About Katrin

Dr Katrin Bain is a qualified social pedagogue (Diplom-Pädagogin) and registered social worker with a PhD in Applied Social Studies from the University of Warwick. Before moving into academia Katrin worked in Germany and England in the areas of children and families social work, youth work and training.


  • PhD in Applied Social Studies, University of Warwick, UK
  • Diplom-Pädagogin, degree awarded by the University of Wuppertal, Germany (a 4.5 year full-time university degree including pedagogy, social pedagogy, psychology, sociology)
  • Postgraduate Certificate with Distinction: Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, London Metropolitan University, London

Work Experience (selection)

  • Current: Senior Lecturer in Social Work at London Metropolitan University 
  • Current: External PhD Supervisor at Royal Holloway University
  • HPL at Coventry University where I taught social and critical pedagogy, evidence informed social work practice and supervised MA and BA social work students during their dissertation
  • Visiting academic at Royal Holloway University where I taught study skills, research methods and writing for publication. I supervise master students in the Step Up, MSc in Advanced Practice and MSc Social Work programmes as well as a PhD student. 
  • Social Worker, Coventry Social Services, where I worked in the long-term team with families whose children were on the child protection register or in foster care.
  • Advisor and Advocate for the Family Rights Group, London.
  • Trainer for team development and soft skills with an emphasis on outward-bound activites.

Areas of Interest

  • Social pedagogy in England
  • Relationship based social work practice and international relationship-based approaches for social change
  • The representation of parents within social policy and social work practice
  • The relationship between state organised and/or provided social services and citizens/service users
  • Student teaching and learning: decolonising the curriculum, research methods training

Current Research Project

New Public Management, Citizenship and Social Work: Children’s Services in England Revisited

(As part of being an Honorary Research Associate at Royal Holloway University 1st April 2018 – 31st March 2021)

This is a replication study of my PhD which I completed in 2009. It examined conceptions of citizenship in relation to parents who were users of Childrens Services by analysing national and local policy documents, local organisational procedures and by conducting semi-structured interviews with managers and social workers, partly based on the use of vignettes. I am fortunate to have gained access to the same English Local Authority where I conducted the original research to repeat the interviews and analyse policy documents to find out if and how social work practice has changed. Very little is known about how policy influences practice over time, and replication studies in social work are rare. 

Download the research report here

Past Research Projects

  • Evaluation: Sebastian’s Action Trust Bereavement and Pre-Bereavement support for families, Summary: Evaluation of the service, publication of the Above & Beyond Report, July 2022, launched at a parliamentary reception in December 2022.
  • Evaluation: Sebastian’s Action Trust, five services during the financial year 2018/19 Summary: see evaluation 
  • The Internationalisation of Social Work: the migration of German social work practitioners and ideas to England (with Tony Evans, funded by RHUL Research Strategy Fund) Summary: A qualitative study examining the experiences of German social pedagogues working in England. The study was primarily concerned with what the perspectives and experiences of these practitioners can tell us about similarities and differences in practice between England and Germany
  • New Public Management, Citizenship and Social Work: Children’s Services in Germany and England (PhD Thesis)
    Summary: A detailed analysis of public policy, organisational procedures and social work practice in children’s services in England and Germany. Developed a citizenship typology mapping different assumptions about parents in contact with social services. Contextualised the results in the history, structure and professional heritage of each country
  • Evaluation of LOS (Local Capital for Social Purposes) in Wuppertal/Germany (funded by the German Ministry for Family, Women, Youth and Seniors and the European Union) 
  • Evaluation of the project: “Expertise and qualification of young people in deprived districts” in Wuppertal /Germany (funded by the German government) 
  • How do social pedagogues and social workers working in youth work understand social space and how does this influence their practice? (Dissertation)
    Summary: A small-scale qualitative study that explored social pedagogues views on young people in public spaces

Academic Publications

  • Contributor to: Harris, J. / White, V. (2018) A Dictionary of Social Work and Social Care (2nd Edition). Oxford University Press
  • Evans, T. / Bain, K. (2017) “Europeanisation and English Social Work – The Migration of German Social Work Practitioners and Ideas to England”. British Journal of Social Work. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcw144
  • Wagner, T / Bain, K / Schaarschuch, A (2011) Zur politischen Produktivität das Citizenship in der Sozialen Arbeit. Adressatenkonzeptein der Sozialen Arbeit zwischen Staatsbürgerqualifikationsarbeit und Entbürgerlichung. in: Kommission Sozialpädagogik (Hrsg.) Bildung des Effective Citizen Sozialpädagogik auf dem Weg zu einem neuen Sozialentwurf. Juventa. pp. 115-126
  • Bain, K (2009) Modernising Children’s Services: Partnership and Participation in Policy and Practice. in: Harris, J. and White, V. (Eds). Modernising Social Work. Policy Press. pp. 89-106
  • Bain, K (2009) Parental Responsibility. in: Social Work and Society, Vol 7, No1, pp. 138 – 141. http://www.socwork.net/sws/article/view/54/356
  • Lapierre, S / Bain, K (2008) Parental Responsibility and Partnership: Citizenship and Gender in British Children and Families Social Services in: Oleksy, E / Petö, A / Waaldijk, B (Eds) Gender and Citizenship in a Multicultural Context. Peter Lang. pp. 77-92

Conference Papers

  • JSWEC, 2022, Leeds, UK: Parent-Citizens in policy, organisation and social work practice
  • JSWEC, 2014, London, UK: The Internationalisation of Social Work: The Migration of German Practitioners and Ideas to England. (with Tony Evans)
  • Modernising Social Work – Critical Considerations Conference, 2009, Worcester, UK: Modernising Children’s Services: partnership and Participation in Policy and Practice
  • Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Erziehungswissenchaft (DGfE), Kommission Sozialpädagogik, 2009, Halle, Germany: Zur politischen Produktivität des Citizenship in der Sozialen Arbeit (with Andreas Schaarschuch, Thomas Wagner)
  • 6th European Gender Research Conference 2006, Lodz, Poland: Parental Responsibility and partnership: Citizenship and Gender in British Children and Families Social Services (with Simon Lapierre)

Social Worker

I am a registered social worker in England. Click on the heading or icon to see the Social Work England Register.

Editorial board member