Lisa joined the Rees Centre in Oct 2017 as the Deputy Director, Lisa then became the Director in January 2018 and led Rees Centre research for three years. In January 2021, Lisa stepped down as Director of the Centre has subsequently taken up the role as Deputy Director of Research for the Department. Lisa continues to lead Rees Centre research projects.
Lisa gained a First Class Joint Honours degree in Psychology and Criminology at the University of Lincoln and went on to complete a PhD within the Department of Social Science, Loughborough University.
Prior to joining the Rees Centre Lisa was the Director of the Centre for Child and Family Research, Loughborough University and was involved in the research centre’s formation in 2001. Over the past twenty years Lisa has undertaken a range of research projects and evaluations to inform child welfare policy and practice.
Lisa has also carried out a number of responsive studies for various government departments, including the Department for Education and Ministry of Justice. These responsive studies were carried out to address specific policy issues. In 2005 Lisa was seconded into the English government department for Children, Schools and Families to disseminate research findings and produce a practice guide and resource pack to assist children’s services department with the strategic development and planning of services. She has published a range of books, journal articles and project reports.
Lisa has actively disseminated her research with a particular focus on ensuring impact and knowledge transfer across children’s social care policy and practice. She has presented papers at numerous national and international conferences, seminars and workshops.
Lisa’s research interests encompass all aspects of the child welfare system, these include: child and family outcomes; staff and organisational outcomes; cost effectiveness of interventions and analyses of time use and decision making within child welfare systems.
These research interests are embedded in Lisa’s early career experiences of working in a local authority children’s home in the early 1990s, during the period that the Children Act (1989) was being implemented. These interests in children’s residential care have continued and Lisa is a founding member and co-chair (with Professor James Whittaker and Professor Jorge F del Valle) of the International Work Group on Therapeutic Residential Care.