, as well as creative and participative research methodologies.  



Conference Contributions

Morton, S; Mullane, G (2014) Mothers, Domestic Violence and Problematic Substance Use: Radically Re-orientating Service Provision. [Poster Presentation], Improving Children's Lives International Conference, Belfast, UK , 20-FEB-14 - 22-FEB-14.
Morton, S; Mullane, G. (2014) Child to Parent Violence where there is Child/Adolescent Substance Use: Challenges in Emerging Practice. [Oral Presentation], Daphne Responding to Child to Parent Violence Conference: Innovations in Practice, Policy and Research, NUIG, Galway, Ireland , 12-JUN-14 - 13-JUN-14.


Year 2017 Institution: University College Dublin
Qualification: Prof Cert University Teaching & Learning Subject:
Year 2008 Institution: University of Bath, UK
Qualification: PhD Subject:
Year 1998 Institution: University of Ulster
Qualification: MSc Subject:
Year 1992 Institution: Curtin Univ of Tech, Perth, Australia
Qualification: BA Subject:



Book Chapters

Morton, S (2016) 'Diversity and Vulnerability: Group Work for Women Who Have Experienced IPV, Childhood Trauma and Substance Use' In: Pelech, W., Basso, R., Lee, C & Gandarilla, M (eds). Inclusive Group Work. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Morton, S., O'Brien, K. & O'Reilly, L. (2018) 'Boxing and Substance Use Rehabilitation: Building Skills and Capacities in Disadvantaged Communities'. Community Development Journal, . [Details]
Morton, S.; Hohman, M. (2016) 'That is the weight of knowing: Skills and impact on practitioners of delivering a group work programme for women who have experienced IPV'. Social Work with Groups, . [DOI] [Details]
Morton, S; O'Reilly, L; O'Brien, K. (2016) 'Boxing Clever: utilising education and fitness to build recovery capital in a substance use rehabilitation program'. Journal of Substance Use, . [DOI] [Details]
Morton,S ;Hohman,M:Middleton,A. (2015) 'Implementing a Harm Reduction Approach to Substance Use in an Intimate Partner Violence Agency: Practice Issues in an Irish Setting'. Partner Abuse, 6 (3):337-350. [Details]
Ní Raghallaigh, M; Morton, S; Allen, M. (2015) ''HIV transmission as a form of gender based violence: experiences of women in Tirgray, Ethiopia'. International Social Work, . [Details]
Morton, S (2015) 'Cold: A meditation on loss'. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, 20 (1):6-9. [Details]
Sullivan C, Baptista S, O¿Halloran S, Okroj L, Morton S & Sutherland Stewart C (2008) 'Evaluating the Effectiveness of Women¿s Refuges: A Multi-Country Approach to Model Development'. International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, . [DOI] [Details]

Conference Publications

Morton, S. & O¿Reilly, L (2016) Community partnership drug education: Lessons, successes and challenges European Access Network International Conference [Details]
Morton, S; O'Reilly, L; O'Brien, K. (2015) Harm reduction, education and boxing skills: addressing the dynamics of violence and drug use in the night life environment within a disadvantaged community Club Health 2015: The 9th International Conference on Nightlife, Substance Use and Related Health Issues [Details]
Morton, S (2015) Implementing a Harm Reduction Approach to Substance Use in a Domestic Violence Agency: Practice Issues in an Irish Setting European Conference on Domestic Violence [Details]
Morton, S & Hohman, M (2015) Violence, Substance Use and Sexual Risk in Women's Lives: A Harm Reduction Response 20th International Summit & Training on Violence, Abuse and Trauma [Details]
Morton, S; Mullane, G. (2014) Mothers, Domestic Violence and Problematic Substance Use: Radically Re-orientating Service Provision Improving Children's Lives International Conference [Details]

Published Reports

Morton, S. & O¿Reilly, L. (2016) Community based low threshold substance use services: Practitioner approaches and challenges. Ballymun Youth Action Project, Dublin. [Details]
Morton, S; O'Reilly, L; O'Brien, K (2015) Boxing Clever: Exploring the impact of a substance use rehabilitation programme. Ballymun Youth Action Project, Dublin, Ireland. [Details]
Morton, S (2015) Community Mothers Programme: Evaluation of the Tony Ryan funded services in Cahir, Cashel and Thurles. Clonmel Community Mothers Programme, Clonmel, Co Tipperary. [Details]
Morton, S (2014) Responding to Domesti Violence and Substance Use: Developing effective policy and practice in a domestic violence agency. Cuan Saor, Tipperary, Ireland. [Details]
Morton, S (2003) Social Service or Social Change? Challenges for domestic violence services in Ireland. Safe Ireland, Athlone, Ireland. [Details]
Morton, S (2002) A Funding Model for Frontline Violence Against Women Services in the South East. South East Regional Planning Committee, Kilkenny, Ireland. [Details]
Morton, S (2001) Tailoring our Solution: Developing effective responses to violence against women in the North West of Ireland. North West Regional Planning Committee on Violence Against Women, Sligo. [Details]
Morton, S (2000) Securing the Future: A conceptual view of employment policy, development and funding of Rape Crisis Centres in Ireland. Rape Crisis Network Ireland, Galway. [Details]
Morton, S (1997) Violence on The Edge: Exploring the needs of minority ethnic women at risk of domestic violence. Northern Ireland Women's Aid, Belfast. [Details]


Morton, S (2013) Cuan Saor: Strategic Review. Clonmel, Ireland: Reports [Details]


Research Interests

Intersection and co-occurrence of substance use and domestic violence; the development of organizational and practitioner responses to issues such as substance use, domestic violence, sexual violence and childhood legacies; organizational and practitioner resilience when working with trauma; participative and action research methodologies.

Research Projects

Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : OBRSS Research Support Scheme
Start Date / End Date : 01-NOV-16 / 31-OCT-20
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Recovery capital and policy change: Increasing the impact of the Boxing Clever research findings
Start Date / End Date : 01-JAN-16 / 31-DEC-16

Current Postgraduate Students

Clíodhna Bairéad, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Secondary Supervisor
Kieran Donohoe, Governance (DGov)   -   Thesis Supervisor
Leah Newcomb, Social Science (MSocSc)   -   Thesis Supervisor


Teaching Philosophy

Modules Coordinated

201700   SPOL10190     Social Policy: Prevention and Support in a Co
201700   SPOL20120     Social Policy: Motivational Interviewing
201700   SPOL10070     Social Policy: Communities&Groups/Theories& P
201700   SPOL20130     Social Policy: Professional Work Practice
201700   SPOL10050     Social Policy: Nature & Context of Addiction
201700   SPOL10140     Social Policy: Social Policy/ Drugs Policy
201700   SPOL10060     Social Policy: Reflective Practice
201700   SPOL20100     Social Policy: Approaches to Treatment & reha
201700   SPOL30140     Social Policy: Community Research Methods
201700   SPOL20080     Social Policy: Introduction to Counselling
201700   SPOL40530     Social Policy: Drug Use, Community & Society

Enhancement of Teaching

Review and Enhancement of Curriculum

Developing as a Teacher

Innovation & Leadership