Professor Kate Morris
BA (Hons), CQSW, PhD
Department of Sociological Studies
Professor of Social Work
Faculty Director of Learning and Teaching
Full contact details
Department of Sociological Studies
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.
- Protecting Children: A Social Model. Policy Press.
- Re-imagining child protection: Towards humane social work with families. Bristol: Policy Press.
- Children, families and social exclusion: New approaches to prevention.
- Social work and multi-agency working: Making a difference.
- Post-pandemic: moving on from ‘child protection’. Critical and Radical Social Work.
- Untangling Child Welfare Inequalities and the ‘Inverse Intervention Law’ in England. Children and Youth Services Review, 111. View this article in WRRO
- Framed to fit? Challenging the domestic abuse ‘story’ in child protection. Critical and Radical Social Work. View this article in WRRO
- Towards full integration of quantitative and qualitative methods in case study research: insights from investigating child welfare inequalities. Journal of Mixed Methods Research. View this article in WRRO
- Poverty, inequality, child abuse and neglect: Changing the conversation across the UK in child protection?. Children and Youth Services Review, 97, 127-133. View this article in WRRO
- Child Protection and Social Inequality: Editorial. Social Sciences, 8(2). View this article in WRRO
- Paradoxical evidence on ethnic inequities in child welfare: Towards a research agenda. Children and Youth Services Review, 96, 145-154. View this article in WRRO
- Social work, poverty, and child welfare interventions. Child and Family Social Work, 23(3), 364-372. View this article in WRRO
- Inequalities and Child Protection System Contact in Aotearoa New Zealand: Developing a Conceptual Framework and Research Agenda. Social Sciences, 7(6).
- How do you solve a problem like Maria? Family complexity and institutional complications in UK social work. European Journal of Social Work. View this article in WRRO
- ‘When you're sitting in the room with two people one of whom… has bashed the hell out of the other’: Possibilities and challenges in the use of FGCs and restorative approaches following domestic violence. Children and Youth Services Review, 88, 441-449. View this article in WRRO
- Let's stop feeding the risk monster: towards a social model of 'child protection'. Families, Relationships and Societies, 7(1), 7-22. View this article in WRRO
- Inequalities in English child protection practice under austerity: A universal challenge?. Child & Family Social Work, 23(1), 53-61. View this article in WRRO
- Bringing back the social: the way forward for children’s social work?. Journal of Children's Services, 12(2-3), 190-196.
- Family experiences of children’s social care involvement following a social work change programme. Journal of Social Work Practice. View this article in WRRO
- Out of time: theorizing family in social work practice. Child and Family Social Work, 22(S3), 51-60. View this article in WRRO
- Working with the Whole Family: What Case Files tell us about Social Work Practices. Child and Family Social Work. View this article in WRRO
- Changing practice: The possibilities and limits for reshaping social work practice. Qualitative Social Work. View this article in WRRO
- Exploring inequities in child welfare and child protection services: Explaining the ‘inverse intervention law’. Children and Youth Services Review, 57, 98-105. View this article in WRRO
- Rights, Responsibilities and Pragmatic Practice: Family Participation in Case Reviews. Child Abuse Review, 24(3), 198-209.
- A Marriage Made in Hell: Early Intervention Meets Child Protection. British Journal of Social Work, 44(7), 1735-1749.
- Re-imagining child protection.
- Troubled families: vulnerable families' experiences of multiple service use. Child & Family Social Work, 18(2), 198-206.
- Introduction. Families, Relationships and Societies, 2(3), 457-458.
- Thinking Family? The Complexities for Family Engagement in Care and Protection. British Journal of Social Work, 42(5), 906-920.
- Family decision making in child welfare: challenges in developing a knowledge base for practice. Child Abuse Review, 21(1), 41-52.
- Introduction taking child and family rights seriously: Family engagement and its evidence in child welfare. Child Welfare, 90(4), 9-18.
- Investing in Children, Regulating Parents, Thinking Family: A Decade of Tensions and Contradictions. Social Policy and Society, 9(4), 557-566.
- Social Exclusion and Social Work: Questions for the Future. Social Work Education, 28(3), 230-236.
- Strategies for the Prevention of Social Exclusion: An Analysis of the Children's Fund. Journal of Social Policy, 37(02).
- Networks, Connectedness and Resilience: Learning From the Children's Fund in Context. Social Policy and Society, 6(2), 193-197.
- Working with Children's Existing Networks – Building Better Opportunities?. Social Policy and Society, 6(2), 209-217.
- A complex solution to a complicated problem? Early messages from the national evaluation of the Children's Fund Prevention Programme. Children & Society, 19(2), 131-143.
- Training in ‘Social’ Work: Exploring Issues of Involving Users in Teaching on Social Work Degree Programmes. Social Work Education, 24(6), 653-675.
- Family Group Conferencing: New Directions in Community-centered Child and Family Practice. Child & Family Social Work, 7(2), 144-145.
- Understanding out of Home Care Rates in Northern Ireland: A Thematic Analysis of Mixed Methods Case Studies. The British Journal of Social Work. View this article in WRRO
- Prevention and Social Exclusion: New Understandings for Policy and Practice. British Journal of Social Work, 38(6), 1194-1211.
- Family support services: some recent developments, Comparing the Social Policy Experience of Britain and Taiwan (pp. 201-208). Routledge
- Engaging Families in Practice In Connolly M & Parton N (Ed.), Beyond the Risk Paradigm in Child Protection Current Debates and New Directions Palgrave
- Families in transition: Family minded policy and practice: A critical analysis of contemporary approaches to vulnerable families, Global Social Transformation and Social Action: The Role of Social Workers: Social Work-Social Development Volume III (pp. 128-131).
- Family minded policy and practice: A critical analysis of contemporary approaches to vulnerable families, Global Social Transformation and Social Action: The Role of Social Workers: Social Work-Social Development Volume III (pp. 128-131).
- Re-imagining early help: Looking forward, looking back, Moving on from Munro: Improving Children's Services (pp. 73-88).
- Family decision making: New spaces for participation and resistance, Subversive Citizens: Power, Agency and Resistance in Public Services (pp. 119-136).
- Setting the scene, Social Work and Multi-Agency Working: Making a Difference (pp. 1-8).
- Conclusion, Social Work and Multi-Agency Working: Making a Difference (pp. 167-174).
- Feminist Ethics of Care, The SAGE Handbook of Social Work (pp. 341-354). SAGE Publications Ltd
- Exploring the lessons from the dissemination of research to the judiciary involved in public family law and child care proceedings
- Leeds Family Valued. Evaluation Report
- 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