• 158 Citations
  • 8 h-Index
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Personal profile

Research Interests

child welfare inequality; child protection and safeguarding; disadvantage and marginalisation; children's lived experience as health, education and social care actors; teenage pregnancy and parenting; sexual consent; sexual abuse and exploitation; gendered violence and abuse; pregnancy decision making; participatory and visual methods, reflective research accounts

Research Interests


Geraldine Brady is Reader in Sociology of Childhood and Youth in the Centre for Innovative Research across the Lifecourse. Her programme of research contributes to providing evidence which can influence the development of socially just policy and practice approaches, with a particular focus on:  children and young people’s marginalisation and inequality in the fields of health, social care and education; social and gendered aspects of young people’s sexual decision-making and reproduction; visual and creative methodology; the ethics and politics of research with children and young people. Geraldine’s professional experience includes research funded by: British Academy, Nuffield Foundation, the Centre for Expertise in CSA/Home Office, NSPCC, Garden Organic, DRILL/Big Lottery, UNICEF. Geraldine co-convenes the West Midlands Medical Sociology Group and jointly edited the 2015 Sociology of Health and Illness monograph, 'Children, health and well-being: policy debates and lived experience', with Pam Lowe and Sonja Olin Lauritzen. She has an on-going relationship with colleagues at Stockholm University, having previuosly been a visiting Fellow. She has also held positions on NHS and Local Authority research ethics Boards. Geraldine has played a key role in shaping the research culture at Coventry University over the past 15 years.


Vision Statement

I completed my PhD in 2004 at the University of Warwick, my thesis explored children’s lived experience of being diagnosed with ADHD and of taking stimulant medication, through the theoretical framework of medicalisation. Since that time I have researched and published widely, my research takes a critical sociological approach to understanding social issues, researching and publishing in the areas of children’s mental health, disability, teenage parenting, sexual consent, child sexual abuse and exploitation and third sector prison based interventions. I also have an interest in reflecting on the politics of research with children and young people and in influencing the development of socially just policy and practice approaches.  I co-led research into child welfare inequalities across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (Nuffield Foundation, www.coventry.ac.uk/cwip and have recently trained disabled young people as researchers, to co-lead research into quality and rights in Education, Health and Care Plans www.ripstars.net. My research has been published in journals such as Sociology of Health and Illness, British Journal of Social Work, Child Abuse and Neglect, Children and Youth Services Review, Child and Family Social Work, Children and Society. Many of my research projects have been responsive studies, addressing contemporary policy issues. I have emphasised knowledge transfer between research and practice, particularly in the field of children’s health, education and social care, publishing accessible key findings and principles for practitioners. My vision is to further internationalise social justice research within CIRAL and to strengthen on-going research which advocates a social model of health, well-being and child welfare, through publishing in peer reviewed and practitioner journals,  supporting PhD and MReS students and developing new research questions.  

I welcome discussion of PhD supervision and currently supervise/have supervised students with the following topics: 

Meaning and significance of print media representations of adults with learning disabilities

Young people’s experiences of homelessness

Women’s experience of accessing homelessness services

Birth parents’ experiences of ‘consent’ in adoption procedures

South Asian women’s experiences of intimate and familial violence

Youth work and spirituality

Non-instructed advocacy with disabled children 49

Through my methodological reflections I also aim to address researcher-researched power imbalances and am passionately committed to revealing inequality in the ways in which people and groups are excluded and disadvantaged in society.

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Research Output 2005 2019

1 Citation (Scopus)

Paradoxical evidence on ethnic inequities in child welfare: Towards a research agenda

Bywaters, P., Scourfield, J., Webb, C., Morris, K., Featherstone, B., Brady, G., Jones, C. & Sparks, T., 1 Jan 2019, In : Children and Youth Services Review. 96, p. 145-154 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Child Abuse
Home Care Services
home care
Child Welfare
Open Access
online survey
educational policy
sexual violence

Human Trafficking: Pregnancy, Morbidity & Mortality

Nightingale, S., O'Doherty, L., Brady, G. & Phimister, D., 25 Apr 2018, Midlands Maternity and Midwifery Festival 2018.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding

Human Trafficking
Sex Offenses
13 Citations (Scopus)

Inequalities in English child protection practice under austerity: a universal challenge?

Bywaters, P., Brady, G., Bunting, L., Daniel, B., Featherstone, B., Jones, C., Morris, K., Scourfield, J., Sparks, T. & Webb, C., Feb 2018, In : Child and Family Social Work. 23, 1, p. 53-61 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

child protection
child welfare
austerity policy
Child Welfare

Parenting under adversity: birth parents' accounts of inequality and adoption

Lewis, S. J. & Brady, G., 6 Dec 2018, In : Social Sciences. 7, 12, 14 p., 257.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
social structure
child protection

Activities 2002 2012

  • 39 Participation in conference
  • 3 Participation in workshop, seminar, course
  • 1 Editorial activity

Policy and Politics Conference

Geraldine Brady (Speaker)
18 Sep 201219 Sep 2012

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth conference

Geraldine Brady (Speaker)
9 Jul 201211 Jul 2012

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

European Sociological Associations International Children and Childhood conference - Children, Young People and Adults: Extending the Conversation

Geraldine Brady (Speaker)
5 Sep 20127 Sep 2012

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

BSA Medical Sociology conference

Geraldine Brady (Speaker)
6 Sep 2012

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

BSA’s Human Reproduction Study Group annual conference

Geraldine Brady (Speaker)
15 Jun 2011

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference