Dr Carol-Ann Hooper  

BA Hons (Cantab), Dip Soc Admin (LSE), PhD (LSE)

  • Honorary Fellow in Social Policy


Areas of expertise

  • Child abuse and child protection
  • Gender and crime
  • Violence against women

Brief biography

My interest in social policy, and particularly the criminal justice and child protection systems within that, was first sparked when I was involved in the rape crisis movement for five years in the 1980s. After that I went to study social policy as a postgraduate student at the LSE (having done my undergraduate degree in English Literature and Social and Political Sciences at Cambridge earlier), and became interested more broadly in women's experiences of the welfare state. My PhD research reflected all those interests, focussing on women whose children had been sexually abused by another family member, and exploring their perspectives both on events within their families and on state intervention. Child sexual abuse has become a matter of huge public concern in recent years but at that time the extent of the problem was just beginning to be recognised. Despite the growth of awareness and developments in policy since, only a small proportion of cases still come to the attention of any agency, and by and large the work of protecting children is done by their parents, mostly their mothers. Understanding their perspectives is therefore vital to practitioners.

More recent work has focussed on the long-term impacts of childhood abuse – which include an increased risk of mental health problems, offending, and parenting problems in adult life, amongst other outcomes - and their implications for services. A project commissioned by the local health authority focussed on the needs of adults with a history of childhood sexual abuse. The findings were used to help them develop more appropriate services in the community with the aim of preventing unnecessary hospitalisation for mental health problems. Another piece of work, for the prison service, reviewed the literature on experiences of victimisation amongst women offenders, and considered the implications in relation both to their duty of care (for a population with a high level of mental health problems) and to the aim of reducing reoffending. A joint project with the NSPCC and the Frank Buttle Trust explored the experiences of families living on a low income. Parents with histories of maltreatment often lack the support from extended family members which helps to buffer the stresses of poverty. Children who are maltreated in this context may be doubly disadvantaged unless services become more responsive to their and their parents’ needs. My most recent funded projects have focussed on developing a participatory methodology with looked after young people, and developing employability for social policy students, with particular reference to the social enterprise sector.

My teaching interests fall mainly within the fields of gender, crime and justice, and child abuse and child protection. I currently teach an optional module on Child Abuse and Social Policy. I also coordinate a placement module, which enables social policy students to relate their academic learning to observation and experience in a relevant work setting.

PhD supervision

PhD supervision

PhDs supervised to completion include:

  • Nicole Westmarland, Rape and human rights legislation: a feminist perspective
  • Cathy Davis, Housing association responses to women homeless because of domestic violence
  • Stewart Kirk, Social workers' child protection practice in cases of familial sexual abuse of adolescent girls



Ribbens McCarthy J., Hooper, CA. and Gillies V. (eds) (2013). Family Troubles? Exploring changes and challenges in the family lives of children and young people, Bristol: Policy Press. Further information on this book.
Further information about the Family Troubles? Project, which included conferences in 2010 and 2013, is available online.

Gunn, R., Lacey, S. and Hooper, CA. (2013). Developing employability for social policy students, with particular reference to the social enterprise sector (available online, unpublished).

Hooper, CA. and Gunn, R. (2013). 'Recognition as a framework for ethical participatory research: developing a methodology with looked after young people', International Journal of Social Research Methodology, published online via Taylor & Francis, 2 January 2013.

Hooper, C-A., McCarthy, J., & Gillies, V. (2013). Troubling normalities and normal family troubles: diversities, experiences and tensions. In J. McCarthy, V. Gillies, & C-A. Hooper (Eds.), Family Troubles? Exploring Changes and Challenges in the Family Lives of Children and Young People. The Policy Press.

Show Me That I Matter (York Children in Care Council) & the Young People's Pledge Group, Wilson, N. (Children’s Rights Officer and the Rights and Advocacy Service), Hooper, CA. and Gunn, R. (2012). ‘Q: What promises do you want the Council to make? A: Really listen to us and act on it’, Report on participatory research with ‘looked after’ children and young people to inform the City of York Council's pledge, City of York Council, published online.

Hooper, CA. (2011). 'Child maltreatment', in J Bradshaw, The well-being of children in the UK, 3rd edition, Bristol: Policy Press.

Hooper, C-A & Gunn, RI (2011). Completed report on participatory research with 'looked after' children and young people in York. York City Council.

Featherstone, B., Hooper, CA., Scourfield, J. and Taylor, J. (eds) (2010). Gender and Child Welfare in Society, Wiley.

Hooper, CA. (2010). 'Gender, maltreatment and young people’s offending', in B. Featherstone, CA. Hooper, J. Scourfield and J. Taylor (eds), Gender and Child Welfare, Wiley.

Dyson, C., Gorin, S., Hooper, C-A., & Cabral, C. (2009). Bangladeshi families living in hardship: findings from research using a life-history approach. Child and Family Social Work, 14(3), 362-371. 10.1111/j.1365-2206.2008.00608.x

Gorin, S., Hooper, CA., Dyson, C. and Cabral, C. (2008). 'Ethical challenges in research with hard to reach families', Child Abuse Review, 17, pp 275-287.

Hooper, CA., Gorin, S., Cabral, C. and Dyson, C. (2007). 'Poverty and ‘place’: does locality make a difference?', Poverty, 128 (Autumn), pp 7-10.

Hooper, CA., Gorin, S., Cabral, C. and Dyson, C. (2007). Living with hardship 24/7: the diverse experiences of families in poverty in England, The Frank Buttle Trust.

Hooper, CA. and Kalowski, A. (2006), 'Rewriting the paedophile: a feminist reading of The Woodsman', Feminist Review, Special Issue on Sexual Moralities, 83, pp 149-155.

Hooper, CA. and Warwick, I. (2006), ‘Gender and the politics of service provision for adults with a history of childhood sexual abuse', Critical Social Policy, Special Issue on Gender and Child Welfare, 26, pp 467-479.

Hooper, CA. (2005), 'Child maltreatment', in J. Bradshaw and E. Mayhew (ed), The Well-being of Children in the UK 2005 (volume 2), London : Save the Children/University of York.

Hooper, CA. and Koprowska, J. (2004). 'The vulnerabilities of children whose parents have been sexually abused in childhood – towards a new framework', British Journal of Social Work, 34, pp 165-180.

Hooper, CA. (2003). Abuse, interventions and women in prison: a literature review, Home Office/HM Prison Service.

Hooper, CA. (2002). 'The maltreatment of children', in J. Bradshaw (ed), The Well-being of Children in the UK, London : Save the Children/University of York.

Hooper, CA. and Koprowska, J. (2000). 'Reparative experience or repeated trauma? Child sexual abuse and adult mental health services', in U. McCluskey and CA. Hooper (eds), Psychodynamic Perspectives on Abuse, London: Jessica Kingsley.

McCluskey, U. and Hooper, CA. (eds) (2000). Psychodynamic Perspectives on Abuse, London: Jessica Kingsley.

Hooper, CA. (1992). Mothers Surviving Child Sexual Abuse, London: Routledge.

Dr Carol-Ann Hooper

Contact details

Dr Carol-Ann Hooper
Honorary Fellow in Social Policy