Karen started working at London Metropolitan University in 2004, after 27 years at the University of East London. In addition to leading the social work subject area, she had developed courses in international social work. These partly arose from her experience in a large European network (Early Childhood Care and Education, 1985 - 2005). She was also influenced by her work with national and international committees mindful of the global nature of social work and promoting the internationalisation of professional education.
She served as the Editor-in-Chief of the journal, 'International Social Work' (2004-9) and continues with writing and editorial work. She has contributed to the development or establishment of social work education in a range of countries (e. Ethiopia, Lithuania, Nepal and Ukraine). Most recently she served on a panel reviewing doctoral programmes in Estonia.
Karen taught on a range of courses relevant to the development of professional knowledge and skills, such as counselling and group work. More specifically she taught social policy in relation to children and families. Later in her career, Karen taught research for social work to undergraduate students and developed research project workshops for master's level students.
Her teaching on the international social work course related to:
- global issues (poverty, migration and disasters)
- comparative welfare
- international frameworks and guidelines (ethics)
Her current work mainly comprises supervision and examination of doctoral theses and other activities which support research capacity building in the social work discipline and profession.
Karen has published a wide range of articles, chapters in books, research reports and books since 1973. Her most recent publications include:
- Lyons, K. (2018) 'Opportunities and challenges of a global profession: an international perspective' in Bartley, A. and Beddoe, L. (eds) Transnational Social Work: opportunities and challenges of a global profession, Bristol, Policy Press
- Lyons, K. and May-Chahal, C. (2017) Editorial: 'Glocal Social Work', European Journal of Social Work, 20(1), doi.10.1080/13691457.2017.1279253
- Hanna, S. and Lyons, K. (2016) 'London calling: the experience of international social work recruits working in London', British Journal of Social Work, https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcw027
- Iarskia-Smirnova, E. and Lyons, K. (2016) 'Social Work in FSU Countries: mapping the progress of the 'professional project'' European Journal of Social Work, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1369147.2016.1255926
- Lyons, K. Hokenstad, T. Pawar, M. Huegler, N. and Hall, N. (eds) (2012) The SAGE Handbook of International Social Work, London, Sage
Emeritus Professor (International Social Work)