Professor Elizabeth Harlow

Professor, Social Work

With experience in social work and the social sciences, first as a practitioner, and later as an academic at Trent Polytechnic and the Universities of Bradford and Salford, I joined the University of Chester in 2010.

My overarching interest lies in human relations and this has been pursued in connection with the organization, management and provision of social work and welfare services.  In addition to having led evaluative projects, I have published my work in books and journals, initiated and co-ordinated conferences, symposia and seminars for academics and professionals.  I have also acted as an organizational consultant and led development events for a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Partnership Board as well as a Children’s Safeguarding Board.

I hold editorial responsibilities with the academic journals Social Work and Social Science Review and Practice:  Social Work in Action.  Having been a member of the policy advisory forum of the national charity Fostering Network, I am currently working with adoption agencies in the north west of England.

Qualifications

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Registered as a Health and Social Care Professional

Member of the British Association of Social Workers

Member of the Association of Psychosocial Studies

Member of the Organization Studies Network

2009 Certificate in Coaching for Leadership and Professional Development, Tavistock Institute.

2009 Certificate, Introduction to Group Analysis, Institute of Group Analysis.

1998 PhD. (Social Sciences), University of Bradford.

1981 BA (hons) Applied Social Studies with Certificate of Qualification of Social Work, University of Bradford.

Teaching

I supervise the research of PhD and Master’s students.  I contribute to the modules taught to students on Professional Doctorate programmes as well as the BA and MA in Social Work.

External examining responsibilities have been fulfilled on behalf of the Nuffield Institute and the Universities of York, Leeds and Warwick. 

Contracts relating to teaching/knowledge transfer/consultancy

2010 Assessing Applicants for the Position of Advanced Social Work Practitioner, contract offered by Formation and Social Care Can Do Partners on behalf of the Children’s Workforce Development Council, February (£212,875 over three years).

2010 ‘Developing Partnership and Governance Arrangements’, facilitation of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Partnership Board, Knowsley, Liverpool, 22nd January.  Commissioned by Outcomes UK.

2008 ‘Strengthening Employer Engagement in the Planning, Development and Delivery of Social Work Education’, Skills for Care, (with colleagues from the University of Salford), £50,000.

2008 Providing Support to the Practitioner-led Research Programme in 2008/9.  Proposal submitted to the Children’s Workforce Development Council by the Making Research Count Consortium (facilitated by the University of Salford), £109.500.

2007 Initiated and organized ‘Fostering Matters: a Symposium Focusing on the Future of Foster Care in the UK’, University of Salford, March 28th.  Funding was secured from the publishers Whiting and Birch and the national charity the Fostering Network, £2,300 approx.

2004 Initiated and organized the symposium ‘Changing Social Work?’ which was held at the University of Lancaster on 16th and 17th September.  Funding was secured from the publishers Whiting and Birch, £1,100 approx.

2002 ‘Women and Leadership Management’ Course for the Indian Chevening Programme, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Tender co-ordinated by Tom Franks, Bradford Centre for International Development, University of Bradford, £150,000.

2000 Initiated the inclusion of the University of Bradford in the development and co-ordination of the West Yorkshire PQ in Child Care, which generated approx £20,000 per annum for the Department of Applied Social Sciences.

1996 Gender and Management in Social Work, workshop for the Family Service Unit (northern region).

1991 ‘Introduction to the 1989 Children Act’, training for Wakefield Social Services.

1991 ‘Practice Teaching Skills in the Assessment of Students in Anti-oppressive Social Work Practice’, funded by the Enterprise in Higher Education Project, University of Bradford.

Research

In addition to having undertaken and led evaluative projects, I have researched and published on: gender and sexuality; neoliberalism, managerialism and the construction of social work; recruitment and retention; supervision; coaching; as well as practice with children and their families. 

Theories of organizational systems, management, equality and diversity and psychosocial subjectivity inform my work whilst in-depth interpretive methodologies are preferred.  I have particular expertise in case study research.

Contracts relating to evaluation and research

2014 Evaluation of the Post-placement Adoption Support Service, Adoption Matters North West/Caritas Care (with colleagues from the University of Chester), £18,500.

