Professor Emily Munro

Goldberg Professor of Social Work Research

Director of the Institute of Applied Social Research and Director of the Tilda Goldberg Centre for Social Work and Social Care

Emily Munro

Professor Emily Munro was appointed Director of the Tilda Goldberg Centre for Social Work and Social Care (TGC) in May 2016. The following year she also took up the role of Director of the Institute of Applied Social Research (IASR). Prior to this she held academic posts at Thomas Coram Research Unit, UCL Institute of Education and the Centre for Child and Family Research, Loughborough University.

Emily’s research focuses on social work decision-making to protect and promote the wellbeing of children in and on the edge of care. She has also undertaken an extensive body of research on young people’s transitions from care to adulthood. She is a founding member, and Chair of the Executive Committee of the International Network on Transitions from Care to Adulthood (INTRAC).

Between 2010 and 2014 the Department of Education funded the Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre (£2 million) – a partnership between the Institute of Education, Loughborough University and University of Kent – to provide high-quality research, analysis and expert advice on the issues that promote or inhibit childhood wellbeing. Emily oversaw the design and delivery of a programme of rapid response research on a broad range of topics, including referral and assessment practice, understanding the market and use of children’s homes, adoption timescales and post-adoption support.

Emily currently directs a programme of research, funded under the Department for Education’s Children’s Social Care Innovation Initiative, which aims to develop new models of social work practice and rethink support for adolescents in or on the edge of care.

Findings from Emily’s research have informed the Review of the Child Care Proceedings System in England and Wales, the Munro Review of Child Protection and the Review of the Office of the Children’s Commissioner.

Research Interests

  • Child and family social work
  • Transitions from care to adulthood
  • Comparative child welfare policy and practice
  • Participatory research methodology
  • Research ethics


  • PhD (Loughborough University) Balancing looked after children’s protective, provisional and participatory rights in research, policy and practice.
  • MA Social Research (University of Birmingham)
  • BSocSc Social Policy (2.1 Hons) (University of Birmingham)
  • Certificate in International Child Law (Merit) (University of Leicester)
  • Certificate in Judicial Review and Social Welfare Law (Merit) (University of Leicester)

Current and Recent Research Projects

  • Care leavers, Covid-19 and the transition from care (CCTC) (PI) (ESRC/UKRI Covid-19 rapid response)
  • Exploring Innovations in Transition to Adulthood (EXIT Study) (Co-I) (ESRC)
  • Global North/Global South Leaving Care Research Workshops (GCRF)
  • Integrated care and support for care leavers (PI) (European Social Network)
  • Early Adopters: New Statutory Arrangements for Children’s Safeguarding (PI) (Bexley Children’s Services)
  • Evaluation of Havering Face2Face Pathways (Co-I) (DfE Children’s Innovation Fund)
  • Evaluation of the National Female Genital Mutilation Centre (PI) (DfE Children’s Innovation Fund)
  • Focus on Practice: Evaluation of the Quality of Systemic Social Work Practice (DfE)
  • Leeds Partners in Practice Evaluation (Co-I) (DfE Children’s Innovation Fund)
  • Re-imagining social care services in co-production with disabled parents (PI) (DRILL/Big Lottery)
  • How can health services effectively improve the health and wellbeing of young people leaving public care? (Co-I) (NIHR)
  • Residential parenting assessments: Uses, costs and contributions to effective and timely decision making in public law cases (PI) (DfE/ Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre)
  • Special Guardianship: research/practice bridging workshops and training (PI) (North London Adoption and Fostering Consortium)
  • Ealing Brighter Futures Intensive Engagement Model: Working with adolescents in and on the edge of care (PI) (DfE Children’s Innovation Fund)

Recent Publications

  • Munro, E.R. and Simkiss, D. (2020) Transitions from care to adulthood: messages to inform practice. Paediatrics and Child Health. 30, 5, 175-180
  • Munro, E.R. (2019) Reflections on upholding the rights of youth leaving out of home care, in Mann-Feder, V. and Goyette, M (eds.) Leaving care and the transition to adulthood.  Oxford University Press
  • Bostock, L., Patrizo, L., Godfrey, T., Munro, E. & Forrester, D. (2019) How do we assess the quality of group supervision? Developing a coding framework, Children and Youth Services Review, 100, 515-524,

  • Munro, E.R. (2018) Assessments to support young people making the transition from care to adulthood, in Horwath, J. and Platt, D. (Eds) (3rded.)The Child’s World. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers

  • Munro, E.R. and Zonouzi, M. (2018) Re-imagining social care services in co-production with disabled parents.  Luton: University of Bedfordshire

  • Butterworth, S., Singh, S., Birchwood, M., Islam, Z., Munro,E.R., Vostanis, P., Paul M., Khan, A. and Simkiss, D. (2017) Transitioning care-leavers with mental health needs: “they set you up to fail!” Child and Adolescent Mental Health. 22(3), 138-147

  • Munro, E.R., Hollingworth, K., Meetoo, V. and Simon, A. (2017) Ealing Brighter Futures Intensive Engagement Model: Working with adolescents in and on the edge of care. London: Department for Education

  • Munro, E.R., Mølholt, A. and Hollingworth, K. (2016) Leaving care in the United Kingdom and Scandinavia: is it all that different in contrasting welfare regimes? In P. Mendes and P. Snow (eds) Young people transitioning from care: International research, policy and practice.  London: Palgrave Macmillan

  • Cameron, C., Elliott, H., Iqbal, H., Munro, E.R. (2016) Focus on Practice in three London boroughs: an evaluation. London: Department for Education

  • Lushey, C. and Munro, E.R. (2015) Participatory peer research methodology: An effective method for obtaining young people’s perspectives on transitions from care to adulthood? Qualitative Social Work. 14(4), 522-537

  • Mendes, P., Pinkerton, J. and Munro, E.R. (2014) Young people transitioning from out of home care. Australian Social Work. 67(1), 1-4

  • Munro, E.R., Hollingworth, K. Meetoo, V., Quy, K., McDermid, S. Trivedi, H. and Holmes, L. (2014) Residential Parenting Assessments: Uses, Costs and Contributions to Effective and Timely Decision Making in Public Law Cases. London: Department for Education

  • Munro, E.R. and Stone, J. (2014) The Impact of More Flexible Assessment Practices in Response to the Munro Review of Child Protection: A Rapid Response Follow-up.  London: Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre

  • Munro, E.R., McDermid, S., Hollingworth, K. and Cameron, C. (2014) Children’s Homes: Understanding the Market and Use of Out of Authority Placements. London: Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre

  • Munro, E.R. and Gilligan, R. (2013) The ‘dance’ of kinship care in England and Ireland: Navigating a course between regulation and relationships. Psychosocial Intervention. 22(3) 3, 185-192

  • Munro, E.R. Hollingworth, K., Meetoo, V. and Simon, A. (2013) Adoption Reform: Messages from Local Authorities on Changes to Processes and Timescales.  Findings from Wave One. London: Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre

Expert Advisory Roles

  • Chair of the Executive Committee of the International Research Network on Transitions from Care to Adulthood
  • Leeds Relational Practice Centre (LRPC) Academic Network (Leeds Children’s Services, 2018)
  • Research Group Advisory Committee for CoramBAAF (2017-)
  • Research Advisory Group for the Rees Centre for Research in Fostering and Education (Oxford University, 2016- )
  • Transition from Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS): users and leavers co-produce a Transition Preparation Programme (Cambridge University, NIHR funded, 2015 - 2016)
  • Doncaster Children’s Trust Expert Advisory Panel (Department for Education, 2014-2017)

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