Image of Robin SenDr Robin Sen

Lecturer in Social Work

(BA (Hons), Dip SW, SFHEA, MSW, MPhil, Msc, PhD)

Telephone: 0114 222 6463 (external), 26463 (internal)
Room: Elmfield, LG27


Robin took up his current post as a Lecturer in Child and Family Social Work at Sheffield in September 2010. Prior to that he was a Teaching Fellow at the University of Strathclyde for three and a half years. Robin's practice background is as a children and families practitioner in Glasgow, where he had a particular focus on working with looked after and accommodated children. Robin is also a qualified Practice Teacher in social work.


All of Robin's research has been connected to issues in children and families practice, with particular emphasis on issues of safeguarding and work with looked after children. Robin is currently developing work looking at how looked after children use new technology and professional responses to this.

Funded Research Projects
Date Sponsor Details
2017-8 Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) Research Mobility Programme Award Exploring similarities and differences in child welfare between the UK and New Zealand
2016-17 Innovation, Impact and Knowledge Exchange (IIKE) support fund, University of Sheffield Developing specialist practice resources for child welfare and family support practitioners (with Dr Harriet Churchill and Dr Jadwiga Leigh)
2015-16 DfE / Leeds City Council An Evaluation of Leeds City Council Social Care Innovation Programme (with Prof. Kate Morris)
2013 Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council / University of Sheffield Evaluation of a Family Recovery Project (with Dr Harriet Churchill)
2011-12 Higher Education Academy Video Interaction Guidance Pilot with Newly Qualified Social Workers
2010-11 Institute for Innovation and Research in Social Services Literature Review: Improving Child Protection Practice in Scotland
2010-11 Glasgow Child Protection Committee Analysis of Selected Significant Case Reviews
2009-11 The British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect Evaluation of the Graded Care Profile : Parental and Practitioner Perspectives
2008 University of Strathclyde Professionals’ Experience of Managing Contact
2007 Scottish Government Literature Review : Historic Abuse in Residential Child Care


This year Robin is sole co-ordinating:

  • SCS6064 Skills for Direct Practice on the MA in Social Work;
  • SCS633 Evidence Informed Practice on the MAIP;
  • SCS6667 Out of Home Care on the MAIP.

With Nora McClelland and Bev Jowett, Robin is managing a University Engaged Curriculum Funding Award to develop a series of Living Library Events within social work modules.

Robin is an External Examiner on the MA in Social Work at Cardiff University.

See MA Social Work and MA Advanced Professional Practice.


Publications since 2005

Sen, R. and Webb, C. (2019) "Exploring the declining rates of state social work intervention in an English local authority using family group conferences", Children and Youth Services Review

Sen, R. (2019) ‘We must speak out in Shamima Begum case’, Professional Social Work, April 2019.

Sen, R., Morris, K., Burford, G., Featherstone, B., & Webb, C. (2018). ‘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 practice following domestic violence. Children and Youth Services Review. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.03.027

Sen, R. (2018) Effective Practice with Looked after Children, London: Palgrave

Mason, P. Ferguson, H., Morris K., Munton, T. and Sen. R. (2017) Leeds family valued. Evaluation Report DFE-RR567, London : Department of Education

Sen, R. (2017) Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE):Awareness, identification, support and prevention, South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership: Sheffield.

Sen, R., McClelland, N. and Jowett, B. (2016) ‘Belonging to the library: humanising the space for social work education’, Social Work Education, doi: 10.1080/02615479.2016.1211098

Churchill, H. and Sen, R. (Eds.) (2016). Intensive Family Support Services: Politics, Policy and Practice Across Contexts [Themed section]. Social Policy and Society, 15 (2), pp. 251-336.

Sen, R. (2016) ‘Building Relationships in a Cold Climate: A Case Study of Family Engagement within an ‘Edge of Care’ Family Support Service’, Social Policy and Society 15 (2), pp. 289-302. doi: 10.1017/S1474746415000615

Churchill H. and Sen, R. (2016) ‘Introduction: Intensive Family Support Services: Politics, Policy and Practice Across Contexts’, Social Policy and Society 15 (2) , pp. 251-261. doi: 10.1017/S1474746416000026

Sen, R. (2015) ‘Not All That is Solid Melts into Air – Care Experienced Young People, Friendship and Relationships in ‘the Digital Age’, British Journal of Social Work Advanced Access. doi: 10.1093/bjsw/bcu152

Sen, R., Chasle, C., Jowett, B. (2015) ‘Video Enhanced Reflective Practice with Social Workers’, in Video Enhanced Reflective Practice, Landor, M., Todd, L. and Kennedy, H. (eds.), Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Sen, R. (2014) ‘Using evidence to inform working with looked after children’ , pp. 130-142 in Webber. M. (ed.) Applying Research Evidence in Social Work Practice, Palgrave MacMillan.

Brown, L. and Sen, R. (2014) Improving Outcomes for Looked after Children: A Critical Analysis of Kinship Care, Practice : Social Work in Action, 26 (3), pp. 161-180. doi: 10.1080/09503153.2014.914163

Sen, R., Green Lister, P., Rigby, P. and Kendrick, A. (2014) ‘Grading the Graded Care Profile’ in Child Abuse Review, 23 (5) pp. 361–373. doi: 10.1002/car.2257.

Sen, R. (2013) ‘Classic Text’, Review of J. Triseliotis, “In Search of Origins”, in Practice : Social Work in Action, 25 (1), pp. 75-77

Green Lister, P and Sen, R. (2013, January) ‘Cultural Conundrum’, Research Digest in Social Work Matters.

Sen, R. (2012), ‘Residential Child Care Legal Foundations and Requirements’ in Davies, M. (ed.) Social Work’s Knowledge Base, Macmillan.

Sen, R and McCormack, J. (2011) ‘Foster carers' involvement in contact: other professionals' views’, Practice, 25 (5), pp.267-279. doi: 10.1080/09503153.2011.611304

Sen, R and Green Lister, P. (2011) Evidence-informed Performance Improvement National Performance Indicator: Increase the overall proportion of local authority areas receiving positive child protection inspection reports, Glasgow : Institute for Innovation and Research in Social Services.

Sen, R. & Broadhurst, K. (2011) ‘Contact between children in out-of-home placements and their family and friends networks : A research review’, Child and Family Social Work Online, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp. 298–309. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2206.2010.00741.x

Sen, R. (2010) ‘Managing Contact in Scotland for Children in Non-Permanent Placement’, Child Abuse Review, 19: 423-437. doi: 10.1002/car.1139

Sen, R., Kendrick, A., Milligan, I and Hawthorn, M. (2008) ‘Lessons Learnt? Abuse in Residential Child Care in Scotland’, Child and Family Social Work 38 (4), pp.411-422. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2206.2008.00566.x

Sen, R., Kendrick, A., Milligan, I. & Hawthorn, M. (2007) Abuse in residential child care: A literature review. In T. Shaw (Ed.), Historical abuse systemic review: Residential schools and children's homes in Scotland 1950 to 1995. Edinburgh: The Scottish Government.

Practice interests

Robin's interests derive from issues that he grappled with as a practitioner and have subsequently developed through teaching and research.

  • Looked after children: Robin is interested in work to improve outcomes for looked after children, social work decision making around children’s placements and the management of contact.
  • Evidence based interventions with vulnerable children and families: Robin is interested in developing a clearer evidence base for effective social work intervention with children and families to address identified concerns.
  • Organisational issues and their impact on children and families practice: Robin is interested in how organisational and political issues impact on the delivery of social work services and how effective frontline social work practice can successfully develop within these frameworks.