Dr Paul Daniel Shuttleworth


I have worked in social care for over 25 years and practised as a children and families social worker for many years having obtained a Masters in Social Work from Edinburgh University in 2008. I am committed to public service and to the idea that social work and academia have a responsibility to instigate change and give back.

Having completed my PhD in 2021, I worked for the British Association of Social Work as a Professional Officer, as an Associate Tutor for the University of Sussex, as a kinship care expert for Courts, and completed publications for journals and edited books. I, my research, and my innovative child-centred methodology have been featured on various podcasts. I also co-host the podcast 'Sarah and Paul Do Do Social Work'.

I cofounded - and currently chair - the first UK Jewish Social Worker Group which supports Jewish people working in social care. The JSWG also provides information and statements in order to fight the rise in antisemitism. 

My main research interests include child participation, kinship care, permanence, child protection and welfare, social work theory and practice, Dialogical Participation and Critical Realism.

Academic responsibilities

Senior Lecturer


  • BA (Comb) Psychology & Drama and Theatre Studies
  • MA (with Hons) Social Work
  • MSc Social Science Research Methods
  • PhD Social Work - 'What matters to children living in kinship care - Another way to be a normal family'

Teaching and learning

Undergraduate courses taught


My primary research interests include a commitment to social justice, and to challenge individualism and the positivist views that I once held while gaining my degree in Psychology. I believe it is crucial that we have a more contextual understanding of how knowledge is constructed and implemented, and its relationship with power and identity. At the centre of all my work is the meaningful and ethical participation, particularly with children.

I have research interests in the areas of child permanence, constructs of childhood, child neglect and abuse, power, domestic violence, kinship care, participatory action research, radical social work, identity, critical realism, Foucault, feminism, gender studies, and queer theory. I also work with understandings of attachment, resilience, child development, psychodynamic, systemic, and ecological theories.