Expert Advisers

Expert Advisers have made an important contribution to the work of the Families and Households Commission.
Families and Households - redesigned header

Professor Karen Broadhurst FAcSS – Department of Sociology, Lancaster University

Karen Broadhurst is Professor of Social Work in the Department of Sociology at Lancaster University and Co-Director of the University’s Data Science Institute. Karen's interests are in child and family justice, and she is recognised nationally and internationally for high quality, high impact research that has catalysed measurable change in policy and practice. Karen's team have pioneered the use of population-level family court data to generate completely new evidence about the impact of family justice systems on the lives of children and families. Karen and colleagues initiated the high profile Born into Care series, funded by the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory, which is transforming preventative services for the very youngest children in family court proceedings, and their parents. Karen collaborates with colleagues in Australia, Europe, the US and in China, through joint programmes of research on family justice and is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Karen contributed a paper at the launch of the Commission on family vulnerability beyond the pandemic and about aligning services to enable all families to flourish and provide stable caregiving. Karen and her team are providing support with locating up-to-date information and statistics relevant to the Commission’s broad agenda.

Dr Christopher Clulow – Consultant Couple Psychotherapist, Senior Fellow of the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology, London

Dr Christopher Clulow is a Consultant Couple Psychotherapist, Senior Fellow of the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology, London, and a Fellow of the Centre for Social Research, Dartington. His specialist experience spans over four decades in which he has worked with couples, provided training nationally and internationally for a diverse range of practitioners, and undertaken practice-based research on partnering and parenting. Before that he undertook post-graduate training and worked as a probation officer. He has published extensively about couple and family relationships for both lay and specialist readers. He is currently Editor in Chief of the international peer-reviewed journal Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, teaching psychotherapists in Russia, working as adjunct faculty for the USA based International Psychotherapy Institute, and maintaining a clinical practice in his home town of St Albans. He is also a trustee of a local organisation providing free counselling for young people.

Christopher brings his extensive knowledge of developmental psychology to bear on understanding the internal dimensions of relationships, identifying symptoms associated with relationship disturbance and the nature of services likely to promote and inhibit the well-being of couples and children emanating from these sources. His work as a clinician, and as one who has researched transitions into parenthood and out of partnerships via separation and divorce, is relevant for the Commission to thinking about how best to manage change in family relationships.

Rev Prebendary Dr Isabelle Hamley – Secretary for Theology and Theological Adviser to the House of Bishops

Isabelle Hamley is currently Theological Adviser to the House of Bishops, following roles as Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury, tutor in a theological college, parish priest and university chaplain. Before ordination she worked as a Probation Officer, when she was heavily involved in child protection matters and working with disadvantaged families. She is an Old Testament scholar with a particular interest in questions of identity and violence, justice and gender relations. Her published work has explored family, gender and sexual dynamics in several books of the Old Testament, including Judges, Job, Esther and Hosea; she is particularly interested in how the text helps form theology for today, and how texts and contexts relate. She also brings to the commission her experience of working on Living in Love and Faith, the Church of England project on identity, relationships and sexuality.

Isabelle has also done some work on faith and mental health together with the Archbishop of Canterbury and considered how Scripture can help speak of mental health in our churches with Professor Chris Cook, in The Bible and Mental Health. She is currently working on a new book with Chris Cook and John Swinton, exploring practical responses and spirituality in the face of mental health challenges. She is an ambassador for the Christian mental health charity Sanctuary.

Katharine Hill LLB JP – UK Director, Care for the Family

Katharine Hill is UK Director at Care for the Family, a national charity that aims to strengthen family life and help those who face family difficulties. Katharine speaks and writes widely on marriage and parenting issues. She is the author of several books, including If You Forget Everything Else About Marriage - Remember This, the popular Left to their own Devices - Confident Parenting in a World of Screens and her latest book A Mind of Their Own: Building Your Child’s Emotional Wellbeing in a Post-Pandemic World.

Prior to joining Care for the Family in 2004 Katharine was a solicitor, specialising in family law, and ran a Legal Advice Centre in a socially deprived area of Bristol. Katharine has also served as a magistrate.

As an expert adviser to the couple relationships work stream, Katharine draws on her experience of working in the field of prevention, and in particular the protective factors that encourage families to flourish. Her day-to-day work with Care for the Family gives insight into challenges facing families today, as well as ways to build and sustain strong couple relationships in the context of a post pandemic world.

Angela Lake-Carroll – Independent Consultant, Practitioner and Trainer, Family Law, Mediation and Family Dispute Resolution

Angela brings to her role with the Commission her extensive experience of working with families, and of family law and justice policy matters across the private, public and charitable sectors. She is also an accredited mediator, family consultant and collaborative practitioner working directly with separating and couples, children and families. Angela has a particular interest in social change and in family justice reform and especially on the needs of children and young people who have experienced family separation, on which she writes and speaks regularly. She also writes and presents training for family professionals nationally and internationally. Angela is a contributing author and commentator to Family Law and other professional journals.

She has worked with and contributed to government policy with the Ministry of Justice, Departments of Health, Education and Work and Pensions and in 2015 co-chaired (with Professor Emeritus Janet Walker OBE) the Voice of the Child Dispute Resolution Advisory Group report and recommendations commissioned by the Ministry of Justice. She is a Trustee of Reunite International, the child abduction charity and in 2016 was awarded the John Cornwell Award for her work to support Separated Families.

