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Dr Katherine Graham

  • Lecturer

Visit Dr Katherine Graham's profile on the York Research Database to see a full list of publications and browse her research related activities.


Areas of Expertise

  • Adult safeguarding
  • Personalisation
  • Social care workforce

Academic Biography

I joined the department of Social Policy and Social Work in September 2014.  My background is in social work, working with people with learning difficulties and most recently a specialist adult safeguarding team. My experience of direct support work and social work during the development of the personalisation agenda led to a PhD research project exploring the relationships between employers who have learning difficulties and their personal assistants. This project sought to explore the complexity of these intimate relationships with equal interest in the experience of both the employer and personal assistant.  More recently I have been working at the Social Care Workforce Research Unit at King’s College London on a study which seeks to further our understanding of safeguarding adults practice and outcomes for the adults involved.

My research interests include the personalisation agenda in social care, self-directed support by people with learning difficulties, self-advocacy, the social relations of support work and assistance and the evolving relationships between personalisation, personal assistance and adult safeguarding processes.

BA in Sociology – University of York – 2004,

MA in Social Work – Goldsmiths College, University of London – 2006

MRES in Social Policy – University of York – 2009

PhD – Department of Social Policy and Social Work – University of York – 2012  Title: Changing social relations: A study exploring the roles, responsibilities and relationships of employers with learning difficulties and their personal assistants.


I am involved in various aspects of the Social Work course including human development, law and topics related to personalisation in social work. 

Recent Publications


Graham, K., Norrie, C., Stevens, M., Hussein, S., Moriarty, J. and Manthorpe, J. (2014) ‘Models of Adult Safeguarding in England: a Review of the Literature’, Journal of Social Work, Accepted for publication 08/04/2014

Norrie, C., Stevens, M., Graham, K, Hussein, S., Moriarty, J. and Manthorpe, J. (2014) ‘Investigating Models of Adult Safeguarding in England – a mixed-methods approach’, Journal of Adult Protection, Online First:

Book Reviews:

Graham, K. (2014) Book review:  International Perspectives on Elder Abuse, Amanda Phelan (ed) (2013).  Journal of Interprofessional Care, Vol. 28 (5): 488–488..


Graham, K. (2014) ‘Recognising the value of people who are paid to care’, Social Care Workforce Research Unit blog: 12 May,

Graham, K. (2013) ‘Social workers speak out: Remembering our beginnings’, Social Care Workforce Research Unit blog: 9 December,

Norrie, C. & Graham, K. (2013) ‘Nearly there? The Care Bill and adult safeguarding’, Social Care Workforce Research Unit blog: 5 November,

Graham, K. (2013) ‘Practice into research’, Social Care Workforce Research Unit blog: 8 May,


Research projects

2019-2021: Parents and their Communities. A qualitative study of the potential for asset-based approaches to support parents with learning difficulties. Co-investigator with Dr Jenny Threlfall and Dr Hannah Jobling. Funded by the National Institute for Health Research for Patient Benefit Programme.

2016-2017: Workplace Personal Assistants: exploring the role of workplace personal assistants for physically disabled people. An exploration of the role of workplace personal assistants and their relationships with disabled people and colleagues.

Research projects: 2013-present: Models of safeguarding: a study comparing specialist and non-specialist safeguarding teams for adults Social Care Workforce Research Unit, King’s College London

This study to identify different models of adult safeguarding and to focus on a number of these models in order to investigate the process and impact of them on adult safeguarding practice in local authorities (and any delegated organisations). We will seek to identify short, medium and long term outcomes of such models and attempt to measure some of the short to medium term ones.

Contact details

Dr Katherine Graham
School for Business and Society

Tel: 01904 32 1205