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Research Profile

Ms Jacquie Lee 

Position:PhD Student
School:Social Sciences

Research Interests

Gender; Family; Child Protection; Substance Misuse; Social Work; Whole Family Approach; Integrated Services; Social Work; Evidence Based Practice.


Jacquie Lee is a part time PhD student at Cardiff University conducting a study in to the construction of gender and family within the whole family approach as implemented in policy and practice of the Integrated Family Support Teams and the lived experience of parents themselves. Her supervisors are Professor Karen Henwood and Dr Jeremy Segrott.

Jacquie is a full time Principal Lecturer in Social Work at Cardiff Metropolitan University, is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Registered Social Worker. Jacquie was a practising social worker for eight years and worked in voluntary, statutory and health care settings working with a range of client groups and carers before becoming a lecturer in 1999. Jacquie has been involved in a number of innovations and developments in social work education in Wales: the first AP(E)L and APL modes in qualifying education in Wales; development of the APL route to the PQ Childcare Award; development of the first qualifying social work degree programme in Wales; the development of the PQ Community Care Programme; and the use of blended learning to promote a more flexible programme structure.

Jacquie’s pedagogical interests and research have been in relation to accreditation of experiential learning, work based learning and personal development planning. Currently she is Programme Director of the BSc (hons)/Grad Dip/Grad Cert Post Qualifying Social Work and her primary teaching foci is personal and professional development; and evidence based practice.

PhD Topic/ Area

Title: Gender and the Whole Family Approach: An investigation into gender and family in Integrated Family Support Services

The focus of this study is the way in which policy makers, practitioners and parents themselves construct the concept of gender and family within this context and what model of whole family approach is constructed by Integrated Family Support Practitioners.

In social policy the concepts of ‘family’ and ‘parent’ are used interchangeably although the two are clearly different (Social Exclusion Taskforce 2008b). Similarly, the idea of ‘parent’ is used interchangeably with ‘mother’ thereby rendering gender invisible and resulting in the (over)scrutiny of mothering in relation to complex family issues (Daniel and Taylor 2006). There is a shift in contemporary social policy requiring practitioners to ‘Think Family’ in order to address the needs of highly marginalised, socially excluded families with greatest needs and who are also perceived to be the location of greatest social problems (Social Exclusion Taskforce 2007). The family is perceived to be the point of intervention for social ills and a whole family approach – one that builds on family strengths to promote family resilience and social capital – is deemed to be both more effective in preventing social problems and more sustainable in the longer term than multiple service interventions that focus practice either on the child or the adult (Social Exclusion Taskforce 2008a). Empirical research is needed to provide informed understanding of this shift in the focus of practice intervention from the individual to social roles and interrelationships within the family and the wider community.  A key question for research is whether working within a whole family approach is more inclusive in relation to gender, and particularly in relation to the marginalisation of men in family life and service engagement, particularly in relation to safeguarding children (Ashley et al. 2006).

Wales is pioneering an innovative approach to service delivery with Integrated Family Support Teams (IFSTs) which will work within a whole family approach framework with the most marginalised families who have been identified as at high risk due to substance misuse and child protection concerns (Welsh Assembly Government 2008). This makes an ideal context for studying how a whole family approach is being put into practice and investigating questions about its implications for gender inclusivity.

Ashley, C. et al. 2006. Fathers Matter: Research Findings on Fathers and their Involvement with Social Care Services. London: Family Rights Group.

Daniel, B. M. and Taylor, J. 2006. Gender and child neglect: theory, research and policy. Critical Social Policy 26(2), pp. 426-439. 

Social Exclusion Taskforce 2007. Reaching Out: Think Family.London: Cabinet Office Social Exclusion Taskforce. 

Social Exclusion Taskforce 2008a. Think Family: A literature review of whole family approaches. In: Cabinet Office Social Exclusion Task Force ed. London.

Social Exclusion Taskforce 2008b. Think Family: Improving the life chances of families at risk. In: Cabinet Office Social Exclusion Task Force ed. London.

Welsh Assembly Government 2008. Stronger families - Supporting Vulnerable Children and families through a new approach to Integrated Family Support Services. Cardiff: Welsh Assembly Government & NHS Wales.


Prof Karen Henwood

Dr Jeremy Segrott