Professor Kate Morris

BA (Hons), CQSW, PhD

Department of Sociological Studies

Professor of Social Work

Deputy Vice President of Education

Professor Kate Morris
Profile picture of Professor Kate Morris

Full contact details

Professor Kate Morris
Department of Sociological Studies
The Wave
2 Whitham Road
S10 2AH

Kate Morris is a qualified registered social worker, and joined the University of Sheffield in 2015. She was previously Director of the Centre for Social Work and Deputy Head of School, University of Nottingham. She began her career as an academic at the University of Birmingham.

However, Kate gained substantial experience in practice, management and policy development prior to moving into social work education and through her research and her involvement in national and international social work developments has remained very closely connected to practice.

Research interests

Kate’s areas of interest are: family minded policy and practice, family participation in care and protection, the reform of safeguarding practice and child welfare inequalities. She is passionate about social work and the role of social work in supporting change.

Kate managed the large scale complex national evaluation of the Children’s Fund (2003 – 2006) and has retained a strong interest in early help and family support.

Kate was funded to explore the involvement of families in the reviews of cases when a child has died or suffered serious injury as a result of abuse and, with Professor Brid Featherstone is leading an exploratory study of the perspectives and experiences of families with multiple and complex needs.

This builds on her previous work for the UK government as part of the 'Think Family' policy stream, and her work internationally reviewing the evidence concerned with the impact and effect of family decision making in care and protection.

Kate leads the case study strand for the Child Welfare Inequalities research. Kate is active in international and national social work reform, and was previously chair of JUCSWEC. Kate sits on the international advisory board for the journal Families, Societies and Relationships and the Editorial Board for the journal Relational Social Work.

She is a reviewer for national and international grant making organisations and research funders, and has held various national policy advisory roles. Kate is the academic lead for the Faculty of Social Sciences ‘Children’s Chances’ stream and supervises PhD students in the areas of family caring relationships, family interventions and family support.



  • Featherstone B, Gupta A, Morris K & White S (2018) Protecting Children: A Social Model. Policy Press. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Featherstone B, White S & Morris KM (2014) Re-imagining child protection: Towards humane social work with families. Bristol: Policy Press. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Morris K, Barnes M & Mason P (2009) Children, families and social exclusion: New approaches to prevention. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Morris K (2008) Social work and multi-agency working: Making a difference. RIS download Bibtex download

Journal articles



  • Churchill HA, Morris K & Richardson-Foster H (2018) Exploring the lessons from the dissemination of research to the judiciary involved in public family law and child care proceedings RIS download Bibtex download
  • Mason P, Ferguson H, Morris K, Munton T & Sen RN (2017) Leeds Family Valued. Evaluation Report RIS download Bibtex download

Website content

  • Morris K, Mason W, Bywaters P, Featherstone B, Daniels B & Mirza N Why those most needing child protection might be least likely to get it. RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

Kate supervises PhD students in the areas of family practices, social work practice, child protection, and has acted as an external examiner for doctoral students at universities across the UK including Edinburgh, Birmingham, Cardiff, Royal Holloway and is currently an external examiner for the MA Social Work at the University of Bristol.

  • 2019-21 RIP Change Programme. Title: Domestic Abuse: Thinking Differently about Responses
  • 2014-19 Nuffield. Title: Identifying and understanding inequalities in child welfare intervention rates (with Professor Paul Bywaters. PI)
  • 2015-18 NORFACE. Title: Family complexity and social work: A comparative study of family-based welfare work in different welfare regimes (with Professor Sue White, UK lead)
  • 2012-17 BIG Lottery. Title: Improving Futures : National Evaluation
  • 2015-16 ESRC, Family Potential Research Group. Title: Knowledge exchange programme ‘Family Potential’
  • 2015-16 DfE / Leeds City Council. Title: An Evaluation of Leeds Innovation Programme Family Valued
  • 2014-16 Lankelly Chase / Family Rights Group. Title: Family Experiences of Multiple Service Use (with Professor Brid Featherstone)
  • 2013-15 British Academy. Title: Theorising Families: An examination of social work practices
Teaching activities

Kate currently convenes the following undergraduate module:

  • SCS2006 - Sociology of the Family