Ewch i’r prif gynnwys
Sophie Hallett

Dr Sophie Hallett

Uwch Ddarlithydd

Ysgol y Gwyddorau Cymdeithasol

+44 29208 76909
Adeilad Morgannwg, Ystafell Ystafell 2.15, Rhodfa’r Brenin Edward VII, Caerdydd, CF10 3WA
Ar gael fel goruchwyliwr ôl-raddedig


I am a social policy academic, and my expertise falls within the area of children and young people and social care. My intellectual interests revolve around aspects related to social policy analysis, care, welfare, childhood and youth.My specialist field is youth and child sexual exploitation, and reflects the interdisciplinary nature of my work.

My methodological approach to research is qualitative, participative, ethnographic, and discourse analytic.

My intellectual aim is to explore and understand the relationship between policy and practice – between public discourse(s), ideology, culture and lived experience, in the context of care and welfare practices, with regards to those occupying interstitial categories and marginalised spaces. 

I am affiliated to CASCADE (Children’s Social Care Research and Development Centre), contributing to research projects, engagement and knowledge exchange activities, and playing an active role in strategic decision-making and elements of operational delivery of the work of the centre.

It is my goal to lead in research which generates public debate, interrogates societal values, its categories and assumptions, and which pursues reflexive and reciprocal knowledge, with the aim of serving society and contributing to social change - primarily through influencing public service policy and professional practice. Key achievements have been developing a UK-wide reputation as an expert in CSE, and I am recognised as a lead academic expert on CSE in Wales, where I am also involved in the development of CSE policy and frontline practice, whilst also building a profile as an academic with specialist expertise in research and knowledge on children and young people and social care. I have a sincere and demonstrable commitment to achieving policy and practice impact, as well as to contributing to academic knowledge and delivering excellent research-led teaching. I am committed to theoretically informed, empirically-driven research that is interdisciplinary, is methodologically innovative whilst sitting firmly within well-established traditions.









Adrannau llyfrau







I am a social policy academic, and my expertise falls within the area of children and young people and social care. My intellectual interests revolve around aspects related to social policy analysis, care, welfare, childhood and youth. My specialist field is youth and child sexual exploitation. 

Current projects

Hallett, S. (PI), Crowley, A., Deerfield, K., Rees, A., Staples, E. (2017) Review of the Safeguarding Children and young people from sexual exploitation (CSE) guidance. Welsh Government. £40.000.

Hallett, S. (PI), Forrester, D., and Verbruggen, J. (2016-18) Keeping safe? An analysis of the outcomes of work with sexually exploited young people in Wales. Health and Care Research Wales. £237,890

Mannay, S. (PI) and Hallett, S. (2016-17). Improving the Educational Experiences and Attainment of Looked After Children and Young People. ESRC Impact Acceleration Fund. £25,000.

Hallett, S. (PI) and Innes, M. (2016-17) A new child sexual exploitation policing knowledge hub: enhancing police responses to child sexual exploitation, other forms of child sexual abuse and associated vulnerabilities in adolescence. The International Centre: Researching child sexual exploitation, violence and trafficking, College of Policing and HEFCE Knowledge Fund. £21,600.

Hallett, S. (PI) and Hudson, K. (2016-19) ‘Gwella’: A national knowledge and practice hub preventing risk of child sexual exploitation and sexually harmful behaviours. Delivering Sustainable Social Services Grant – Welsh Government, with Barnardo’s Cymru. £219,393. (Full award £1.5 million)

Hallett, S. (PI) and Forrester, D. 2015. Responding to Risk: An Analysis of Referrals and Outcomes for Young People at Risk of CSE. DTC Type 2 Doctoral Studentship Award

Previous research funding

  • Mannay, D. (PI), Staples, E., Hallett, S., Roberts, L., Rees, A., Andrews, D. (2015) Understanding the educational experiences, opinions, attainment and aspirations of looked after children in Wales. DfES and Welsh Government. £60,000
  • Scourfield, J. (PI) and Hallett, S. (2014-16) Sexually exploited boys in Wales: How do we identify them and what services do they need? Barnardo’s Cymru, £3094
  • Hallett, S. (PI) (2014) Communication in social work with children: A qualitative research project. CUROP, £1500


