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Dr Louise Roberts

Dr Louise Roberts

Senior Lecturer

+44(0) 29 2087 4983
1.08, Glamorgan Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3WA
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a Lecturer on the M.A. Social Work programme. Prior to this I was a researcher based in the Children's Social Care Research and Development Centre (CASCADE). 

My research interests are broadly connected to social work with children and families. As a registered social worker I am particularly interested in the relationship between the state and the family. This includes policies and practices designed to prevent children from entering the care system, as well as the role of the state as parent / grandparent.

My PhD research (completed 2010-2014 at Cardiff University) was concerned with Support Care, a short breaks service designed to prevent family breakdown. Following this I was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship, funded by Health and Care Research Wales, concerned with early parenthood for young people in and leaving state care.

During my time at CASCADE, I supported the development and facilitation of CASCADE Voices, the award winning advisory group made up of care-experienced young people. I was involved in the Looked after Children and Education Project (funded by the Welsh Government) and together with Dawn Mannay and Alyson Rees, helped edit a new collection for University of Wales Press (2019) ‘Children and Young People Looked After? Education, Intervention and the Everyday Culture of Care in Wales’.

I have excellent working relationships with a number of statutory and third sector agencies. I led an evaluation of Barnardo’s Reflect service in Gwent (funded by Welsh Government and Public Health Wales) and contributed to the Cardiff Families First Development Project (funding by Cardiff City Council). I have sat on advisory boards for Family Rights Group, Barnardo’s and the National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS).


Academic and professional qualifications:

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Cardiff University, 2014
  • MSc. Social Science Research Methods, Cardiff University, 2010
  • M.A. Social Work, Cardiff University, 2009

Employment History:

Cardiff University:

  • School of Social Sciences: Lecturer in Social Work (2018 - present)
  • CASCADE, School of Social Sciences: Research Associate (2014 to present).
  • School of Social Sciences: Research Assistant (October 2013)
  • School of Social Sciences: ESRC funded PhD student (2010 to 2013)

Social care experience:

  • Fosterline Wales, The Fostering Network: Sessional Social Worker (2011 to 2014)
  • CfBT (Include): Project Manager (2003 to 2007) (supporting socially excluded young people)
  • Cardiff ITEC: Basic Skills Tutor (2002 to 2003)
  • Ashcroft House Residential Rehabilitation Centre: Project Worker (1999 to 2002) (supporting women with substance misuse issues)

Recent speaking engagements:

  • Keynote lecture: Beijing Normal University, Beijing 2019, ‘Strengthening links between social work research policy and practice’.
  • Workshop: European Social Services Conference, Milan 2019, ‘Supporting women at risk of repeat care proceedings: The development of Reflect services in Wales’.
  • Seminar: Dublin City University, Dublin 2018, ‘Education for children and young people looked after’.
  • Seminar: Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, 2017, ‘Pregnancy and parenthood for young people in and leaving state care’.
  • Vulnerable Birth Mothers and Recurrent Care Proceedings Conference: London, 2017, ‘How can we work more effectively with care experienced mothers where there are safeguarding concerns?’.
  • Exchange Workshops: Llanwrst and Cardiff, Wales, 2017, ‘Pregnancy and parenthood for young people in and leaving state care’.
  • European Social Work Research Conference: Aalborg, Denmark, 2017, ‘Pregnancy and parenthood for young people in and leaving state care in Wales’ and ‘The education of looked after children in Wales’


  • 2017 - 2018 (CI) Forging Communities of Practice: Enabling Effective Educational Trajectories for Care Experienced Children and Young People  (£23,429)
  • 2016 – 2018 (PI), Evaluation of the Gwent Reflect Service (Public Health Wales, £17,000)
  • 2014 – 2019 (PI), The children of ‘looked after’ children: care outcomes and experiences (Health and Care Research Wales post-doctoral fellowship, £253,868)
  • 2016 (CI) Families First Development Project (Cardiff City Council, £50,000)
  • 2016 (CI) Supporting young carers (Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan LAs, £2934)
  • 2010 – 2013 Supporting Families in Need: A Qualitative Case Study of the Support Care Intervention (Economic and Social Research Council studentship)














I am a lecturer on the M.A. Social Work programme.

I am module convener for Social Science Perspectives and Social Work Practice (Level 3, children and families pathway)

I am responsible for coordinating the MASW Summer School programme.

I am a personal tutor for students hosted by Newport Local Authority.


I currently supervise PhD students whose studies are focussed on care leavers transitions to higher education and adopted children’s experience of schooling. I have recently secured funding to supervise a PhD studentship concerned with the development and delivery of Reflect services in Wales.

I am interested in supervising PhD students with interests connected to social work with children and families.

Past projects