Centre for Social Work, Sociology and Social Policy

Theme Icon for Communities, Culture & ConflictsTheme Icon for Health, Wellbeing & Society

The Centre for Social Work, Sociology and Social Policy (CSWSSP) is a part of the The School of Health & Social Care. It contributes to the BU theme Culture & Society and Health, Wellbeing and Aging. CSWSSP additionally incorporates the work of the HSC Academic Community ‘Society & Social Welfare’.


The rapidly changing and diverse world of social work and social policy requires a robust response from the academy. The changes affecting the social work and social policy constituency include:

  • The demographic profile of the UK (an ageing population; an ageing workforce, declining population and concomitant increase in need; a diverse population including many new migrants)
  • A globalised, market–driven economy and attempts to define global social work within this context
  • Growing environmental challenges that impact on social cohesion, marginalisation, welfare and policy within the context of human rights based thinking.

Key Principles

The centre operates according to three driving principles, which underpin its work, and which may be understood as including and championing the voice of seldom heard people and groups:

  • Pedagogical research: Making a difference in practice
  • Enhancing scholarship: Contributing to knowledge
  • Marginalised people and the processes of marginalisation.

Associations & Collaborations

Poole & Bournemouth
A Memorandum of Understanding is being developed with the Bournemouth and Poole Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) with a view to collaborative research in relation to improving the ‘Child’s Journey’ and the experience of families as they engage in child protection procedures.

Montacute Trust School
Dr Sid Carter is a trustee of this Special School in Poole. This link has led to educational opportunities for the students of the Centre and will provide future research potential.

Later Life Research 
This represents a collaborative venture between the national charity Elderly Accommodation Counsel and CSWSSP to develop joint research and knowledge exchange projects that seek to provide usable important research to improve information and support for older people.

Independent Policy Consultant, expertise in housing and care, social policy and sustainable communities. Director: Dr Michael McCarthy (CSWSSP Visiting Fellow).



We are proud of our research achievements in CSWSSP which has grown exponentially since its inception in 2006. From a rudimentary beginning it is now home to a flourishing diversity of research activities that seek to examine a range of contemporary social phenomena of significant societal relevance across social work, sociology and interdisciplinary studies, using both established and innovative methodological approaches. Our research output is well regarded in terms of both its quantity and its quality and features a large number of international peer–reviewed journal publications together with research–based books and book chapters.

Current areas of research include:

  • Social welfare and conflict
  • Culture and society
  • Ageing and dementia
  • Child protection and Looked After Children
  • Conflict resolution
  • Research ethics
  • Leadership and management
  • ‘Vulnerable’ adults
  • Pedagogy/educational innovation
  • International social work
  • Comparative health indicators

Each year we publish a research bulletin containing our recent news and research publications, view the most recent issues below:


Professor Jonathan Parker & Dr Sara Ashencaen Crabtree from the Centre recently won a study leave grant for their project ENABLE (Establishing Sustainable Research Networks and Building Learning Environments). Read their blog posts here.



Latest news from Centre for Social Work, Sociology and Social Policy

  • Reflections on Social Work and Human Rights

       (Prof Jonathan Parker & Dr Sara Ashencaen Crabtree were honoured to present an invited seminar on their research and thoughts concerning human rights and the Orang Asli communities at... »

  • Nutrition and Dementia research project

    At the start of the year, we initiated our exciting new research project, funded by The Burdett Trust for Nursing. The research aims to improve the delivery of nutrition for... »

  • BU academics give World Social Work Seminar at Hong Kong University

    Tuesday 18th March 2014 is World Social Work Day. All around the globe, social workers, welfare agencies and academics are celebrating the help , support and fight for social justice... »

  • That damn dam!

    BU’s Professor Jonathan Parker writes… In the mid 1990s, unbeknown to the Orang Asli living around Tasik (lake) Chini in Pahang, Malaysia, a dam was built to regulate the flow... »