Browse/search for people

Professor Elaine Farmer

Professor Elaine Farmer

Professor Elaine Farmer
B.A.(Nott.), Ph.D.(Bristol), CQSW, Dip Soc Admin

Emeritus Professor

PhD Supervisor

Social Science Complex,
8 Priory Road, Bristol BS8 1TZ
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 954 6727


Research projects



  • The poor relations? Children and informal kinship carers speak out (2013)
  •  Effective Working with Neglected Children and their Families: Linking Interventions to
    Long-term Outcomes
  • Achieving Successful Returns from Care: What makes reunification work? (2011)
  •  Improving Child and Family Assessment: Turning Research into Practice (2011)
  • Adoption Agency Linking and Matching: A survey of adoption agency practice in England and Wales (2010)
  • Kinship Care: Fostering Effective Family and Friends Placements (2008)


Elaine Farmer is Professor of Child and Family Studies in the School for Policy Studies. Before joining the University, she worked as a children and families social worker and in hospital social work in England and in a specialist unit for children with emotional, behavioural and educational difficulties in Sydney, Australia.  Her practice experience informs her research and teaching.

She is a leading national and international researcher in child welfare and child protection and is author or co-author of ten published books, three on-line books and many articles and book chapters. She has led many large-scale government-funded research studies.  In recent years her research has focused in particular on child protection, kinship care and the reunification of children to their parents from care. 

Elaine is a Trustee of Grandparents Plus and acts as an advisor to a number of research studies both in the UK and abroad.


Child protection, looking after sexually abused children away from home, substitute care, reunification, foster care for adolescents.


  • Foster care
  • reunification
  • kinship care
  • linking and matching in adoption
  • child protection
  • neglect.


My research interests include foster and residential care, the reunification of separated children with their families, kinship care and child protection. I undertook research in the Department of Health programmes of research on Child Protection and Residential Care and my study on fostering adolescents was part of a research programme on Family Support. My recent studies on kinship care and reunification were in a Department for Children, Schools and Families research programme on Quality Protects. I am currently studying Linking and Matching in Adoption and undertaking research on Neglect, both in research initiatives funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

  • Child protection
  • Neglect
  • fostering
  • kinship care
  • adoption
  • Reunification of children in care with their parents
  • sexual abuse and substitute care
  • Memberships


    School for Policy Studies

    Recent publications

    View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

    Edit this profile If you are Professor Elaine Farmer, you can edit this page. Login required.

    PDF versionDownload PDF