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Dr. Louise Caffrey

Assistant Professor in Social Policy (Social Studies)


Louise is an Assistant Professor in Social Policy in the School of Social Work and Social Policy at Trinity College Dublin. She holds a PhD in Social Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where she was awarded an LSE PhD Scholarship to undertake her research. Louise also holds a Full Post-Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Teaching (PGCHE) from the LSE, an MSc in Applied Social Research from Trinity College Dublin and a BA (International) in Political Science and History from University College Dublin (UCD). Immediately prior to joining Trinity College Louise worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Division of Health and Social Care, King's College London, and prior to entering academia she worked as a research consultant, delivering numerous reports for government and NGO clients in Ireland and the UK. Louise is coordinator of the (online) PGDip in Social Policy & Practice where she also teaches 'Contemporary Social Policy Debates & Analysis'. She teaches 'Evaluation Research' on the MSc in Applied Social Research and 'Critical Analysis & Argument Development' on the BA Sociology & Social Policy & BA Social Studies. Externally, Louise (with Dr. Edurne Garcia Iriarte) teaches evaluation methods to United Nations staff.
 Realist Synthesis of Signs of Safety

Details Date
Louise is a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Authority. Further information at: Since 2013
Louise is an Associate on the K4U Horizon 2020 Study, led by Prof. Nancy Cartwright at Durham University. K4U's aim is to construct a radically new picture of how to use social science to build better policies. Further information: . March 2016 to present
UNICEF Reference Group for Review of Child Protection Systems in Four Countries in South Asia. I am providing guidance to the project on the use of a systems approach. February 2017 to November 2017
How do we Know if Signs of Safety is Improving Children's Safety and Well Being? in, editor(s)Andrew Turnell, Terry Murphy , Signs of Safety: Comprehensive Briefing Paper , East Perth, Elia , 2021, pp10 - 22, [Louise Caffrey, Mike Caslor, Eileen Munro], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Padraic Fleming, Louise Caffrey, David Mockler, Steve Thomas, 'A realist review to determine how health system austerity responses to the 2008 financial crisis impacted health system resilience for subsequent shocks - why, when, for whom and under what circumstances', 2021, -, Protocol or guideline, PUBLISHED  URL
Elaine McKimmons, Louise Caffrey, Discourse and Power in Ireland's Repeal the 8th Movement , Interface, 2021, Journal Article, IN_PRESS
Caffrey, Louise, How everyone's business can become no one's business: a systems study of interprofessional referral to child contact centres , Journal of Children & Youth Services Review , 109, 2020, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  URL
Louise Caffrey, We're dragging our heels but there is enough evidence to support making facemasks mandatory, 2020, -, Miscellaneous, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  URL
Louise Caffrey, Evaluating Signs of Safety in Ireland: How to best evaluate a whole-systems, nationwide, complex intervention in a complex system? , Evidence Amalgamation, University College Cork, 10/05/2019, 2019, Oral Presentation, PUBLISHED
Caffrey, Louise, Ferlie, Ewan, McKevitt, Christopher, The strange resilience of new public management: the case of medical research in the UK's national health service, Public Management Review, 2018, p1-22 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Weinrot, M., Caffrey, L., McKevitt, C., Patient-initiated recruitment for clinical research: evaluation of an out-patient letter research statement, Health Expectations, 2017, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Caffrey, L & Munro, E, A Systems Approach to Policy Evaluation, Evaluation, 23, (4), 2017, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  URL
Love, S., Brown, S., Weir ,C., Harbron, C., Yap, C., Gaschler-Markefski, B., Matcham, J., Caffrey, L., McKevitt, C., Clive, S., Craddock, C., Spicer, J., & Cornelius, V., Embracing model-based designs for dose-finding trials, British Journal of Cancer, 2017, p332 - 339, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL

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Award Date
UCD Entrance Scholarship 2002
LSE PhD Scholarship 2010-2014
Louise's research interests centre on substantive areas of social policy as well as questions of research methodology. Substantively, Louise's research focuses on the challenges organisational complexity presents for policy implementation and organisational safety; theorising service-user engagement; and investigating the intended and unintended consequences of public management approaches. Louise's research has investigated these issues in both child & family services and health services. Louise has published in the areas of child protection, child contact, inter-professional working, domestic violence, health research systems, welfare to work policy, public management and gender equity initiatives. Methodologically Louise specialize in conceptual frameworks that seek to address organizational complexity, including systems approaches and Realist Evaluation.