I have a sincere commitment to achieving policy and practice impact. My PhD work into CSE has informed the Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan CSE strategy and practice guidance, and training on CSE for sexual health clinics operating under the Aneurin Bevan Health Board. My CASCADE practice briefing on CSE is hosted as a resource on the Public Health England website. I was invited to be a critical friend on the South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner’s review into police and partnership approaches to tackling CSE in Wales, and to the development of a resource for raising awareness of CSE for elected members. I was the Wales representative on an advisory group for a Comic Relief funded research project into the sexual exploitation of children and young people with learning disabilities across the UK, run by Paradigm Research, CCFAR at Coventry University, Barnardo's, The Children's Society and BILD (British Institute for Learning Disability). I have also been invited as a keynote speaker to various conferences, including the Wales’ Independent Reviewing Officers national conference, and the ‘Protecting Girls - Preventing Harm’, Home Office and South Wales Police conference. I have also presented to Jenny Rathbone AM and Welsh Government advisors at a briefing to inform the Wales Gender Based Violence and Sexual Abuse Bill, and to the CSE evidence exchange meeting, organised by Children’s Commissioner for Wales.

In addition, I played a significant role in the research, analysis and development of outputs from the Looked After Children in Education Research, commissioned by Welsh Government. Recommendations from this research were incorporated into the newly launched Education strategy for Looked After Children. I am working with SOCSI colleagues, and in partnership with Welsh Government to extend the impact of this research, including the joint development of a Schools Education Charter. I also made radio and TV appearances as part of disseminating this research.


I teach at both Masters and Undergraduate level covering: Contemporary Perspectives on Youth and Childhood; Feminism and Citizenship; Social Policy Analysis; Introduction to Social Policy; Research in Action; Research with Children and Young People; Children and Childhood.

I also convene and teach on the Childhood and Youth MSc module.  



  • 2013: PhD (NISCHR funded studentship.) Cardiff University.
    Title: ‘Child sexual exploitation’ in South-East Wales: Problems and solutions from the perspectives of young people and professionals’. Examiners: Professor Amanda Coffey and Professor Karen Broadhurst.
  • 2008: MSc Social Science Research Methods - Social Policy (distinction). Cardiff University.
    Dissertation title: ‘Agency, Subjectivity and Child Sexual Exploitation: Opportunities for Social Care Practice’.
  • 2002: BA (Hons) Communication. Cardiff University.

Career overview

I previously worked as a Research Associate with CASCADE, for 3 years, after having completed my doctoral studies in 2013 at Cardiff University. I was a research associate on the TLC research project (Social Workers Talking and Listening to Children). This was a 4 UK nation ESRC funded research project, exploring the everyday practices of social workers. My role involved ethnographic research and fieldwork placements in 4 different social work teams in England and Wales. I was also involved in the Welsh Government commissioned pan-Wales LACE research project, exploring the aspirations and experiences of looked after children in education. Whilst working as a research associate I helped to establish CASCADE Voices– a research advisory group of young people with care experiences, run in partnership with Voices from Care. I was the trainer and facilitator for this group for 2 years.
Whilst a PhD student I established and was co-organiser of the SOCSI policy café, with Sara Knight, in January - June 2013. The policy cafe brought together researchers, policy-makers, practitioners and lay members, to provide opportunities to network, exchange ideas, and to encourage reflection and debate about recent social science research and its implications for policy and practice.
Prior to this, I worked as a consultant in research and policy - for SPICE, the Big Lottery Fund, Eskrigge Social Research and Third Sector First. I have also worked as a grants officer for the Big Lottery Fund, and as the volunteer development manager in South-East Wales for Barnardo's Cymru, serving on their senior management team for 4 years.

Anrhydeddau a dyfarniadau


Aelodaethau proffesiynol

Cymrawd yr Academi Addysg Uwch (o 2019)

Safleoedd academaidd blaenorol

  • 2016 - present: Lecturer (Social Policy), Cardiff University
  • 2015 - 2016: Research Associate (CASCADE),  Cardiff university
  • 2013 - 2015: Research Associate, Talking and Listening to Children Project, Cardiff University.

Pwyllgorau ac adolygu

  • 2015 - 2016: Member of the School Advisory Group
  • 2013 - 2015: Staff elected member of the School Board 

Meysydd goruchwyliaeth

Mae gennyf ddiddordeb mewn goruchwylio myfyrwyr y mae eu diddordebau yn eu gweld yn ymgysylltu ag unrhyw un o'r meysydd canlynol:

  • camfanteisio'n rhywiol ar blant;
  • gofal a'r profiad gofal;
  • damcaniaethau ieuenctid a phlentyndod;
  • methodolegau cyfranogol a chreadigol;
  • ethnograffeg sefydliadol;
  • dadansoddiad o ddisgyrsiau.