Michael Rivera King

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My research focused on alternative care in Japan, in particular on the decision process by which social workers remove children from their family and place them into care. I’m delighted to be able to say that I have published my findings in a monograph with Routledge. This is in no small part due to the amazing supervision and support I received from Professor Martin Seeleib-Kaiser, Professor Roger Goodman, and the ESRC.

As a researcher I always struggled to find the balance between attempting to understand the world on its own terms and my natural desire to create positive change. I was honoured to have been asked to consult on the 2016 changes to the Child Welfare Act by the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare, which led to the promotion of family-based foster care and adoption over institutional care. 

After a lot of back and forth, I decided to pursue a career in the third sector rather than academia and now run the London office of Ashinaga. Ashinaga is the third largest charity in Japan which, over the two decades, has started to expand its activities overseas. The London office primarily supports the Ashinaga African Leaders Initiative, which aims to send at least one orphaned student from each of the 49 Sub-Saharan countries to top universities around the world every year.

I am always happy to meet interesting people so if you are interested in either my research or Ashinaga’s work please don’t hesitate to contact me.

For those particularly interested in Japan, my thesis can be downloaded here.