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Lorna Stabler   BA (Hons), MA, MSc

Lorna Stabler


BA (Hons), MA, MSc

Research Fellow

School of Social Sciences

+44 29225 10937
sbarc|spark, Floor CASCADE, First Floor, Maindy Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF24 4HQ


I am currently working within CASCADE as a Research Associate. I am Chief Investigator on an NIHR study focused on understanding how Family Group Conferences can be embedded in statuory child and family social work. I am also Principal Investigator for a Nuffield Foundation funded study focused on Special Guardianship Orders in Wales.

I began my work with CASCADE on a programme of work for the What Work's Centre for Children's Social Care. I previously worked for the Tilda Goldberg Centre for Social Work and Social Care as an embedded researcher within an inner London Local Authority. Prior to working in social work rsearch, I was a researcher at Cambridge University's exam board, and much of my experience to date has involved conceptualisation, measurement and development of complex skills and interventions within education and social work.

I am particularly motivated by understanding what can make a difference for families and young people involved in children's social care, and links between what social worker do and wider family outcomes. With that aim in mind, I have worked on a number of realist informed projects exploring what works well, for whom, under what circumstances in reducing the need for children to be in care. 

I engage widely with the academic community. For example, I am member of a Health and Social Care Wales Research Ethics Committee.












I work in partnership with staff across different diciplines. I lead a collaborative NIHR funded project drawing on children's social care expertise in CASCADE, Implementation Science expertise in University of Exeter Medical School and social work practice experience with partner local authorities. I have recently worked on a TRIUMPH (Transdisciplinary Research for the Improvement of Youth Mental Public Health) funded project with DECIPHER on adapting online tools to support young people's mental health. In addition, I have worked on a number of bids and projects with researchers across the UK and in Canada.

I am keen to develop a programme of work related to kinship care. I am currently working on an ESRC funded PhD programme exploring sibling kinship carers' experiences and support needs. In addition, I have been awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship in 2019 to travel to countries in Asia (Cambodia, India and Japan) to explore approaches to foster and kinship care.


Support lecturing on MA Social Work (years 1 and 2)

Student dissertation supervision (undergraduate and masters)


  • November 2023 - Ongoing, Research Fellow, CASCADE
  • October 2020 - Ongoing, PhD researcher, DECIPHER
  • June 2018 - Novemeber 2023, Research Associate, CASCADE
  • November 2016 - June 2018, Research Assistant, Tilda Goldberg Centre
  • September 2015 - November 2016, Research Assistant, Cambridge Internation Examinations

Honours and awards

Winston Churchill Memorial Fellow (2019).

Professional memberships

Member of European Social Work Research Association

Committees and reviewing

  • Journal reviewer, Qualitative Social Work
  • Journal reviewer, Social Work Education
  • Project reviewer, NSPCC

Research themes


  • Kinship Care
  • Social work
  • Care experience
  • Foster care
  • Family support