Kieran O'Hagan qualified as a social worker in 1974, and specialized in child protection work in inner city areas for over twenty years. He was a Principal Case-worker (Child Abuse) in Leeds, and Guardian ad litem serving the Northeast of England. In 1991, he joined the School of Social Work at Queen's University, Belfast.
As Reader, he carried out research into how health, social care and educational staff were responding to a minority linguistic group in N. Ireland. He has published eight critically acclaimed books on child abuse and related topics, and scores of articles for national and international journals. A feature of his books is the use of fiction to dramatize the emotions and trauma observed in much health and social care practice. His first social work novel The Verdi Solution was published in 2009.