Professor Jonathan Scourfield

Deputy Director, CASCADE at Cardiff University

Jonathan has been a social work academic since 1996. He’s a qualified social worker who practised in drug rehabilitation and probation before moving into academic work. He also briefly taught in a comprehensive school. He has done research on a fairly wide range of topics, including child protection, social work education and suicide prevention.

He started off as a qualitative researcher and then had an academic mid-life crisis and switched to a more quantitative focus.
His current projects, apart from the What Works Centre, include a study of fast-track social work graduates’ retention and progression (DfE) and a study linking social care, education and health service data to look at outcomes for children in need and children looked after (ESRC). He spends three days each week seconded to the Welsh Government as specialist policy adviser for social services and children.

He grew up in Newport and has learned Welsh as an adult. He is currently trying to improve his Welsh by listening to podcasts while training for a (very slow) marathon.


  • read more about Not all local authorities have rising care rates. How do we explain this?

    Not all local authorities have rising care rates. How do we explain this?

    28 November 2018
    Most people reading this blog will be well aware, because it has been widely reported, that in all UK countries the rates of children looked after are increasing year on year. In England, the number has risen from 50,900 in 1997 to 72,670 in 2017. However, not all local authorities have seen a rise. To […]