March 23, 2016

Leadership Team

Karen BroadhurstProfessor Karen Broadhurst

Professor Karen Broadhurst is Professor of Social Work and Socio-Legal Studies in the Department of Sociology. Her research interests focus on State intervention in family life and alternative approaches to family court proceedings, including problem solving and therapeutic models. She is Principal and Co-Investigator on linked Nuffield Foundation funded projects currently being undertaken by the Centre focused on public law proceedings concerning repeat clients and care proceedings; supervision orders and family reunification and special guardianship. She collaborates with colleagues in the US and Australia regarding infant entry to care and pre-natal intervention. Her published research on the repeat removal of children from birth mothers has received widespread press coverage and policy interest.

Karen has supervised a number of doctoral students to successful completion of their PhDs and has a keen interest in postdoctoral research.

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20150117_085009Professor Judith Harwin

Professor Judith Harwin is  Professor of Socio-Legal Studies in the Law School. Her main areas of national and international research interest are in child protection and family justice policy for children. She also has a strong interest in programme evaluation and tracking child and parent outcomes. Judith led the first evaluation of the Family Drug and Alcohol Court in England that is informing the current roll-out across England. She is currently leading on a national study of supervision orders and special guardianship funded by the Nuffield Foundation and is Co-Investigator on the linked study of recurrent care proceedings. She has served on expert groups for the Department of Education on special guardianship and family reunification. She has held contracts with the Nuffield Foundation, DfE and, in relation to her international work, with the World Bank, Unicef, the EU and Unesco/OECD.

suzanne Ost portraitProfessor Suzanne Ost

Professor Suzanne Ost in based in the Law School and her interests are in the legal and societal responses to child pornography, the sexual grooming of children and child sexual exploitation. Suzanne is author of the book: ‘Child Pornography and Sexual Grooming: Legal and Societal Responses’. Suzanne’s broader interests are in questions of medical accountability and ethics. She previously Suzanne served as co-investigator on the AHRC project: The impact of the Criminal Process on Health Care Ethics and Practice

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Dr Chris Grover

Dr Chris Grover is based in the Law School and his specialism is social policy. Chris is concerned with the impact of poverty on family life, contemporary and historical changes in income maintenance and labour market policy. Chris is author of a number of monographs that include: ‘The social fund 20 years on: historical and policy aspects of loaning social security

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Theme Leads

Other key members of the grouping with theme lead responsibilities include:

Claire Mason is public and professional engagement lead for the CentreClaire Portrait

Claire has served as senior research associate for the Centre on a number of projects. She currently leads the qualitative research work on the recurrent care project and is engagement lead for the Nuffield Foundation Scoping Study.

Claire has a particular interest in the position of women within family law proceedings and the therapeutic potential of alternative family court models.




Lisa PortraitDr Lisa Morriss leads the Centre’s social media strategy. Lisa is a senior research associate with the Centre and currently works on the Supervision Order project. Lisa’s expertise is in qualitative methods and she has a particular interest in visual methods for social research. This year Lisa won the European Social Work Research prize for best social work paper.





Dr Bachar Alrouh is the data science theme lead. His background is in computing and he brings a novel mix of computational skills plus extensive knowledge of the family justice system gained through lengthy engagement with the Family Drug and Alcohol Court to this work

Dr Stuart Bedston is lead quantitative scientist. Stuart brings a range of quantitative methods to his role of senior research associate to the Centre, to include methods of longitudinal modelling, multiple imputation of missing data and data linkage.


Professor Brian Francis is expert statistical advisor to the Centre. Brian is a social statistician with interests in preference models, latent class methods for longitudinal data, mixture models and categorical data problems. Real-world application of statistical methods is crucial to Brian’s work. His primary field of interest is in  quantitative criminology – both methodological and substantive problems – and he has spent considerable energy on examining the criminal careers of offenders and social and developmental change. Brian is also interested in using administrative and survey data to investigate a range  of  social issues, including those in social work and family law that are at the heart of the work of the Centre.