Sally Baldwin, former director of the Social Policy Research Unit
at the University of York, died last week aged 62 in an accident in
Baldwin spent 30 years at the unit, including 15 years as director
between 1987 and 2002.
Under Baldwin’s leadership, the SPRU doubled in size and was highly
respected for its research on social security, disability and
carers. Her pioneering book, The Cost of Caring: Families with
a Disabled Child (1985), helped to get the costs of childhood
disability recognised in the benefit system.
Baldwin’s research ranged from the delivery of services and
benefits to disabled people and their family carers to gender
issues in social care.
Long before it was fashionable to talk about joined-up policy and
practice, Baldwin argued that it was important to recognise that
people’s lives did not divide up into the neat segments of
professional and organisational boundaries.
Describing Baldwin as a “first class researcher,” Jonathan
Bradshaw, head of York’s social policy and social work department,
said: “The work she did made a real difference to the lives of many
people with disabilities and their carers, and she had a real
influence on policy-making.”
She is survived by her husband, Joe Callan, two daughters, Emma and
Julia, and a grandson, Theo.