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David Howe

I am Professor of Social Work. After an early career as a child care officer and social worker, in 1976 I began my present career as a university researcher and teacher.

The problem of child abuse and neglect has been a subject of concern and interest since my days as a child care officer. A developmental and attachment perspective has informed my research and writing in this field. I have a strong commitment to translating the findings of research into practice. Working closely with practitioners over many years has helped produce evolving models of assessment and intervention. As many abused and neglected children are eventually placed for adoption, my research interests have also extended into the world of permanent placement. The study of adoption outcomes, including search and reunion experiences in adulthood, has run in parallel with the child maltreatment research. More recently, an appreciation of children’s emotional development has expanded into a more general interest in emotional intelligence including the part that emotional intelligence plays in the conduct of sound social work practice. Possessed of the belief that there is nothing so practical as a good theory, the role of social work theory runs through most of my research and writing.

Books (1998-2009 only)

A Brief Introduction to Social Work Theory Palgrave/Macmillan

The Emotionally Intelligent Social Worker Palgrave/Macmillan

Child Abuse and Neglect: attachment, development and intervention  Palgrave/Macmillan

(Edited with Neil, E.) Contact in Adoption and Permanent Foster Care London: BAAF

(with Trinder, L. and Feast, J.) The Adoption Reunion Handbook  Wiley

Attachment Theory for Social Work Practice (Japanese translation): Tokyo 

Introducere in Teoria Asistentei Sociale Buceresti: UNICEF

(with Feast, Julia) Adoption, Search and Reunion: the long term experience of adopted people London: The Children’s Society; London: BAAF

(with Brandon, M., Hinings, D. and Schofield, G.) Attachment Theory, Child Maltreatment and Family Support: a practice and assessment model Macmillan.

Una Introduccion a la Teoria del Trabajo Social Editorial Maristan: Granada, Espana

Patterns of Adoption: nature, nurture and psychosocial development Oxford: Blackwell Science.

Yugoslavian edition of An Introduction to Social Work Theory  Belgrade: CIP

La Teoría del Vínculo Afectivo Para la Práctica del Trabajo Social  Barcelona: Paidós.

Research Report 
Brandon M, Belderson P, Warren, C., Howe D., Gardner R, Dodsworth J and  Black, J.  Analysing Child Deaths and Serious Injury through Abuse and Neglect: What can we learn? A Biennial Analysis of Serious Case Reviews 2003-2005   Department for Children Schools and Families.
Journal papers (2001-2007 only)

Adopters, unresolved loss, and baby adoption outcomes. In W.Yule and S. Scott (Eds.) Fostering, Adoption and Alternative Care. Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Occasional papers No. 26, pp 19-24

Developmental attachment psychotherapy with fostered and adopted children. Child and Adolescent Mental Health. 11(3): pp 128-134

Disabled children, attachment and maltreatment British Journal of Social Work  36, pp 743-760

Disabled children, parent-child interaction and attachment Child and Family Social Work. 11(2): 95-106

(with J. Feast) Open adoption records, the human rights of adopted people, and discrimination: the case of Odièvre v France 2003 European Journal of Social Work 7(1): 25-42

Disorder of attachment in adopted and fostered children: recognition and treatment. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry 8(3): 369-387

Attachment disorders: disinhibited attachment behaviours and secure base distortions with special reference to adopted children. Attachment and Human Development 5(3): 265-270.

(with J. Feast) Adoption, Search and Reunion: the non-searcher’s experience. American Adoption Congress Decree 19(2) pp 4-6.

(with J. Feast) Adoption, Search and Reunion: the non-searcher's experience. American Adoption Congress Decree 19(2) pp 4-6

(with A. Greig) Social Understanding, attachment security of preschool children and maternal mental health. British Journal of Developmental Psychology.  (19) pp 381-393.

Age at placement, adoption experience and adult adopted people’s contact with their adoptive and birth mothers: an attachment perspective.  Attachment and Human Development (3) pp 222-237.

(with J. Feast and D. Shemmings) Age at placement and adult adopted people’s experience of being adopted. Child and Family Social Work  (6) pp 337-349.

(with J. Feast) The long-term outcome of reunions between adult adopted people and their birth mothers. British Journal of Social Work  31 pp 351 – 368.

Book chapters (2001-2010 only) 2010
'Psicoterapia evolutiva dell'Attacccamento con bambini in affido e in adozione' in F Vadilonga (ed) (2010), Curare L'Adozione: modelli di sistegno e presa in carico della crisi adottiva, Milano: Rafaello Cortina.

The impact of histories of abuse and neglect on children in placement. In G Schofield and J. Simmonds (eds) The Child Placement Handbook: Research, theory and practice. London: BAAF, pp 47-62

Foreword. In R. Gilligan Promoting Resilience. London: BAAF, pp v-vi

Nature, nurture and narratives. In G.M. Wrobel and E.Neil (eds) International Advances in Adoption Research for Practice. Chichester: Wiley, pp 3-16

Psychosocial work: An attachment perspective. In R. Adams, L. Dominelli and M.Payne (eds) Critical Practice in Social Work. 2nd Ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave/Macmillan, pp 137-146

Attachment: Implications for assessing children's needs and parenting capacity. In J. Horwath (ed) The Child's World. 2nd Ed. London: Jessica Kingsley, pp 184-198

Adopters, adoption and adopted children. In G. Bentley and R. Mace (eds) Substitute Parents: Biological and sociological perspectives on alloparenting in human societies. Oxford: Berghan Books, pp 194-212

(with Neil, E.) Conclusions: a transactional model for thinking about contact. In E. Neil and D. Howe (Eds.) Contact in Adoption and Permanent Foster Care London: Wiley pp 224 – 254 

(with Steele, M.) Contact in cases in which children have been traumatically abused or neglect by their birth parents. In E. Neil and D. Howe (Eds.) Contact in Adoption and Permanent Foster Care London: Wiley pp 203-223

(with Neil, E.) Introduction. In E. Neil and D. Howe (Eds.) Contact in Adoption and Permanent Foster Care London: Wiley pp 1-6

(with J. Feast) Talking and telling. In Douglas, A. and Philpot, T. (Eds.) Adoption: Changing Families, Changing Times Routledge: London pp 139-146.

Assessments using an attachment perspective. In M. Calder and S. Hackett (Eds.) Assessment in Child Care Lyme Regis: Russell House Publishing pp 375- 387.

Adopted children’s behaviour and development in childhood and adolescence. In R. Gupta and D. Parry-Gupta (Eds.) Children and Parents:clinical issues for psychologists and psychiatrists. London: Whurr Publishers pp 80-102.

Relating theory to practice.  In Martin Davies (2nd edition) (Ed.) The Blackwell Companion to Social Work.  Oxford: Blackwell. 

Psychosocial work.  In R. Adams, L. Dominelli and M. Payne (2nd edition) (Eds).  Social Work: themes, issues and critical debates. Basingstoke: Macmillan

Attachment.  In Horwath, J. (Ed.) The Child’s World  London: London: Jessica Kingsley pp 194 -206