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Martin Elliott   DipSW PhD

Dr Martin Elliott


Senior Research Fellow

School of Social Sciences

+44 29208 76326
sbarc|spark, Room 03.14, Maindy Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF24 4HQ
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a Senior Research Fellow in the Children's Social Care Research and Development Centre (CASCADE) at Cardiff University. Currently I am:

Principal Investigator for an NIHR funded study looking at registration of the residential childcare workforce. 

Co-investigator on an NIHR funded study exploring mental health crisis services for children and young people up to 25 years in England and Wales. 

Research Development Advisor for the Health and Care Research Wales Faculty.

My research interests include children 'looked after' by the state; young people in secure accommodation; children on the edge of care; poverty and social inequalities; services and outcomes for disabled children and young people












Book sections




External Funding

2023 Zhang, ML. (PI), Elliott, M., Griffith, G. An evaluability assessment of Sure Start (Northern Ireland) and Flying Start using administrative data and naturally occurring experiments

2022 - 2025. Hannigan, B.(co-PI), Bennett, C. (Co-PI), Jones, A., Elliott, M., Pryjmachuk, S., Evans, N., Elliott, M., Fraser, C., Hails, E. and McMillan, I. CAMH-Crisis2: Crisis Care for Children and Young People with Mental Health Problems: National Mapping, Models of Delivery, Sustainability and Experience. (NIHR, £811,060)

2022 - 2024. Elliott, M. (PI), Rees, A., Manthorpe, G., Baginsky, M., Robling, M., Playle, R. The impact of regulation and registration on the residential child care workforce: comparing England and Wales (National Institute for Health and Care Research £496,507)

2020 - 2023. Forrester, D.(PI) and Elliott, M. Research capacity building programme (Health and Care Research Wales £137,602). A programme of activities that will increase social care research capacity in Wales focused on three key stages that take a practitioner through PhD study, post-doctoral research/first academic appointment, and then research leadership. The program is intended to support and develop more: 1. High quality PhD applications 2. Successful applications for first grants 3. Future research leaders (

2018 - 2020. Elliott, M.(PI), Scourfield, J. and Morris, K. Child Welfare Inequalities in Wales: practice and prevention. (Health and Care Research Wales, £208,961) The main objective of this study is to examine and describe the relationship between poverty and social inequality, social work practice and decision-making, and child welfare interventions, such as children becoming ‘looked after’ or placed on the child protection register.

2018 - 2019. Williams, A. (PI), Elliott, M., Evans, R., Lyttleton-Smith, J., Young, H. and Long, S. Young people in secure accommodation in Wales (Social Care Wales, £100,000) this project explored the experiences of young people from Wales who have spent time in Secure Children's Homes on welfare grounds. This qualitative project worked with some of the most vulnerable young people in Wales, and identified a number of areas where policy change is required to ensure that we are effectively supporting young people at high levels of risk

2018. Elliott, M. Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) one year post doctoral research fellowship (£93,303) This one year fellowship was based around my doctoral thesis '“Looked-after” children in Wales: An analysis of the backgrounds of children entering public care'.

2018. J. Lyttleton-Smith (PI), Scourfield, J. and Elliott, M.  Supporting the improvement agenda within Children's Services in Wales. (Social Care Wales, £15,558)

2015. Elliott, M (PI), Scourfield, J. and Staples, E. Analysis of data on children in residential care in Wales (Care Council for Wales, £7,400) Using routinely collected administrative data from the children looked after census, this research explored the characteristics of children and young people entering care in residential settings in Wales.

Internal Funding

2017. Cardiff University Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (CUROP) Child Welfare Inequalities: The effect of Flying Start programmes on intervention rates (£1600)


  • Lectures and workshops on various topics including poverty and inequalities, and social work with disabled children and their families


I am ex-social worker with 17-years statutory children’s services experience including, front line management and practice; contracting and commissioning; and strategic development work.  I started my academic career as a quantitative researcher, doing a PhD based on analysis of routinely collected administrative data and the Welsh analysis for the four nation Child Welfare Inequalties Project (  I have now moved towards doing more mixed methods research.

Education and Qualifications

1997 Diploma in Social Work

1998 BA(Hons) Community Studies (Social Work)

2013 MSc Social Science Research Methods

2018 PhD

Honours and awards

Outstanding publication from a doctoral thesis award, European Social Work Research Association (ESWRA). 2020.

BASW Kay McDougall British Journal of Social Work prize. 2021.

Committees and reviewing

Associate Editor - Children and Youth Services Review

Journal reviewer - British Journal of Social Work

Journal reviewer - Child Care in Practice

Journal reviewer - Children and Youth Services Review

Journal reviewer - Journal of Children's Services

Journal reviewer - Residential Treatment for Children and Youth


Current supervision

Angela Endicott

Angela Endicott

Research student

Research themes


  • Social work