Justin Barker is an urban anthropologist and youth studies academic. Justin is nationally and internationally recognised for his research with homeless young people. He has an extensive background in conducting research with marginalised populations and community service providers in the areas of youth work, domestic & family violence, youth & family homelessness, child protection, alcohol and other drugs and service use by vulnerable population groups. Justin has extensive experience in program evaluation and working with community services to build their capacity for ongoing service improvement. He has managed and been the lead researcher on numerous research projects funded by local and Commonwealth Governments that have aimed to directly inform policy and practice.
Prior to his career as a researcher Justin was a youth worker in Adelaide and Canberra working with homeless young people. This experience led onto his PhD that examined the lives of homeless young people in Canberra, providing ethnographic insights into the conditions of youth homelessness. He has developed and implemented a range of qualitative research methodologies aimed at doing research with young people and vulnerable population groups. He has established professional networks with community service providers across Australia, providing service evaluation, training and policy advice. He has expert skills in research methods, desktop reviews, survey development, program evaluation and action research. Justin has a strong background in social theory which he uses to add meaning and insight into his research and draws on research findings to contribute to social theory.