Dr Harriet Churchill
BA, PhD (FHEA)
Department of Sociological Studies
Lecturer in Social Work
Director of Undergraduate Studies
+44 114 222 6440
Full contact details
Department of Sociological Studies
Harriet joined the Department of Sociological Studies in 2008. Previously she taught on social policy and politics programmes at the University of Manchester (2005-2008) and was a Research Fellow working on an evaluation of Sure Start centres based in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds.
Harriet’s academic and teaching interests are in the areas of social policy, childhood/family studies, family support and children’s services. Her research and publications in these areas examine national and international reforms in the context of broader features of social change, political debate and welfare state restructuring.
Harriet is committed to promoting progressive, evidence-informed policy and practice in the interests of children’s rights, family welfare, social inclusion and social equality.
Harriet is on the Management Board for the journal Families, Relationships and Societies; is a Higher Education Academy Fellow (FHEA) and a member of the Social Policy Association.
- Research interests
Harriet has research interests in the areas of UK social/family policy, comparative social/family policy, policy/programme evaluation and family support/children’s services reforms.
Several publications analyse critical debates and reforms in social policies for children, parents and families in the UK. In the UK context, Harriet has been involved in qualitative studies about lone motherhood, ‘whole family support’, Sure Start children’s centres; and parenting support and education programmes.
Recently, Harriet’s work has incorporated greater focus on comparative policy analysis and cross-national research. Harriet is a founding member of the European Family Support Network which since 2019 has been funded under the European COST action programme to undertake a four year programme of knowledge exchange activities related to family support research, policy and practice in Europe.
Students who share similar research interests to those listed below are welcome to discuss the possibility of postgraduate supervision:
- Social policy debates, reforms and contexts related to childhood, parenthood and family relations;
- Sociology of childhood and family life;
- Welfare state reform in the UK and Europe;
- Promoting social welfare and social equality for children and young people
- Parental Rights and Responsibilities: Analysing Social Policy and Lived Experiences. Policy Press.
- Getting Your PhD. SAGE Publications, Ltd..
- How child‐focused are child protection conferences?. Child Abuse Review.
- Developing family support services : a comparison of national reforms and challenges in England, Ireland and Spain. Social Work and Social Sciences Review, 21(2), 58-83. View this article in WRRO
- The Troubled Families Programme: Learning about policy impact through realist case study research. Social Policy & Administration, 54(1), 134-147. View this article in WRRO
- Some Useful Sources. Social Policy and Society, 15(2), 331-336.
- Introduction: Intensive Family Support Services: Politics, Policy and Practice Across Contexts. Social Policy and Society, 15(2), 251-261.
- Refocusing on Early Intervention and Family Support: A Review of Child Welfare Reforms in New South Wales, Australia. Social Policy and Society, 15(2), 303-316.
- Retrenchment and restructuring: family support and children’s services reform under the coalition. Journal of Children's Services, 8(3), 209-222.
- 'A chance to stand back': parenting programmes for parents of adolescents. Children and Society: the international journal of childhood and children's services, 36(4), 316-327.
- Investing in parenting education: a critical Rreview of policy and provision in England. Social Policy and Society, 9(1), 39-53.
- Jane Lewis (ed.) (2006), Children, Changing Families and Welfare States. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. £69.95, pp. 308, hbk.. Journal of Social Policy, 37(3), 518-520.
- Children, changing families and welfare states. JOURNAL OF SOCIAL POLICY, 37, 518-520.
- Communities in control? The challenges of neighbourhood governance with reference to local government reform in England. Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance, 1(1), 49-69.
- New labour versus lone mothers’ discourses of parental responsibility and children's needs. Critical Policy Studies, 1(2), 170-183.
- Social Workers Affecting Social Policy: An International Perspective, Gal, J. and Weiss-Gal, I. (eds). British Journal of Social Work, bcw086-bcw086.
- Family Policy and Child Well-Being: The Case of Montenegro in the European Perspective. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(17), 9118-9118.
- Children and families, Social Policy (pp. 339-360).
- Children and young people In Bochel H & Powell M (Ed.), The Coalition Government and Social Policy Restructuring the Welfare State Policy Press
- One step forward, two steps back: Children, young people and the Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition, The Coalition Government and Social Policy: Restructuring the Welfare State (pp. 265-284).
- Troubled and troublesome teens: Mothers' and professionals' understandings of parenting teenagers and teenage troubles In Gillies V & McCarthy-Ribbens J (Ed.), Family Troubles: Family Change and Family Experiences Bristol: The Policy Press.
- Family support and the Coalition: retrenchment, refocusing and restructuring In Kilkey M, Ramia G & Farnsworth K (Ed.), Social Policy Review 24: Analysis and debate in social policy, 2012 (pp. 35-54). Policy Press
- Every child's voice matters? In Durose C & Richardson L (Ed.), Changing Local Governance, Changing Citizens (pp. 175-192). Policy Press
- Being a responsible mother: New labour policy discourses versus lone mothers' contextualised accounts, Responsibility, Law and the Family (pp. 63-79).
- Parental responsibility: New Labour policy discourses versus lone mothers’ accounts of situated family practices In Bridgeman J, Lind C & Keating HM (Ed.), Responsibility, Law and the Family Ashgate Pub Co
- Being a responsible mother: New Labour policy discourses versus lone mothers’ contextualised accounts In Bridgeman J, Lind C & Keating HM (Ed.), Responsibility, Law and the family (pp. 63-80). Ashgate Publishing Company
- Power, Knowledge and the Academy Palgrave Macmillan UK
- Children’s services in 2006, Social Policy Review 19: Analysis and Debate in Social Policy, 2007 (pp. 85-105).
- Welfare policy under new labour: Views from inside Westminster. JOURNAL OF SOCIAL POLICY, 37, 320-322.
- The conceptualisation and delivery of family policy and support in Europe: A review of international and European frameworks and standards
- Exploring the lessons from the dissemination of research to the judiciary involved in public family law and child care proceedings
- A small scale evaluation of Manchester City Council’s work with families with complex and multiple needs
- A pilot evaluation of Manchester City Council’s parenting your teen courses
- Research group
The European Family Support Network (EuroFam Net). Funded by the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) program (COST Action no.18123) 2019-2022.
Harriet is one of the co-investigators on the project and the co-leader of Working Group 2 which is concerned with ‘the conceptualisation and delivery of family support in Europe’. The Principal Investigator/Grant Holder is based in Psychology, University of Seville, Spain.
- Teaching activities
Harriet contributes to teaching on our undergraduate and postgraduate social policy, sociology, criminology and dual honours programmes.
Harriet is Module Convenor/Co-Convenor for the following modules:
- SCS1029 Welfare, Politics and the State;
- SCS31004 Children, Families and Welfare States.
Harriet also teaches sessions on several additional undergraduate and postgraduate modules.
- Professional activities and memberships
Harriet is currently Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Sociological Studies.