Lisa Holmes, Director, Centre for Child and Family Research

Lisa Holmes

Lisa took on the role of Director of CCFR after Professor Harriet Ward’s retirement in March 2014. Lisa oversees all research carried out by the Centre.

Lisa has worked as a researcher in the department since 2000 and was involved in the formation of CCFR in 2001. Since then she has undertaken a body of research funded by the Department of Health and the Department for Education (formally Department for Children, Schools and Families) to inform policy and practice. Lisa currently manages the Costs and Outcomes research programme, which aims to explore the relationship between needs, costs and outcomes of services provided to vulnerable children. This work includes development of an outcomes framework and analysis of children’s needs.

In 2005 Lisa was seconded to DCSF to work with the Looked After children Taskforce to disseminate research findings and produce a practice guide and resource pack to assist children’s services department with the strategic development and planning of services to best meet the needs of vulnerable children. Along with Harriet Ward and Jean Soper, Lisa has led the development of the award winning Cost Calculator for Children’s Services.

Lisa first started her career in child welfare as an outreach worker in 1991, working with vulnerable families followed by two years working as a residential social worker in an adolescent children’s home.

James K. Whittaker, The Charles O. Cressey Endowed Professor of Social Work Emeritus, University of Washington

James K. Whittaker is The Charles O. Cressey Endowed Professor of Social Work Emeritus at the University of Washington, Seattle where he has served as a member of senior faculty since 1970. His research and teaching interests encompass child and family policy and services, and the integration of evidence-based practices into contemporary child & family services. A frequent contributor to the professional literature, Dr. Whittaker is author/co-author/editor of 9 books and nearly 100 peer review papers and book chapters. In all, Dr. Whittaker’s works have been translated into eight languages and he presently serves on the editorial review boards of a number of social service journals including: Social Service Review (U.S.); Journal of Public Child Welfare (U.S.); The British Journal of Social Work (U.K.); Child & Family Social Work (U.K.) and International Journal of Child & Family Welfare (Groningen) and Child & Youth Care Forum (U.S.). He is a founding member of IAOBER, The International Association for Outcome-Based Evaluation and Research on Family & Children’s Services (Padova, Italy) and an Associated Board member of EUSARF, the European Scientific Association for Residential & Foster Care for Children and Adolescents (Groningen, Netherlands).


Jorge Fernandez del Valle, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Child and Family Research Group, University of Oviedo

Jorge Fernandez del Valle is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Child and Family Research Group at the University of Oviedo (Spain). His research interests are in program evaluation in child care, particularly in residential and foster care. Dr. Fernandez del Valle began his career as a Social Educator in therapeutic residential child care where he later worked as a psychologist. Since 1989 he has served on the Faculty of Psychology of the University of Oviedo where his principal areas of teaching have included psychosocial intervention, program evaluation and child and family social services. Dr. Fernández del Valle is author/co-author/editor of 13 books and more than 80 peer reviewed articles and book chapters in national and international journals and publishers. Dr. Fernandez del Valle is Associate Director of Psicothema, one of the most important journals of psychology in Spain and a member of the editorial board of numerous national and international journals. He is also member of International Foster Care (Siegen Germany), EUSARF (European Scientific Association for Residential & Family Care for Children and Adolescents, Groningen, The Netherlands) and INTRAC (International Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood from Care, Loughborough, U.K.).