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Dr Jenny Driscoll brings a children’s rights-based approach to child protection, and her background as a barrister specialising in care proceedings fuels commitment to research designed with the wellbeing and rights of children and young people at the fore.

Jenny has particular expertise in collaborative and multi-agency work for the protection of children in England and in development contexts; in young people’s experience of state care; and in relation to ethical practice in research with children and young people.

Recent research includes a study of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on multi-agency child safeguarding practice; an investigation of child protection in rural Ugandan settings; and an ESRC-funded study of the role of schools in safeguarding children in England.

She is also a member of the King’s InterSEC project to address the sexual abuse and exploitation of children and women by aid workers.

Her book on the educational and relational experiences of young people transitioning from care to independence was published by Routledge in 2018. She is an Associate Editor of Child Abuse Review and a member of the Board of the International Institute for Child Rights & Development.


Jenny's research interests focus on: 

  • Children's rights, particularly the tension between autonomy and protection
  • Child protection systems
  • Children in and leaving state care
  • Multi-agency child safeguarding arrangements 

Jenny is a member of the Centre for Public Policy Research.


Jenny teaches and/or supervises students on the following programmes:

She is the module leader for: Children's Rights; and Children and Youth in Troubled Times. 

She teaches on the modules entitled Contributions on Children, Families and the State; Global Childhoods Past and Present; and Child Protection.

PhD supervision

Jenny is happy to consider applications on a range of areas related to children's rights and/or protection.

Current PhD students:

  • Fionna McLaughlin (LISS-DTP scholarship): 'How do care experienced young people make choices about progressing to higher education, and to what extent is the decision-making process supported by virtual schools?'
  • Siobhan Ballan: 'Examining the impact of mandatory reporting laws for child sexual abuse in Ireland: a mixed methods investigation.'


Jenny frequently presents at events that are primarily aimed at professionals, including a keynote speech at the Westminster Education Forum on Reforming Child Protection (2013); Chair of the Teachology conference, Safeguarding Children in Education, (2014); and presentations at the Doughty Street Chambers seminar, Celebrating 25 years of the UNCR (2014), and the Sweet and Maxwell Human Rights Conference, (2014).

She was National Reporter (UK) on the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child for the 19th International Congress of Comparative Law in Vienna in 2014. Jenny was a keynote speaker at an International symposium in Okayama City, Japan, on Children’s welfare and rights in the UK child protection system (2013).

She is a member of the British Association for the Prevention and Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (BAPSCAN), the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF); the Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE); and the Family Law Bar Association.

Further information

For further details please see Jenny's research staff profile.