Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

Making sense of the social world


My main research interests are around family policy, welfare-to-work, social justice, evidence-based policy-making and, increasingly, longitudinal research methods.

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.

Contact Information


Room CNE 108
Cornwallis North East
University of Kent
Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NF

back to top

Research Interests

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
  • Parenting
  • Child contact post separation
  • Research influence and impact

Current projects

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.

back to top


As part of the Q-step team my main role will be to enhance the teaching of quantitative methods within the School and to share best practice in the teaching of quantitative methods. Currently I am planning the Critical Thinking module for year 1 as part of the Q-step initiative. back to top


I am the Honorary Secretary of the Social Policy Association. The SPA is the Learned Society for all Social Policy academics and professionals. We organise a conference once a year (the 2016 conference will be at the University of Ulster), policy seminars, postgraduate activities and we publish journals and book series such as Social Policy Review and In Defence of Welfare I and II.

In addition, I am a member of the editorial team for the 5th edition of the key textbook The Student’s Companion to Social Policy. The 5th edition will be published in autumn 2016.

I am also a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Social Policy, one of the leading social policy journals.

back to top



A lecture on lone parents and welfare to work
(a Think Kent video, 2016)

back to top


I am a member of

back to top

Telephone: +44(0)1227 823072 Fax: +44(0)1227 827005 or email us

SSPSSR, Faculty of Social Sciences, Cornwallis North East, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NF

Last Updated: 27/02/2017