Professor Paul Bywaters

I have been a social work academic for over 30 years and before that was a practicing social worker in Birmingham in the 1970s. Working at Coventry University I taught on social work qualifying and post-qualifying courses, as well as on undergraduate and post-graduate courses for a range of professions and social science disciplines. I led social work, applied social science and health studies departments. I established the Centre for Social Justice. I was Vice Chair of the Joint University Council Social Work Education Committee; led the writing of a long term strategy for social work research and contributed to the development of the discipline of social work at a national level in a variety of ways. I founded the international Social Work and Health Inequalities Network which has over 350 members in over 25 countries and co-wrote the health policy of the International Federation of Social Workers. After retirement from full time work I am pursuing work on child welfare inequalities. I have published 5 books and over 50 peer reviewed articles and book chapters. 

  • The relationship between poverty, child abuse and neglect
    A rapid evidence review of the relationship between poverty and child abuse and neglect. To what extent is there evidence that poverty increases the amount of child abuse and neglect, and/or affects the nature of child abuse and neglect. How does this occur, how large are these effects and to whom do they apply? To what extent is there evidence that child abuse and neglect increases poverty later in life, how large are these effects and to whom do they apply? 
  • Identifying and Understanding Inequalities in Child Welfare Intervention RatesThe long term aim of the project is to establish child welfare inequalities as a core concept in policy making, practice and research in the UK and internationally. This will involve a paradigm shift from a dominant focus on individual risk, parenting skills and related professional behaviours to include the analysis of populations, social structures and welfare systems. Achieving this requires constructing the evidence base, developing and testing theoretical frameworks, building research capacity and capability, engaging relevant audiences and embedding inequalities thinking in structures. This project takes the form of a set of closely linked studies utilising both quantitative and qualitative methodologies.
  • Deprivation and Children’s Services’ outcomes. What can mapping Looked After Children and children on Child Protection Plans tell us? The aim of this study was to examine the role of deprivation in explaining differences in key children's services' interventions between and within local authorities (LAs)

Paul Bywaters and Geraldine Brady have established the Child Welfare Inequalities Network. To join the Network go to and search for Child Welfare Inequalities or email

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Coventry University No.1 Modern University No.1 Modern University in the Midlands
Coventry University awarded TEF GOLD Teaching Excellence Framework
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2020
Coventry City of Culture 2021