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Professor Andrew Pithouse

Professor Andrew Pithouse

Emeritus Professor

+44 29208 75194
+44 (0)29 208 74175


Andrew Pithouse was Director of Social Work Studies at Cardiff University from 1999-2005. He was Director of Research and Deputy Director in the School of Social Sciences 2005-2011. He has been principal investigator in several child and family safeguarding and support research projects that have helped promote conceptual development, practice innovation and system-building across voluntary and statutory sectors in child and family services.

Between 2012 and 2016 he was seconded to Welsh Government as a specialist adviser to both the Deputy Minister and the Minister for Health and Social Services, and worked directly on the preparation of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014 and the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016. His significant contribution to the new Social Services Act was publicly noted in a speech to the Welsh Assembly by the Minister in April 2014 upon completion of the scrutiny stages and passing of the Bill.

He has a distinguished track record of research in a range of social science areas including social policy, sociology, social work and social psychology. In particular, he has built an international reputation for excellence in qualitative research in public welfare services evaluation and development.

His research and supervision interests include risk and information technologies in welfare, advocacy, sociology of public service professions, leadership in welfare organisations and action research. Much of his published work is in the area of service evaluation, risk and ITC, child protection, advocacy, fostering, family support services, family policy.


Professor Andrew Pithouse, FAcSS, FRSA.

CQSW 1974; BSc (Econ 1st) 1977 Cardiff; PhD (Sociology) Cardiff 1984; ILM Cert 2007;

2016       Professor, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University

2012       Specialist Policy Adviser to Welsh Government (to 2016)

2005        Director of Research and Deputy Director SOCSI  (to 2011)

2004         Professor, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University

2000         Reader, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University

1999         Director of Social Work Studies, School of Social Sciences (to 2005)

1996         Senior Lecturer, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University

1990         Lecturer, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University

1987         Researcher, House of Commons, Rhodri Morgan MP; Tom Clarke MP (to 1989)

1985         Research Associate (criminology) Cardiff University (to 1987)

Honours and awards

2014           Fellow Royal Society of Arts

2011           Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences

2007           Travel Award - Member of Welsh Assembly Government delegation visit to Australia

Professional memberships

  • 2016 - Subject Specialist for social sciences - Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications
  • 2016 Associate Editor for the International Journal of Criminology and Sociology

  • 2011-15 - External Academic Adviser, BSW, City University, Hong Kong

  • 2010-15 Steering Committee Member NSPCC UK Research Centre, Edinburgh University
  • 2011-15 External Examiner, PG Dip & MSc Child Protection, Trinity College Dublin
  • 2009-14  Member of Partnership Council, Social Care Institute for Excellence
  • 2013   Associate Member Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Victoria, Canada
  • 2008-2012 Joint Editor, Research Policy and Planning The Journal of the UK Social Services Research Group

  • 2007 Institute of Leadership and Management (CPD ILM Certificate)

Speaking engagements

  • April 2018 8th Annual Conference for Social Work Research, Edinburgh. 'Changing times for social work: A Tale of Two Countries - Norway and Wales' - with Alyson Rees, Alf Djupvik and Charlotte Brookfield.

  • July 2016. JSWEC Annual Conference, Milton Keynes, 'Evaluation of the Frontline Pilot' , -with Jonathan Scourfield, Teresa de Villiers, Nina Maxwell.

  • June 2015. Open University, London, Family Matters Conference, 'Family Policy in Wales'

  • April 2005. City University, Hong Kong. Invited Expert – HK Govt Policy Seminar - 'UK Child Protection Policy'

  • March 2015. Trinity College Dublin, inter-professional 1 day conference. 'Reform of Serious Case Reviews: Key Messages from Wales'

  • November 2014. Belfast Four Nations Child Protection Symposium (Edinburgh University & NSPCC). 'The Protection Perspective from Wales'

  • May 2013. Luxembourg University Expert Seminar. 'Decision making in child protection'

  • April 2013. NSPCC Child Protection Across the UK, London. Panel member – UK Children’s Commissioners Panel.