2013 Population Alerting: Linking Emergencies, Resilience and Training, European 7th Research Programme (with Rob Hulme and Stuart McNab from the University of Chester), £20,000.

2011 Evaluating the Children’s Workforce Development Council’s Support to Front Line managers Project (with Nicky Stanley and Gordon Blunt), £22,778

2008 ‘Evaluation of newly qualified social worker pilot programme’, Children’s Workforce Development Council (with colleagues from the University of Salford, the University of Bristol and King’s College, London), £373,000.

2008 ‘Promoting Participation in Third Sector Organizations’, Research Bidding Support Fund, University of Salford, £2,300.

2008 ‘Voices from the Shadows: the Views of the Sons and Daughters of Foster Carers’, Research Bidding Support Fund, University of Salford, £930.

2006 ‘Evaluating Family Support Services’, Regional Charity, £2,998.

2004 ‘Deciding their Futures’ Metropolitan Borough Council (with Steven Shardlow and Imogen Blood, all at the University of Salford), £16,925.

2004 ‘Teenage Pregnancy: the Lived Experiences of Young People’ Metropolitan Borough Council, (with Lindsey Dugdill, Julie Jones, and Steven Shardlow, all at the University of Salford), £10,010.

2003- 2004 ‘The Work of Core Groups’, Metropolitan Borough Council Area Child Protection Committee (with Steven Shardlow, University of Salford) £10,000.

2003 Member of the team undertaking the ‘Systematic Review of Counselling and Older People’, British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, (project leaders: Alison Brettle and Andy Hill, Univesity of Salford) £7,000.

2003 Member of the team analysing data from the ‘Evaluation of the Keys Attachment Project’, Keys Child Care Limited (project leaders: Steven Shardlow, Annie Huntington, John Sudbury, University of Salford), £30,000. 

Reports produced for external agencies

2015 Constructing and Delivering Services of Support: an Evaluation of the Northwest Post-placement Adoption Support Service. (2). Final report for the project ‘Evaluation of the Post-placement Adoption Support Service’ which was funded by Adoption Matters and Caritas Care (with Andrew Mitchell, Pauline Doherty, and Paul Moran).

2015 Constructing and Delivering Services of Support: an Evaluation of the Northwest Post-placement Adoption Support Service.  Brief Report for the project ‘Evaluation of the Post-placement Adoption Support Service’ which was funded by Adoption Matters and Caritas Care (with Andrew Mitchell, Pauline Doherty, and Paul Moran).

2014 Desk Based Analysis for Work Package 1. Final Report.  For the project ‘Pop-alert. Population Alerting: Linking Emergencies, Resilience and Training’, funded by the European 7th Research Framework (with Rob Hulme, Lorraine Harnett, Stuart McNab and Jo Turner).

2014 Desk Based Analysis for Work Package 1.,Interim Report.  For the project ‘Pop-alert. Population Alerting: Linking Emergencies, Resilience and Training’, funded by the European 7th Research Framework (with Rob Hulme, Lorraine Harnett, Stuart McNab and Jo Turner).

2014 Evaluation of the Post-placement Adoption Support Service, Interim Report.  Submitted to Adoption Matters North West/Caritas Care (with Pauline Doherty, Andrew Mitchell and Paul Moran).

2009 ‘Evaluation of Newly Qualified Social Worker Pilot Programme, Project Initial Report’.  Submitted to the Children’s Workforce Development Council in January (with John Carpenter, Steven Shardlow and Jane Tunstill).

2007 An Evaluation of Leigh Agape Family Support Services Salford: Salford Centre for Social Work Research, University of Salford.

2007 Leigh Agape Family Support Group: Now and the Future Salford: Salford Centre for Social Work Research, University of Salford. (Brief accessible report.)

2007 Agape Family Support Services. Interim Report. Salford: Salford Centre for Social Work Research, University of Salford.

2006 Teenage Pregnancy: the Lived Experiences of Young People Summary Report Salford: Salford Centre for Social Work Research (with Julie Jones and Stephen Shardlow).

2005 Teenage Pregnancy: the Lived Experiences of Young People Salford: Salford Centre for Social Work Research (with Julie Jones and Stephen Shardlow).