Professor Jane McCarthy – Honorary Associate, Open University and Visiting Professor, University of Reading

Professor McCarthy’s early career centred on various forms of social service, including statutory social work, the housing needs of disabled people, and the experiences of families affected by drug addiction. Her subsequent academic work as a sociologist has centred on families and children. Funded research projects have included a feminist sociology of child-rearing; parenting in step-families; and the family lives of young people. Her work on the theme of ‘family troubles and troubling families’ has been the focus of international collaborations, research, and publications, with a recognition that ‘troubles’ are part of all family lives. This has included a particular focus on children’s lives after bereavement, with national involvement in the voluntary bereavement sector. Much of her work has been focused in the UK, but Jane has also been involved with projects on the family lives of children in China, and family deaths in Senegal, raising many issues about how UK perspectives may be shaped in very particular ways, and the need to question and decolonise many assumptions that underpin current knowledge on the diverse family lives of children.

Jane has published extensively about young people’s experiences and challenges in family life; parenting and step-parenting; bereavement and loss; and understanding family meanings.

Jane is contributing to the Commission’s work on the nature and diversity of family life and its impact on children.

Dr Gabriela Misca – School of Psychology, University of Worcester

Dr Gabriela Misca is an expert in child and family psychology, a Chartered Psychologist, Chartered Scientist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.

She is currently faculty member of the School of Psychology at the University of Worcester where she is pursuing an active research portfolio aiming to advance our understanding of complex and/or adverse family dynamics and transitions across the lifespan, including families formed through adoption and intercountry adoption; parents with mental health issues; and, recently, military and veteran families. She presented and published widely on these topics, and her recent books “Psychology and social work” (2017) and “Child and Adolescent Psychology for social work and allied professions” (2018) make compelling arguments for research-informed practice in supporting families.

Recipient of a 2015-16 Fulbright Scholar Award, she spent a year in the USA researching military and veteran families. During 2019-2020 she was Research Adviser to the Living in Our Shoes review undertaken by Andrew Selous and Janet Walker, an independent review commissioned by the Ministry of Defence into understanding the needs of UK Armed Forces families. In recognition of her research into Armed Forces families and its impact, she is the joint recipient of the 2021 Special Award for FiMpacT by the Forces in Mind Trust.

Dr Misca is currently leading the international longitudinal research study Families Un-locked into the long-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on families and relationships, in partnership with Relate, Griffith University and Relationships Australia.

Gabriela is contributing to the children and young people work stream.

Dr Lucie Moore – Director of Research, Youthscape

Dr Lucie Moore is Director of Research at Youthscape and Visiting Research Fellow at the London School of Theology and the University of Bedfordshire. The Centre for Research is a think tank situated at the heart of Youthscape. We believe that innovation in youth work, and sustainable change for young people requires reflective, rigorous and theologically grounded research. The team create and share research that illuminates the worlds young people inhabit, and that catalyses new ways of thinking and acting. Recent publications have focused on young Christians’ perspectives on the church and climate change, the role of theological reflection in youth ministry and the role of Christian practice in mission with young people. At the University of Bedfordshire, Lucie published research in the fields of sociology of education, foster care and adolescent safety, before moving to focus on youth ministry through her current role.

Lucie is supporting the Commission by bringing her expertise as a researcher in the field of adolescence, faith development and youth work.

Rev Dr Irene Smale – Diocesan Children’s Work Adviser, Diocese of Chichester

Revd Dr Irene Smale has been involved as a practitioner in church-based children’s and family work for 50 years. Her PhD thesis focused on the theological content of children’s literature produced for the Sunday School Movement 1780-1900 and is now being edited for publication through an academic publisher. Irene is the Diocesan Children’s Work Adviser for Chichester as well as the Cathedral School Chaplain, and Cathedral Deacon. She was an Associate Lecturer for several years at Chichester University and taught Practical Theology and Research Skills.

Irene is contributing to the Commission’s research on the social history of families and households and the impact the Church has had historically upon the lives of children and families over the last 200 years.

Professor Adrian Thatcher – Department of Religion, University of Exeter

Adrian Thatcher is Honorary Professor in the Department of Religion at the University of Exeter, and Editor of Modern Believing, the theological journal of Modern Church. He was formerly Professor of Theology at the University of Exeter, and at Plymouth Marjon University. Adrian has published widely on gender and Christian ethics; theology and sexuality; and written several books on marriage and families, including the theology of the family.

Adrian is introducing to the Commission some of the wide range of developments in theological thought about marriage, families, and households which is scarcely acknowledged in the churches.

Dr Keith J. White

Keith and his wife Ruth lead Mill Grove, a Christian residential community that has been caring for children in the East End of London UK since 1899. With this extended family or household as a life-long base, he has explored with its members and colleagues and friends worldwide what God’s way for our lives together might be. He has been a visiting tutor at Spurgeons College since 1978 and is founder and chair of the Child Theology Movement, trustee of Frontier Youth Trust, and fellow of the Centre for Social Policy. He was formerly chair of Children England, president of the Social Care Association, and an expert member of the Care Standards Tribunal.

He has written widely on Child Theology, human development, and the dynamics of groups and institutions, and contributes regular columns to The Therapeutic Care Journal. Among the twenty books he has written or edited are The Growth of Love; The NIrV Bible Narrative and Illustrated, for households and families worldwide inclusive of different cultures and faiths; and a forthcoming biography of Pandita Ramabai, Let the Earth Hear Her Voice.

One of the contributions Keith is making to the Commission is to challenge the Commission to answer the question: “What would a household look like after four generations if it took the Bible for its guide, as interpreted by the life and teaching of Jesus, and was open to the leading of the Holy Spirit?”