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Dr Alyson Rees PhD, CQSW

Dr Alyson Rees



School of Social Sciences

+44(0) 29 2087 5261
2.05, Glamorgan Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3WA
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a Reader in School of Social Sciences. I am a Social Work lecturer and researcher. My interests are in child and family social work, particularly fostering, adoption, domestic abuse, women in prison and child neglect.

I am an assistant director  of CASCADE Children's Social Care Research and Development Centre and I am responsible for ExChange. 

I teach on the MA in Social Work and convene the post qualifying Enabling Practice module. I am a tutor on the MA in Social Work.

I  manage the Erasmus programme for the MA in Social Work.

I am a registered Social Worker with Social Care  Wales.

I welcome PhD applications to work on topics related to social work.


I am a registered Social Worker and before becoming an academic I worked as a practioner for many years. I initially started working in a night shelter in London for ex-offenders and those with mental health difficulties. I then qualified to become a Social Worker and was sponsored  by the Home Office to work as a probation officer. I worked as a probation officer  for 16 years in Gwent undertaking a range of roles including working in the youth offending team and as  Crown Court Liasion Officer. I   have also worked for Barnados in Ely, Cardiff undertaking commmunity work and running girls groups. Most latterly I worked for the NSPCC working in a domestic violence unit running groups for male perpetrators, female survivors and children who had witnessed abuse. 

I started teaching at Cardiff University part-time whilst still working for the NSPCC. I completed my PhD in 2009 on successful and effective foster care, taking a whole-family, strengths based and sociological perspective. I particularly favour sociological approaches as applied to social care and social work. I have undertaken a wide range of research  including studies focusing on care expperienced children and criminal justice. Most of my research centres on social justice and gender.

I have taught on the MA  Social Work programme since 2000 when I first took up a post at Cardiff University. I am currently reponsible for student placements and I am an assistant director of CASCADE research centre. I am repsonsible for ExChange, the knowledge exchange network and research dissemination arm of CASCADE. I  also responsible for participation of experts by experience in CASCADE and on the MA Social Work.

Professional memberships

  • Registered Social Worker (Social Care Wales)
  • Member of British Association of Social Workers
  • Member of European Social Work Research Association

Academic positions

  • 2000-2005: Tutor, Cardiff
  • 2005-2010: Lecturer, Cardiff
  • 2010-2019: Senior Lecturer, Cardiff
  • 2019- present: Reader, Cardiff

Speaking engagements

  • Invited speaker, Queens Belfast (2017)
  •  European Social Work Research Association conference,  Arlborg (2017 )
  • European Scientific Association on Residential and FamilyCare for Children, Porto (2018)
  • Video Interactive Guidance Conference, Cornwall  (2018)
  • European Social Work Research Association conference x 4, Edinburgh (2018)
  •  Make a Stand Cymru,  Welsh Women’s Aid ( 2019)

  • Kempe Centre, Call to Action, Leaving Care in COVID (2020)
  • Festival of Social Sciences, Who Cares for those leaving care (2020)

Committees and reviewing

  • Chair of Practice Assessment Panel MA in Social Work
  • Chair of equality and diversity committee, School of Social Sciences
  • Member of JSWEC Research Committee
  • Member of End Youth Homelessness, Cymru advisory committee
  • Editoral Board member for British Journal of Social Work
  • Editorial Board member for Journal of Children and Society
  • Board Member  of UCAN (charity for visually impaired young people)
  • Chair of Policy Board for Voices from Care, Cymru
  • Reviewer for  journals in social work and sociology 
  • Previous member of JSWEC International committe
  • Past member of School of Social Sciences ethics committee
  • Past HEI member of Care Council for Wales.

Academic positions

2000-2004 Professional Tutor, Cardiff University

2004-2012 Lecturer, Cardiff University

2012-2019 Senior Lecturer, Cardiff University

2019- Reader, Cardiff University

Committees and reviewing

I chair the Practice Assessment Panel for the MA in Social Work

I sit on the editorial board of the Bristish Jornal of Social Work

I sit on the editorial board of Children and Society

I chair the Policy Board of Voices from Care, Cymru

I sit on the board of UCAN, a local organisation working with visually impaired children and young people.

I sit on the JSWEC Research  committee


















I teach on the MA in Social Work, teaching 'Introduction to Social Work Practice','Inroduction to Social Work Theory', 'Introduction to Children, Youth and Families', 'Gender' and 'Domestic Abuse'.

I convene and teach on the post qualifying module 'Enabling Practice' for practice assessors. I am responsible for Practice Liaison and chair the MA in Social Work Practice Assessment Panels.

I currently supervise a number of MA, Professional Doctorate and PhD students and I am currently supervising projects relating to Adoption,  Foster Care, Child Neglect, Domestic Abuse and Family Care.

I have been involved in research in a  range of areas relating to children, young people and  families. I have undertaken projects involving foster care, child neglect, domestic abuse, women in prison, video interactive guidance, complex families and wheel chair users. Currently I am involved in a research project about young people leaving care theough COVID-19.  I have experience of  range of research methods, in particular qualitative and participatory methods.

I am assistant director of CASCADE Children's Social Care Research and Development Centre.


I am currently supervising a range of doctoral students and welcome requests for PhD supervision. I have reviously supervised candidates in a  range of areas and my interests inlcude: 

  • Foster care
  • Animal- human relationships
  • The ethic of care
  • Adoption
  • Domestic abuse
  • Child negelct
  • Suicide
  • Particpation
  • Working with male perpetrators
  • Child neglect
  • Gender

Past projects

Marja Kempanaar - Adoption support

Martin Price- Assessing child neglect

Marion Russell- The role of the consultant social worker

Clive Diaz- Children's particpation

Phil Smith- An exploration of the pupil referral unit

Claire Palmer- Adoption of older children.

External profiles