2005 Deciding their Futures, Salford: Salford Centre for Social Work Research (with Imogen Blood and Stephen Shardlow).

2004 The Work of Core Groups, Salford: Salford Centre for Social Work Research (with Stephen Shardlow).

Published work

Books

2011  Foster Care Matters London: Whiting and Birch

2003 Information and Communication Technologies in the Welfare Services London: Jessica Kingsley (with Stephen Webb)

2000 Management, Social Work and Change Aldershot: Ashgate (with John Lawler)

Refereed journal papers

2015 The management of children and family social workers in England: reflecting upon the meaning and provision of support, Journal of Social Work, published on-line before print September 28.  DOI: 10.11.77/1468017315607092

2013 Coaching, Professional Supervision and the Social Work Zeitgeist, Practice: Social Work in Action 25(1), pp.61-70.

2012 Neo-liberalism, Managerialism and the Re-configuring of Social Work in Sweden and the UK, Organization, 20(4), pp. 534-550 (with Elisabeth Berg, Jim Barry and John Chandler).

2010 Academic Affiliations of Social Work Journal Article Authors from 1999-2003: A Productivity Analysis from the UK, Journal of Social Service Research 36(4), pp. 377-384 (with Steven M Shardlow).

2009 Eliciting Narratives of Teenage Pregnancy: Reflecting Upon and Reflexively Exploring Some of the Methodological Challenges, Qualitative Social Work, 8 (2), pp. 211-218.

2007 Fostering Matters: a Foster Carer's Perspective, Social Work and Social Sciences Review, Special Issue: The Future of Fostering in the UK - 2, 13(2), pp.48-56 (with Foluke Blackburn).

2007 Children of the State, Social Work and Social Sciences Review Special Issue: The Future of Fostering in the UK - 2, 13(2) (with Nick Frost).

2006 Safeguarding Children: Challenges to the Effective Operation of Core Group Practice, Child and Family Social Work, 11 (1), pp. 65-72 (with Steven Shardlow).

2005 Postmodernization: A Phase We're Going Through? Management in Social Care, British Journal of Social Work, 35 (7), pp. 1163-1174 (with John Lawler).

2004 Protecting Children: Why Don't Core Groups Work? Lessons from the Literature, Practice, 16 (1), pp. 31-42.

2004 Why Don't Women Want to be Social Workers Anymore? New Managerialism, Postfeminism and the Shortage of Social Workers in Social Services Departments in England and Wales, European Journal of Social Work, 7 (2), pp. 167-179.

2003 New Managerialism, Social Services Departments and Social Work Practice Today, Practice, 15 (2), pp. 29-44.

2002 Gender, Parenting and Managerial Ambition in Social Work, Journal of Social Work, 2 (1), pp. 65-82.

1996 Educating for Anti-oppressive and Anti-discriminatory Social Work, Social Work Education 15(1), pp. 5-17 (with Jeff Hearn).

1995 Cultural Constructions: Contrasting Theories of Organization, Culture and Gender Construction, Gender, Work and Orgnization 2(4), pp.180-191 (with Jeff Hearn).

Other recent refereed publications

2012, ‘Coaching and the Social Work’ Zeitgeist, in Chandler, J., Barry, J. and Berg, E. (eds) Dilemmas for Human Services. Papers from the 15th International Research Conference, 2011, London: University of London.

2011 Evaluation of the CWDC’s Support to Front Line Managers Project, www.cwdcouncil.org.uk/research/projects/completed (with Gordon Blunt and Nicky Stanley)

2009 ‘The Neoliberal Challenge to Social Work: The Case of Sweden and the United Kingdom’ in Chandler, J., Barry, J., Berg, E. and Pipola, S. (eds) Dilemmas for Human Services. Papers from the 12th International Research Conference, 2008, London: University of London, pp. 25-30 (with Elisabeth Berg, Jim Barry and John Chandler), pp. 25-30.

2008 ‘Teenage Pregnancy’, Community Care Inform: The Online Information Source for Professionals Working with Children and Families www.ccinform.co.uk

Non-refereed publications

2015 When Questions are the Answers, Professional Social Work, October p.27 (with Maureen Daley and Karen Stone).
 
2015 Guest Editorial, Practice: Social Work in Action, 27(4), September, pp. 235-238, DOI: 10.1080/09503153.2015.1048053 (with Karen Izod).

