Simon Haworth

Development of a child neglect measurement tool

Supervisors: Paul Montgomery & Jason Schaub 

This project is focussed on measuring child neglect within social work. It will aim to inform practice and decision-making, and support practitioners and services to recognise and address neglect. It will support those working with families to respond to neglect with greater knowledge and confidence, and develop inclusive thinking around the impacts of wider factors such as poverty and culture.

The methodology incorporates two main phases. Phase one will conduct and publish a systematic literature review of all national and international secondary measures of child neglect, co-produced with Birmingham Children’s Trust. 

Phase two builds on this review by taking the best aspects of the measures available and combining knowledge from practitioners and users to develop a short, accessible, simple tool to support more focused, evidence-based and informed assessments in child neglect. Advisory and focus groups to support this work have already been established.

This phase begins with qualitative interviews and focus groups with practitioners and service users to better understand what is needed in a new measurement tool. Their views will be used to build upon the review evidence to co-produce a tool that is meaningful for front-line practice. 

A Delphi study will then be undertaken with practitioners, academics and service users, using a series of surveys seeking consensus to develop the draft tool. Following this, the tool will be pilot tested in practice in partnership with Birmingham Children’s Trust. 


Simon is a lecturer within the Department of Social Work and Social Care at the University of Birmingham. Simon leads on several undergraduate modules, teaches on programmes ranging from undergraduate to post qualifying levels and plays a pivotal role in the West Midlands Teaching Partnership. Simon is undertaking a PhD, focussed on the measurement of child neglect and is involved with a variety of research projects. This includes on leadership in social work, fatherhood and homelessness amongst LGBTQ young people. These projects have led to a number of peer-reviewed journal articles.

Prior to Simon's journey into the academic field, he gained a wealth of experience in frontline statutory children and families social work practice. In frontline practice, Simon specialised in a number of key areas including the legal journey of the child, neglect and a variety of specialist assessments such as parenting and sibling assessments.


  • BA, Ruskin Oxford
  • MA University of Birmingham  

Research interests

  • Child neglect
  • Child protection
  • Fathers and social work
  • Leadership in social work
  • Evidence based practice

Professional memberships

  • Social Work England
  • Higher Education Academy 

Teaching responsibilities

Lecturer within the Department of Social Work & Social Care and teaches on a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses. 

Conference papers

  • Haworth, S. (2020) Social work and single fathers. ESWRC 2020.
  • Haworth, S. (2019) Care experiences and co-production, taking the agenda on. Care Experienced Conference 2019. Liverpool. 26th April 2019.
  • Haworth, S. & Schaub, J. (2019) LGBTQ Young People’s Homelessness: prevalence, causes and responses. ESWRC 2019. Leuven, Belgium. 10-12th April 2019.
  • Haworth, S. (2018) Thinking About Emotional Risks More Inclusively? CP Conference 2018: Risk of Future Emotional Harm – justified grounds to remove children? London. 15th September.
  • Haworth, S. (2018) Practice Education: Development through Communities of Practice. National Organisation for Practice Teaching National Conference. Worcester. 26th June.
  • ATD Fourth World (2018) How Meaningful Participation by People with Direct Experience of Poverty Can Create Positive Societal Change. World Day for Overcoming Poverty. House of Lords, London. 17th October.


  • Haworth, S. & Sobo-Allen, L. (2020) ‘Social Work with Single and Non-Resident Fathers: How Inclusive Is Our Practice and Where Do We Go from Here?’ in Nikku, B. (ed) Global Social Work - Cutting Edge Issues and Critical Reflections. Available at:
  • Haworth, S. (2019) ‘'A Systematic Review of Research on Social Work Practice with Single Fathers'. Practice: Social work in Action. Vol. 31(3). Available at:
  • Haworth, S., Miller, R. & Schaub, J. (2018) ‘Leadership in Social Work (and can it learn from clinical healthcare?)’ Available at:
  • Haworth, S. (2018) 'Consideration of Practice Education within a Regional Teaching Partnership employing a Communities of Practice Lens'. Practice: Social work in action. Available at:
  • Haworth, S. (2018) ‘When Care Proceedings Concluded and Children were Removed, I Felt only Sadness’. Community Care. Available at:
  • Haworth, S. (2018) ‘Seven steps towards a more anti-oppressive social work approach to care proceedings’. Community Care. Available  at:
  • Haworth, S. (2018) 'As poverty has become more about individuals, child protection has become more authoritarian'. Community Care. Available at:
  • Haworth, S. (2018) Risk of Emotional Harm: Inclusive or Excluding Practice. Community Care. Available at:

Contact Details


Twitter: @Sihaworth