Dr Karin Cooper

Lecturer/Subject Group Head for Psychological Health, Wellbeing and Social Work

Faculty of Health Sciences


+44 (0) 1482 463144

Karin has worked as a lecturer at the University of Hull since 2011, her current research focuses on the use of participatory theatre techniques in the education of social workers.

She has also conducted research into the experiences of kinship carers' own children, and she is a peer reviewer for the British Journal of Social Work.

Karin qualified as a social worker at the University of Hull in 2002. Her background is in child protection and fostering with expertise in the area of family and friend care.


Research Interests

  • Foster care
  • Kinship care
  • Child protection
  • Child sexual exploitation
  • Looked after children


Cooper, K.M. (2016) 'Displaying the ‘professional Self’: the impact of social workers’ performance and practice on kinship carers’ own children'. Child & Family Social Work. Available Online doi:10.1111/cfs.12311.

Cooper, K. (2013) ‘Revealing the lived reality of kinship care through children and young people’s narratives: “It’s not all nice, it’s not all easy going, it’s a difficult journey to go on”’. In J. Ribbens McCarthy, CA. Hooper, V. Gillies (eds.) Family Troubles? Exploring Changes and Challenges in the Family Lives of Children and Young People, Bristol: Policy Press.

Cooper, K.M. and Dualeh, A. (2017) Paper – ‘Participatory Theatre: A flexible pedagogic tool for bringing public issues into academic spaces’. Presented to the Sociological Association of Ireland 44th Annual Conference at the University of Ulster, Belfast. 5-6 May 2017.

O’Leary, T. Cooper, K. M., Orton, B. (2016) Workshop - Using Applied Theatre as Method. Grace (Gender and Cultures of Equality), University of Hull. May 2016

Cooper, K. M. (2010) ‘People who I tried doing it to thought it was quite hard to answer: Kinship carers’ own children as co-producers of knowledge’. Presented to the 3rd Finnish Childhood Studies Conference Children and Knowledge Production International Conference in Childhood Studies at the University of Jyvaskyla, Finland. 9 – 12 June 2010.



Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list

  • Practice Skills Development 1 - MA Social Work
  • Practice Skills Development 2 - MA Social Work
  • Child and Family Social Work - MA social Work
  • Working with Children and Families - BA Social Work
  • Practice Skills Development 3 - BA Social Work
  • The Craft of Mental Health Care over the Lifespan 1 - BSc Nursing (Mental Health)

Research PhDs

Karin welcomes applications in

  • fostering
  • kinship care
  • looked after children
  • child sexual exploitation

Current PhD supervisions

  • Theresa Redmond - Child Sexual Exploitation
  • Haya Aleshaiwy - Child Protection in a Saudi Arabian Context
  • Nkiru Ikeh - Children's Rights in Nigeria


Teaching awards and accolades

  • Senior Fellow HEA
  • Fellow HEA
  • PG Cert in Academic Practice

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • BA (Hons)
  • MA/DipSW,
  • PG Cert in Research Training

External roles

  • HCPC registered social worker
  • Member of the East Riding of Yorkshire Safeguarding Children Board Strategic Planning Group for Child Sexual Exploitation
  • Link Practitioner in the Humberside Teaching Partnership