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Research Profile

Prof Andrew Pithouse 

Professor Andy Pithouse
School:Social Sciences

Telephone:+44 (0)29 208 75194
Fax:+44 (0)29 208 74175
contact info:

Address:1.02 Glamorgan Building


  • Certificate of qualification in Social Work (CQSW) 1974;
  • BSc (Econ 1st) 1977 (Cardiff);
  • PhD (Sociology) Cardiff 1984.

Research Interests

Andrew Pithouse has been principal investigator of several child safeguarding and family support projects that have helped promote conceptual development, practice innovation and system-building across voluntary and statutory sectors in social work and social care. His particular interests are in theories of childhood and effective interventions to support families. His published work is in family services evaluation, children looked after, children’s advocacy, child assessment, family centres, early intervention, user participation, ethnographies of social work practice.

Social work research at Cardiff.

Funded Research

2007-09. An ethnography of decision-making in children’s services. This research commenced in 2007 and will finish in 2009 and aims to examine how risk and decision making is made by child care professionals and how services can learn from IT simulations of risk management based on critical case examples. The research sites are in local authorities in Wales and England and the study is a collaborative venture with Lancaster, Huddersfield and Nottingham universities. A largely qualitative methodology informs the enquiry which is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

2006-08. A Common Assessment for children in Wales. This study comprises the design and piloting of a Common Assessment Framework for children’s services in Wales and is led by the University of North East Wales Institute in collaboration with Royal Holloway University. It aims to pilot a tested electronic assessment protocol for multi-agency application. It is funded by the Social Care Institute for Excellence.

2004-06. Review of advocacy services for children in Wales. This study entailed a mixed-method analysis of all children’s advocacy services in Wales funded by local authorities. Surveys, interviews and secondary data were used to map the organisational type, activity and challenges for advocacy across Wales. Innovative methods were used to gain views of young people about advocacy, particularly in relation to their involvement in complaints to local authorities. The study was funded by the Welsh Assembly and the findings have informed Government proposals for a Wales-wide reform of advocacy.

2002-06. The UK Integrated Children’s System (ICS).  This study comprised the multi-disciplinary development of the ICS tool for processing information and data on children’s services. The aim of ICS is to make intervention with children and families more visible and accountable and to facilitate better reflection and planning at operational and strategic levels. The design of the ITC application and its implementation in pilot local authorities in Wales and England was undertaken in collaboration with Royal Holloway and Loughborough Universities and funded by the Department for Education and Skills and Welsh Assembly Government.