1995 Gendered Subjectivities: Becoming Managers in a Social Services Department, Social Services Research, 1, pp. 48-51.

1994 Politicizing the Personal and Subverting Power: the Principles and Practices of Feminist Therapy and Counselling, Clinical Psychology Forum, 4, pp. 28-30.

1993 Writing: The Pleasure, the Pain and the Practicalities, The Journal. Women in Organisations and Management, 7, pp. 16-20 (with Jeff Hearn).

1992 Sexuality, Power and Work, The Journal. Women in Organisations and Management February, 2, pp. 3-6 (with Jeff Hearn and Wendy Parkin)

Sections in books

In press 'Constructing the Social, Constructing Social Work', in Webb, S. A. (ed) Matters of Professional Identity and Social Work: Blurred Boundaries and Emerging Spaces London: Routledge.

2013 ‘Data Analysis’ in McIntosh-Scott, A., Mason, T., Mason-Whitehead, E. and Coyle, D. (eds) Key Concepts in Nursing and Health Care Research London: Sage, pp. 217-220.

2012 ‘Critical Thinking’ in Worsley, A., Mann, T., Olsen, A. and Mason-Whitehead, E. (eds) Key Concepts in Social Work London: Sage.

2012 ‘Professional Development’ in Worsley, A., Mann, T., Olsen, A. and Mason-Whitehead, E. (eds) Key Concepts in Social Work London: Sage.

2011 ‘Introduction’, in Harlow, E. (ed) Foster Care Matters London: Whiting and Birch, pp. 1-8.

2011 ‘Fostering Matters: a Foster Carer’s Perspective’, Foster Care Matters London: Whiting and Birch, pp. 69-76 (with Foluke Blackburn).

2011 ‘Children of the State’, Foster Care Matters London: Whiting and Birch, pp. 21-31 (with Nick Frost).

2009 ‘Contribution, Theoretical’ in Mills, A., Durepos, G. and Wiebe, E. (eds) Encyclopedia of Case Study Research London: Sage, pp.236-238.

2003 ‘Wired Wonderland or Hypertext Hell: ICTs in the Welfare Services’ in Harlow, E. and Webb, S. (eds) Information and Communication Technologies in the Welfare Services Jessica Kingsley, pp. 7-26.

2000 ‘Introduction: Postmodernisation and Change in Social Work’ in Harlow, E. and Lawler, J. (eds) Management, Social Work and Change Aldershot: Ashgate, pp. 5-15

2000 ‘New Managerialism in Social Services Departments: Changing Women’s Work’ in Harlow, E. and Lawler, J. (eds) Management, Social Work and Change Aldershot: Ashgate, pp. 73-91.

2000 ‘Gender’ in Davies, M. (ed) The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Social Work, Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 142-144.

1996 ‘From Rhetoric to Reality: Historical, Theoretical and Practical Complexities in Educating for Anti-discriminatory and Anti-oppressive Social Work’ in Ford, P. and Hayes, P. (eds) Educating for Social Work: Arguments for Optimism, CEDR/Avebury (with Jeff Hearn).

1996 ‘Gender, Violence and Social Work Organizations’ in Fawcett, B. Featherstone, B. Hearn, J. and Toft, C. (eds) Violence and Gender Relations: Theory and Interventions, London: Sage pp. 61-71.

1996 ‘Organized Abuse: Themes and Issues’ in Fawcett, B. Featherstone, B. Hearn, J. and Toft, C. (eds) Violence and Gender Relations: Theory and Interventions London: Sage, pp.161-71 (with Brid Featherstone).

1995 ‘Gendered Noise: Organizations and the Silence and the Din of Domination’ in Itzin, C. and Newman, J. (eds) Creating Women Friendly Work: Gender and Organizational Change. Putting Theory into Practice. London: Routledge, pp. 91-107 (with Jeff Hearn and Wendy Parking).

