culture + environment creating health + wellbeing engaged research

Thomas El-Hoss

Research Fellow


My research expertise is in the mapping, conceptualisation and comparison of child protection systems. After winning a prestigious ESRC scholarship and overseas fieldwork grant I completed doctoral research analysing the implementation of Lebanon’s first child protection legislation. This culminated in 16 months of fieldwork and interviews with a range of government, juvenile justice, religious and community stakeholders.

This project made important findings regarding the strengths, pressure points and frailties in Lebanon’s system. It also shared recommendations regarding standardisation of assessments and referral practices and the need for greater focus on family and community resiliency to prevent child maltreatment.

My research also contributes to thorny debates regarding international NGO involvement in child protection, the search for relevant practice models in developing countries and the suitability of existing theories to low- and middle-income contexts.

Research Highlights to Date

I am proud to have spent two years as a Research Associate managing a team collecting quantitative data for an ERC funded study titled ‘The New Shape of Family-Related Gender Stratification’ which compared gendered hiring discrimination across Europe.

I also spent time at the University of Bath’s Institute for Policy Research where we worked with a prominent Bath children’s charity to develop a service-delivery strategy to improve children’s life chances and tackle educational inequalities.

I currently have 2 papers in review, ‘Road-testing child protection typologies: A case study in Lebanon’ and ‘Reforming Lebanon’s child protection system: lessons for international child welfare efforts’.

I am also working with former colleagues at the University of Bath to publish an edited book titled ‘Child Protection Systems Across the Globe’ an international comparison of child protection models.

Work he will be doing at the Centre

I am excited to have joined the Wellcome Centre on an engaged research project working with Torbay Council to remodel their early help support for families and children.

Using a range of qualitative methods (literature review, focus groups, interviews, workshops) and quantitative data analysis, the study seeks to understand the underlying factors driving Torbay’s high rates of ‘cared for’ children. The work will focus on identifying how robust early help can be provided in a way that engages with and supports families, and to identify how communities and service providers can work together more effectively to support families at risk of statutory intervention.