Professor Kate Morris
Professor of Social Work
Head of Department
BA Hons (First Class) University of Coventry
C.Q.S.W University of Coventry
PhD (Social Work) University of Nottingham
Telephone: 0114 222 6453 (external), 26453 (internal)
Room: Elmfield, 1.55a
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.
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.
Kate currently convenes the following undergraduate module:
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.
To find out more about our PhD programmes, go to:
To apply for a place and for the scholarship, go to:
Publications since 2005
Selected recent publications:
Churchill, H., Morris K and Richardson-Foster, H (2018) Exploring the lessons from the dissemination of research to the judiciary involved in public family law and child care proceedings, University of Sheffield: Sheffield.
Featherstone, B., Morris, K., Daniel, B., Bywaters, P., Brady, G., Bunting, L., Mason, W. and Mirza, N. (2017) Poverty, inequality, child abuse and neglect: changing the conversation across the UK in child protection? Children and Youth Services Review. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.06.009
Laid, S., Morris, K. M., Archard, P. & Clawson, R. (2017). Changing practice: The possibilities and limits for reshaping social work practice. Qualitative Social Work. doi:10.1177/1473325016688371
Laid, S., Morris, K. M., Archard, P. & Clawson, R. 2017. Working with the Whole Family: What Case Files tell us about Social Work Practices. Child and Family Social Work. doi: 10.1111/cfs.12349
Featherstone B, Gupta A, Morris KM, Warner J. 2016. Let’s stop feeding the risk monster: towards a social model of ‘child protection’ Families, Relationships and Societies. doi: 10.1332/204674316X14552878034622
Morris KM, White S, Doherty P, Warwick L. 2015. Out of time: theorising family in social work practice, Child and Family Social Work. doi: 10.1111/cfs.12257
Bywaters P., Brad G., Sparks T., Bos E., Bunting L., Daniel B., Featherstone B., Morris and Scourfield. J., 2015. Exploring inequities in child welfare and child protection services: Explaining the ‘inverse intervention law’ Children and Youth Services Review, Volume 57, Pages 98-105. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2015.07.017
Morris K, Brandon M, Tudor P., 2015. Rights, Responsibilities and Pragmatic Practice: Family Participation in Case Reviews, Child Abuse Review 24(3):198-209. doi: 10.1002/car.2272
Featherstone, B., White, S. and Morris K., 2014. Re-Imaging Child Protection: Towards humane social work with families Bristol: Policy Press
The Guardian October 22nd 2014 ‘We need to think again about how to protect children’ Kate Morris, Brid Featherstone and Sue White
The Conversation April 2014: ‘Cinderella law’ proposals are unhelpful and draconian http://theconversation.com/cinderella-law-proposals-are-unhelpful-and-draconian-25106
The Conversation July 2014: Outrage at privatising child protection should spark an overhaul of the whole system http://theconversation.com/outrage-at-privatising-child-protection-should-spark-an-overhaul-of-the-whole-system-29559
Featherstone, B, Morris, K and White, S, 2013. A Marriage made in Hell: Early Intervention meets Child Protection British Journal of Social Work. doi: 10.1093/bjsw/bct052
Morris, K., 2013. Troubled Families: Vulnerable Families’ Experiences of Multiple Service Use Child & Family Social Work. 18(2), 198 – 206. doi:
Morris, K. and Connolly, M., 2012. Family Decision Making in Child Welfare: Challenges in Developing a Knowledge Base for Practice Child Abuse Review. 21(1), 41-52
Morris, K., 2012. Thinking Family? The Complexities of Family Engagement in Care and Protection British Journal of Social Work. 42(5), 906-920
Connolly M and Morris K, 2012. Understanding Child and Family Welfare: Statutory Responses to Children at Risk Palgrave Macmillan.
Morris K, 2011. Family Support: Policies for Practice. in: Davis M, Ed., Social Work: The Knowledge Base Palgrave Macmillan.
Morris K, 2011. Social Work Education: Some Reflections on The Challenges for The Future (Guest Editorial) Social Work Education.
Morris K, 2010. Social Work and Prevention: An Uneasy Relationship. in: Ayre P. and Preston Shoot M., Ed., Children’s Services at The Crossroads RHP.
Morris K and Featherstone B, 2010. Investing in Children, Regulating Parents, Thinking Family: a Decade of Tensions and Contradictions. Social Policy and Society. 9, 557-566