Skip to main content
Dr Martin Elliott

Dr Martin Elliott

Research Fellow, CASCADE

School of Social Sciences

+44 (0)29 2087 6326
1-3 Museum Place
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a Research Fellow in the Children's Social Care Research and Development Centre (CASCADE) at Cardiff University. Currently I coordinate the Health and Care Research Wales funded research capacity building programme.

My research interests include children 'looked after' by the state; young people in secure accommodation; children on the edge of care; poverty and social inequalities; services and outcomes for disabled children and young people


I am ex-social worker with 17-years statutory children’s services experience including, front line management and practice; contracting and commissioning; and strategic development work.  I started my academic career as a quantitative researcher, doing a PhD based on anaylsis of routinely collected administrative data and the Welsh analysis for the four nation Child Welfare Inequalties Project (  I have now moved towards doing more mixed methods research.

Education and Qualifications

1997 Diploma in Social Work

1998 BA(Hons) Community Studies (Social Work)

2013 MSc Social Science Research Methods

2018 PhD

Honours and awards

Outstanding publication from a doctoral thesis award, European Social Work Research Association (ESWRA). 2020.

BASW Kay McDougall British Journal of Social Work prize. 2021.

Committees and reviewing

Journal reviewer, British Journal of Social Work

Journal reviewer, Child Care in Practice

Journal reviewer - Children and Youth Services Review

Journal reviewer - Journal of Children's Services









  • Lectures and workshops on various topics including poverty and inequalities, and social work with disabled children and their families

External Funding

2020 - 2023. Forrester, D.(PI) and Elliott, M. Research capacity building program (Health and Care Research Wales). A program of activities that will increase social care research capacity in Wales focused on three key stages that take a practitioner through PhD study, post-doctoral research/first academic appointment, and then research leadership. The program is intended to support and develop more: 1. High quality PhD applications 2. Successful applications for first grants 3. Future research leaders (

2018 - 2020. Elliott, M.(PI), Scourfield, J. and Morris, K. Child Welfare Inequalities in Wales: practice and prevention. (Health and Care Research Wales, £261,201) The main objective of this study is to examine and describe the relationship between poverty and social inequality, social work practice and decision-making, and child welfare interventions, such as children becoming ‘looked after’ or placed on the child protection register.

2018 - 2019. Williams, A. (PI), Elliott, M., Evans, R., Lyttleton-Smith, J., Young, H. and Long, S. Young people in secure accommodation in Wales (Social Care Wales, £100,000) this project explored the experiences of young people from Wales who have spent time in Secure Children's Homes on welfare grounds. This qualitative project worked with some of the most vulnerable young people in Wales, and identified a number of areas where policy change is required to ensure that we are effectively supporting young people at high levels of risk

2018. Elliott, M. Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) one year post doctoral research fellowship (£117,389) This one year fellowship was based around my doctoral thesis '“Looked-after” children in Wales: An analysis of the backgrounds of children entering public care'.

2018. J. Lyttleton-Smith (PI), Scourfield, J. and Elliott, M.  Supporting the improvement agenda within Children's Services in Wales. (Social Care Wales, £15,558)

2015. Elliott, M (PI), Scourfield, J. and Staples, E. Analysis of data on children in residential care in Wales (Care Council for Wales, £7,400) Using routinely collected administrative data from the children looked after census, this research explored the characteristics of children and young people entering care in residential settings in Wales.

Internal Funding

2017. Cardiff University Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (CUROP) Child Welfare Inequalities: The effect of Flying Start programmes on intervention rates (£1600)


Past projects

Supervisor for Jessica Howard (MA in Social Work) - perceptions of the referral process for children with disabilities and their families (awarded 2018)

Supervisor for Kathryn Howells (MA in Social Work) - what are the characteristics and support needs of females who have participated in a diversion scheme in Wales and do they impact on the risk of re-offending? (awarded 2019)

Supervisor for Will Eastwood (MA in Social Work) - do residential placements for children who are looked after provide local authorities with value for money (awarded 2020)

Supervisor for Bethan Pugh (MA in Social Work) - Is poverty a social work dilemma? Perspectives from Newly Qualified Social Workers within Children's Services (awarded 2021)

External profiles