1992 ‘Sexuality and Social Work Organizations’ in Carter, P. Jeffs, T. and Smith, M. K. (eds) Changing Social Work and Welfare, Buckingham: Open University Press, pp. 131-43 (with Jeff Hearn and Wendy Parkin).

Conference and seminar presentations

2016 ‘Supporting Adoptive Families’ paper presented at the Joint Social Work Education and Research Conference, Celebrating that which Unifies Us: Global and UK Perspectives on Generic Social Work, Education, Research and Practice, held at the Open University, Milton Keynes, 13th to 16th July.
 
2016 ‘Supporting Adoptive Families’, paper presented at the Open University in Yorkshire, Trevelyan Square, Leeds on 29th June.
 
2016 ‘Reflecting on Policy and the Provision of Support to Adoptive Parents’ paper presented at the European Conference of Social Work Research, Catholic University of Portugal, Lisbon, 30th March to 1st April.

2015 ‘Practice Supervision and the Identity of Social Work as a Profession in England in the Twenty-first Century’, New Directions in Critical Sociology and Social Work: Identity, Narratives and Praxis, 5th International Conference on Sociology and Social Work, University of Chester, 26th-27th August.

2015 ‘Supporting Adoptive Families’ paper presented to students, academics and professionals as part of the Social Work Seminar Series, Department of Social Work, Warrington campus, University of Chester, 15th June.

2015 ‘Evaluation of the Northwest Post-placement Adoption Support Service: Some Preliminary Conclusions in Brief’, a paper presented at the Finding a Way to Excellence, Centre for Adoption Support Conference, The Peace Centre, Warrington, 6th March (with Andrew Mitchell, Pauline Doherty and Paul Moran).

2014 ‘Managing Head and Heart: Organizations and the Provision of Social Work Over Time’, Inaugural Lecture, Warrington Campus, University of Chester, 24th September.

2014 ‘Evaluation of the Post-placement Adoption Support Service’, a paper presented at the Warrington’s Works Conference, University of Chester, 3rd July (with Pauline Doherty, Andrew Mitchell and Paul Moran, all at the University of Chester).

2014 ‘Social Work Professionalism and the Politics of Social Work Knowledge Generation, Dissemination and Implementation: Exploring the Current Contours’ A workshop proposed and facilitated at the 4th European Conference for Social Work Research, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, 15th-17th April.

2013 ‘Coaching, Supervision and the Social Work Zeitgeist’ paper presented at the Advanced Practice Seminar Series, The University of Nottingham Centre for Social Work on Friday 8th November.

2013 'The Management of Children and Family Social Workers in the UK: Reflecting upon the Provision and Receipt of Managerial Support' presented at the 3rd European Network of Social Action Conference, 16th-19th April, Istanbul, Turkey.

2012 ‘Relationship Based Practice Past and Present and its Knowledge Foundations in the Contemporary Curriculum’, 14th Joint Social Work Education Conference with the 6th UK Social Work Research Conference ‘21st Century Solutions: Evolving or Revolving?’ Manchester Conference Centre, 2nd July.

2012 ‘Supporting the Front Line Managers of Social Work: the Meaning of Support’, Organization Studies Network Seminar, Business School, University of Keele, 15th May.

2011 ‘Coaching, and the Social Work Zeitgeist’, Dilemmas in the Human Services, 15th International Research Conference, London, 1st-2nd September.

2011 ‘Evaluating the Support to the Front Line Managers of Social Work’, a paper presented at the Warrington Works Research Festival, University of Chester, 1st July.

2008 ‘Neo-liberalism and the (Re-)construction of Social Work in Sweden and the United Kingdom’, paper presented at the Dilemmas for Human Services 12th International Research Conference, University of East London Docklands Campus, 11th-12th September (with Jim Barry, Elisabeth Berg and John Chandler)

2007 Research and the Development of Policy and Practice: an Example from Children’s Services in Greater Manchester, Practice Development Seminar, Making Research, University of Salford, 23rd October (with Rafik Iddin).

2006 ‘Talking about Teenage Pregnancy’ for the Ashton, Leigh and Wigan Primary Care Trust Research Seminar, 13th September.

2006 ‘Eliciting Narratives of Teenage Pregnancy: Reflecting Upon and Reflexively Exploring Some of the Methodological Challenges’, 6th European Qualitative Research Conference in Health and Social Care, University of Bournemouth, 4th -6th September.

