I am a Lecturer in Quantitative Social Policy at the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR) here at Kent. I am the director of the Q-step centre at Kent
My main research interests are around family policy, welfare-to-work, social justice, evidence-based policy-making and, increasingly, longitudinal research methods.
Prior employment and education
I joined SSPSSR in May 2014. Prior to that I was a lecturer at the University of Lincoln and a researcher at Queen’s University Belfast and Essex where I had been working on a range of comparative projects. My PhD, from the University of Bath, focused on lone parents and welfare-to-work policies.
Yet, my working life started as a researcher in government working on tax credits before moving into the voluntary sector to OneParentFamilies (now Gingerbread), where I was working on childcare and child contact policy. Linking research to policy-making and –makers has stayed with me as one of the key aims of my work as an academic.
Room CNE 108
Cornwallis North East
University of Kent
Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NF
Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository
My research interests broadly fall in the areas of family policy, welfare-to-work, social justice, evidence and policy-making and, increasingly, longitudinal research methods.
My particular interests include:
- Lone parents
- Welfare-to-work policies
- Rights, needs and obligations of families/ family members
- Poverty, inequality and social justice
- Child contact post separation
- Research influence and impact
I am currently working on two major projects:
Parenting and contact before and after separation
This is funded by the Nuffield Foundation and examines the links between parental involvement prior to separation and contact patterns post-separation (see Haux et al, forthcoming). The analysis is based on longitudinal data from the Millennium Cohort Study and findings were published earlier this year. I am working on this project together with colleagues form the LSE and IoE. Given the high levels of contact failure in the UK, gaining a better understanding of the links and (dis-)continuities between parenting in a relationship and contact thereafter, is equally important to parents, policy-makers and practitioners. We are now finishing the journal articles and considering further analysis of the data, eg. extending it to look at child outcomes.on the cross.
The second generation of social policy scholars
I am working on a book for Policy Press on The 2nd generation of Social Policy Scholars. It is based on interviews with the social policy academics, who were the architects for the establishment of social policy as an academic subject, and who have either recently retired or are about to do so. Together with the current focus on impact, it seemed that now is an ideal opportunity to speak to these scholars about their life and work.
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I teach in both Social Policy as well as methods and am convening two core Social Policy modules:
- SA300 Social Policy and Social Control
- SA503 The Future of the Welfare State
I am also giving lectures on a number of other under- and postgraduate modules such as
- New Fatherhood and Parenting across separation - PG SO894 The family, parenting culture and parenting policy
- Lone Parenthood in Europe - PG SO877 Comparative Social Policy
- Survey Methods and Secondary Data Analysis - SO647 Sociological Research (Medway campus)
Previously, I have convened the PG module SO833 Research Design and taught on one of the new Q-step modules here at Kent: How to win arguments with numbers.
I am supervising a number of undergraduate and MA dissertations on a regular basis. Currently I am supervising the following PhD students:
- Gianna Eick (2017 - ) ‘Interactions between Attitudes towards Immigrants and Diversity Policies at European Universities - A Cross-National Survey’
- Eva Sigurdardottir (2016 - ) ‘The effect of participation in extracurricular activities on school belonging amongst school children of backgrounds other than Icelandic’
- Charmaine Keatley (2015 -) - 'Impact of father's involvement in childcare on women's career progression'
Professional Affiliations/ Editorial Work
- Editorial Board member for the Journal of Social Policy (2015-2017)
- Editorial Board member for the Social Policy & Society (2011 – 2014)
- Co-editor of The Student’s Companion of Social Policy for the 5th edition
- Honorary Secretary of the Social Policy Association (2011 – 2017)
I am regularly reviewing papers for a range of journals such as the Journal of European Social Policy, the Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy and Social Policy & Administration.
Research panel membership
- Member of the ESRC Grant Award Panel D (GAP D – Secondary Data Analysis Initiative) (2016- )
- ESRC Peer Review College (2016 - )
- Member of the ESRC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative (SDAI) (2015-16)
- Kent Peer Review College at the University of Kent (2016 - )
- Ethics panel of the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (2014 – 2017)
External PhD examinations:
- Miyang Jun – University of York (Social Policy) - November 2016
A lecture on lone parents and welfare to work
(a Think Kent video, 2016)