My research interests span a number of issues and disciplines but focus mainly on the rights of children and young people. I also have a keen interest in the development and evaluation of social interventions and policies.

My interest in research with children and young people stems from my time as a practitioner working with young people in care. Through my research I am seeking to understand the processes underlying the difficulties young people face to achieve their full potential. My objectives are to contribute to knowledge on risk and protective factors and the effectiveness of interventions. I am also interested in the broader structural issues that impede children’s success.

Current research projects:

  • What is the impact of a Paired Reading intervention on the reading outcomes of children in care (ESRC funded, PI: Paul Connolly, Queen’s University Belfast & Judy Sebba, University of Oxford).
  • What is the evidence on carer involvement for educational outcomes of children in foster and kinship care? An international systematic review (co-author: AJ Hickey)
  • Effective education provision for refugees and asylum seekers (PI: Dr Ellie Ott): international systematic review and mapping project.


Completed research projects:

  • What are the risk and protective factors for educational outcomes of children in care? An investigation of what foster carers do to promote the educational achievement of children in their care. (Current PhD project, funded by the Rees Centre)
  • Analysis of care and education pathways of refugee and asylum-seeking children in care in England: implications for social work (manuscript accepted for publication)
  • What are the factors associated with the educational outcomes of children in care? An international systematic review.
  • Educational progress of children in care in England (Research assistant at the Rees Centre, funded by the Nuffield Foundation).
  • What is the relationship between being in care and educational outcomes? An international systematic review of the evidence (Current PhD project, funded by the Rees Centre).
  • What is the impact of placement type on educational and health outcomes of unaccompanied refugee minors? A systematic review of the evidence
    (Manuscript submitted for publication).
  • Vulnerability and Agency: An irreconcilable dichotomy for social workers working with young refugees in the UK.