2006  ‘Fifty Years of Social Work in England and Wales: Mapping Global Influences and Local Responses’ for the World Conference if the International Federation of Social Workers, A World Out of Balance – Working for a New Social Equilibrium, Munich, Germany, 30th July- 3rd August.

2006 ‘Is Social Work Still Women’s Work?’ for the workshop Social Work Development and Gender Perspectives, Joint Women’s Studies Centre, Universities of Applied Sciences, Hesse, Germany, 23rd-25th June.

2006 ‘Eliciting and Analysing Narrative Accounts on the Topic of Teenage Pregnancy: Potentials and Pitfalls’ for the Narrative as Methodology Workshop, Scottish and Northern Narratives Network, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, University of Newcastle, 3rd February (with Julie Jones).

2005 ‘Gendered Careers in the Social Services and the Work/Life Balance’, Gender, Work and Organization, 4th International Interdisciplinary Conference, University of Keele, 22nd-24th June.

2005 ‘Women, Caring and Social Work Today’, for the international conference Community, Work and Family: Change and Transformation, Manchester Metropolitan University, 16th-18th March.

2004 ‘The Work of Core Groups’ presentation to a multi-agency meeting, Greater Manchester, 3rd November.

2004 ‘Safeguarding Children: Challenges to the Operation of Core Groups’, Changing Social Work? Symposium, Social Work and Social Sciences Review, University of Lancaster on 16th and 17th September. 

2004 Presentation of the Findings of the Project ‘The Work of Core Groups’, Area Child Protection Committee, Greater Manchester, 11th  July.

2003 ‘The Work of Core Groups’, presentation made to a multi-agency meeting, Greater Manchester, 23rd September (with Michael Murphy).

2003 ‘New Managerialism, Social Services Departments and Women’s Work’, 3rd International Interdisciplinary Gender, Work and Organization Conference, University of Keele, 25-27th June.

2002 Invited to participate in the International Symposium on Social Work and Late Modernism, St Martin’s College, Ambleside, 15-17th April, jointly hosted by the Universities of Lancaster and Sussex.

2000 ‘Gender and Managerial Careers in Social Services Departments’, presentation to Nottinghamshire Social Services Department, Nottingham, 17th February (invited).

1999 ‘The Gendering of Social Work Management’, Social Work – Making a Difference, International Conference, BASW/University of Central Lancashire, 22 – 25th  March.

1997 Presented the paper ‘Practice Assessment Reports and the Role of the Placement Evaluation Panel’, Educating for Social Work Practice: Now and the Future Conference, University of Bradford, Bradford, 17th September (with Philip Gilligan).

1996 ‘Men Managing Women Workers: The Gendered Career Path of Social Workers’ Participating in Change. The Social Work Profession in Social Development IASSW/IFSW Conference, University of Hong Kong, July.

1995 ‘Management Material? Subjectivity and Discourses of Management’, Feminism and Postmodernism: Theory and Practice for Social Work Conference, University of Bradford, Bradford, March.

1994 ‘Educating for Anti-oppressive Social Work: Potentials, Practices and Problems’ paper presented at the 27th Congress of the International Association of Schools of Social Work, Amsterdam, 11 –15th July (with Jeff Hearn).

1994 ‘Gendered Subjectivities: Becoming Managers in a Social Services Department’, The Impact of Management Research: A Critical Approach, British Academy of Management Annual Conference, Lancaster University, 12-14th Sept.

1994 ‘Gender, Violence and Social Work Organizations’, Violence, Gender and Social Work Conference, University of Bradford, Bradford, 24th March.

1994 ‘Organized Abuse: Themes and Issues’, Violence, Gender and Social Work Conference, University of Bradford, Bradford, 24th March (with Brid Featherstone).

1993 ‘Organizational Culture: The Silence and Din of Domination’, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds (with Jeff Hearn and Wendy Parkin).

1993 ‘Power, Culture and Gender Relations in Management’, Masculinity and Power Conference, Through the Glass Ceiling Group/Sheffield Hallam University, 10th June (with Jeff Hearn).