Brigid Featherstone

  • Research interests

    Brigid Featherstone qualified as a social worker and worked in the field of social work from 1982-1992. She has been involved in social work education and research since then and has worked at universities in Ireland, England and Germany.

    She has an international reputation in the areas of gender, fathers and child protection. Her recent co-authored book (with Sue White and Kate Morris) 'Re-imagining Child Protection: towards humane social work with families' has been highly influential and led to invitations to speak and advise on reforming child protection nationally and internationally. An article with White and Morris 'A marriage made in hell: early intervention meets child protection’, British Journal of Social Work, 44, 1735-1749 won the Kay McDougall prize for article of the year in 2015.

    Impact work and current projects

    Brigid was involved in Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour International Fathers Day in 2009 and was a member of an expert panel on Costs and Benefits of Active Fatherhood report for the Treasury, which was coordinated by Fathers Direct. She also gave academic advice on Man Made: a report produced by the Coalition on Men and boys (funded by the Home Office, the Equalities Office and EHRC).

    Recently, Brigid has been working on the following projects:

    • 2013–2015 Beyond male role models: Gender Identities in Action with Martin Robb OU and Sandy Ruxton, Independent Consultant l (Funders: ESRC, Grant No: ES/K005863/1).
    • 2004–2010 Fathers Matter: research father involvement with social care services (Family Rights Group in association with a varying range of partners including the Grandparents Association) (FundersParenting Fund, DfES and DCSF).

    Recent publications

    • Books
    • Journal articles
    • Book chapters


    • Featherstone, B. (2009), Contemporary Fathering: Theory, Policy and Practice, Bristol : Policy Press.

    Journal articles

    • Maxwell, N., Scourfield, J., Featherstone, B., Holland, S. Lee, J. (2012), The benefits and challenges of training child protection social workers in father engagement, Child Abuse Review, Volume 21, pp. 299–310
    • Maxwell, N., Scourfield, J., Featherstone, B., Holland, S., Tolman, R. (2012), Engaging fathers in child welfare services: A narrative review of recent research evidence, Child and Family Social Work, Volume 17, Number 2, pp. 160–169
    • Featherstone, B., Fraser, C. (2012), Working with Fathers and domestic violence: contemporary debates, Child Abuse Review, Volume 21, pp. 255–263

    Book chapters