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Professor in socio-legal studies and co-director of the Centre for Child and Family Justice Research, Lancaster University

Her research focuses on child protection and the interface between law, policy and practice in national and international contexts. She is particularly interested in how to improve supports and outcomes for vulnerable children and families and evaluation of interventions.

Her research captures the lived experiences of parents and relatives when the family court intervenes and documents professional perspectives. She also has pioneered largescale studies on child protection legislation to ensure the findings are based on best evidence.

She has published on the topic of special guardianship with the Nuffield Foundation Family Justice Observatory and undertaken largescale studies, including on special guardianship, for the Nuffield Foundation.

Her recent publications feature in the International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, Child Abuse Review and the International Journal of Drug Policy. She has also co-authored chapters on child protection in the Routledge Handbook of Family Law and Policy.

She is currently carrying out research with parents as part of a major review of family reunification when the family court is involved. The review is being undertaken by the Public Law Working Group on behalf of Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division.

She is a member of the DataCare Research Advisory Group, a Eurochild project that is mapping child protection data systems across 27 EU Member States


  • 2016–present
    Co-director of Centre for Child and Family Justice, University of Lancaster
  • 2016–present
    Professor of socio-legal studies, University of Lancaster


  • 2019
    Tensions and contradictions in family court innovation with high risk parents: the place of family drug treatment courts in contemporary family justice, International Journal of Drug Policy