Professor Judith HarwinProfessor in Socio-Legal Studies
I joined Lancaster University in April 2016 as a part time Professor in Socio-legal studies and co-director of the newly established Centre for Child and Family Justice and I am Chair of the Funding College. I previously held a Chair in Social Work at Brunel University London and before that I was Professor of Social Welfare Studies at Sussex University.
My research is concerned with the well-being of vulnerable children. It is built upon my deep interest in child protection in national and international contexts and the ways in which public policy, service organisation, law and practice can promote or constrain opportunities for the most vulnerable children to grow up in stable caring homes and achieve their potential.
My current research focuses on parental substance misuse, the use of problem-solving courts in family justice, and family reunification in national and international contexts. I am interested in evaluating strategies to intercept harm within and across generations and the use of robust methodological approaches to these issues.
My research is concerned with the well-being of vulnerable children and family justice. It is built upon my deep interest in the ways in which public policy, service organisation, law and practice can promote or constrain opportunities for the most vulnerable children to grow up in stable caring homes and achieve their potential.
My current research focuses on parental substance misuse, the use of problem-solving courts in family justice, family reunification, special guardianship and the role of the supervision order.
I have been evaluating the pioneering Family Drug and Alcohol Court in care proceedings since it started in 2008 and comparing child and maternal outcomes with those of cases going through ordinary care proceedings. It led to a 4* Impact award in the 2014 REF.
I am generally interested in programme evaluation and strategies to intercept harm within and across generations and the use of robust methodological approaches to these issues.
A major new strand to my work is investigating ways of strengthening the contribution of largescale national data sets in socio-legal research. My national study of supervision orders and guardianship is one example of this interest.
I am also working with Professor Karen Broadhurst who has received a new award from the Nuffield Foundation ‘Towards a National Family Justice Observatory: A scoping Study (2016-2017).
Supervision Orders and their contribution to family justice, children's services and child outcomes (March 15-July 31st 2017)
My Nuffield funded study of supervision orders and special guardianship will generate the first national data on the prevalence of supervision orders, track individual child outcomes over time and return to court. Through access to the electronic database of Children and Families Court Support and Advisory Service (Cafcass) with records of all children subject to public and private law proceedings from 2005, we have an exceptional opportunity to obtain robust longitudinal data for an entire population.
I am Principal Investigator
Grant from the Nuffield Foundation is £460,482.00
The Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC)
Grant to investigate the sustainability of child and maternal outcomes in FDAC was made to Brunel University London and Lancaster University as part of the award to the FDAC Nation Unit. The grant was made by the DfE Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme (April 2015-March 216). It was part of the Dfe’s broader aim to fund innovative programmes with a view to scale-up and replication. The FDAC programme transferred to Lancaster University when I joined the University.
Forthcoming launch on September 22nd and 2 new reports:
Introducing the highlights from After FDAC: outcomes 5 years later, published by Lancaster University. (Harwin, J., Alrouh, B., Ryan, M., McQuarrie, T., Golding, L, Broadhurst, K., Tunnard, J., and Swift, S.
Introducing the highlights from: PROBLEM SOLVING IN COURT: PRACTICE IN FDACs IN ENGLAND, a report by Jo Tunnard, Mary Ryan and Judith Harwin
Parental Experiences of Supervision Orders
01/11/2020 → 31/03/2021
DSI: Establishment of a Data Platform and Analytics Service for the Family Justice Observatory and the provision of research and results to the FJO and general public.
01/01/2019 → 30/06/2023
Visualising Data in Children's Social Care
01/11/2017 → 31/08/2018
- Centre for Child and Family Justice Research