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Professor Andy Bilson

Emeritus Professor
School of Social Work, Care and Community

Andy researches child protection and parental participation in children's services. He is on the board of the Parents, Families and Allies Network and involved in promoting parent advocacy nationally and internationally.

Andy's recent research includes critiques of research into the toxic trio and bruising in babies; trends in children entering care and adoption; analysis of longitudinal trends in child protection in UK and Australia; and an international review of parent advocacy. He is involved in research into medical assessment in child protection with colleagues at Cambridge University where he is a visiting researcher.

Andy is adjunct professor at the University of Western Australia and visiting researcher at the University of Cambridge. He was a senior manager in social work and the Director of the Council of Europe’s and UNICEF’s observatory on European children’s rights. He was a founder of the Centre for Children’s Participation at UCLan; the Association for Juvenile Justice and the Know How Centre on Alternatives to Care in Bulgaria. He is an associate of Oxford Policy Management.
He has undertaken international research and consultancy on child rights and alternatives to care with many governments and organisations. He co-wrote the World Bank and UNICEF guidance on gatekeeping and standards and was advisor for Eurochild’s Childonomics programme developing a tool to determine the long-term social and economic return of investing in children. In the UK he led successful campaigns to reform the juvenile justice system and local reforms of children’s services. He is currently working in the UK, Russia and Bulgaria on promoting parent advocacy.

  • PhD Social Administration, Lancaster University, 1996
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Educational Development, Northumbria University, 1995
  • Certificate of qualification in Social Work, Manchester University, 1977
  • BSc (Hons) Mathematics, Warwick University, 1972
  • Child protection
  • Adoption
  • Children in care
  • Parent advocacy
  • Children's rights
  • Fellow of the Cybernetics Society