  • December 2012. Third International Congress on Paediatric Chronic Diseases, Disability and Human Development, Jerusalem, 'New initiatives in child advocacy and participation – a view from Wales'

  • September 2012.  Critical Care Conference – Brighton University. 'Constructing care in fostering'

  • May 2012. New Horizons in Safeguarding Children – NSPCC/Lancaster University. 'Service and policy innovation in Wales'







  • Pithouse, A. J. and Emlyn-Jones, R. 2015. Early intervention: a perspective from Wales. In: Vincent, S. ed. Early Intervention: Supporting and Strengthening Families. Protecting Children and Young People Dunedin Academic Press, pp. 1-14.
















Much of my teaching in the School of Social Sciences takes place within the full-time two year MA in Social Work, the two-year part time MSc (Econ) Post Qualifying Social Work, the Professional Doctorate in Social Work (PDSW) and the MSc Social Science Research Methods scheme. I teach qualitative research methods on undergraduate and PG programmes and contribute to courses on the sociology of childhood, social policy analysis and public sector management. I provide lectures, small group teaching, experiential problem-solving methods, individual tutoring at Master and Doctoral levels.

I have supervised well over 100 students completing PhD, MPhil, MSc and MA degrees. Examples of PhD completions with overseas students include: attitudes to family and marriage in Hong Kong; a survey of community care outcomes in drug abuse intervention in Egypt; the role of public relations in voluntary sector welfare in Hong Kong; child wellbeing in sub-Saharan Africa. UK doctoral student completions include an exploration of Deaf Culture and care services; Children’s identity in social work assessment; a constructionist analysis of the fostering experience; education outcomes for children in public care; narratives of masculinity and caring; an ethnography of a special school for students with learning difficulties.

As external and internal examiner I have read many doctoral theses. My recent external examiner appointments for a number of post graduate schemes in social policy, sociology and social work in the UK, Ireland and Hong Kong, continue to provide valuable insights into teaching and learning methods and innovative approaches to assessment.

I have 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. My particular interests are in theories of childhood and effective interventions to support families. My published work is in family services evaluation, children looked after, children's advocacy, fostering, child assessment, family centres, early intervention, user participation, ethnographies of social work practice.

I am recently a member of a team of academics from across the UK which developed a major bid in 2017 to UK Research Council  - 'Tackling Child Neglect: A Four Country UK analysis'. This was led by Brigid Daniel at Stirling (now Edinburgh), and the team included Julie Taylor (B’ham), John Devaney (Queen’s Belfast), Marion Brandon (UEA), Judy Sebba (Oxford). The bid while highly rated by all reviewers was not successful and may be subject to further development at national level.

2016 Independent Evaluation of the Frontline Pilot: Final Report by Maxwell N, Scourfield J, Le Zhang M, de Villiers T, Hadfield M, Kinnersley P, Metcalf L, Pithouse A, Tayyaba S.  DfE, £250,000

2016 Framing Professional Responsibility: Reflexive Governing in the Welfare State. Proposal led by Professor Kare Hegen, University College Volda, to Norwegian Research Council, awaiting decision, e150,000

2014-17  Looked After Children and Education Outcomes – what contributes to Success? doctoral researcher Gemma Thornton,  NISCHR £60,000

2012-2015  All Wales Social Care Collaboration – joint grant holder with Swansea and Bangor Universities, NISCHR  £780,000

2010 CSE and professional interventions – a case study, doctoral researcher Sophie Hallet, NISCHR £54,000.

2009  Evaluating the impact of the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme on young offenders, (with Professor O.Parry, Glyndwr University)   DoE, £155,000.

2008 Piloting the Common Assessment Framework in Wales (with Professor O.Parry Glyndwr University and Professor Hedy Cleaver, Royal Holloway). SCIE £300,000

2007  Ethnographic study of error in child protection, (led by Professor Sue White, Lancaster University) ESRC, £160,000

2004 Evaluation of DfES integrated children’s system (led by Professor Hedy Cleaver, Royal Holloway) DoH, DFES, EPBD, WAG, £474,000


Past projects