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The Childhood, Law & Policy Network (CLPN)

Professor Debbie Watson


Professor of Child and Family Welfare, University of Bristol, United Kingdom



Debbie is a Professor of Child and Family Welfare and Director of the Brigstow Research Institute at Bristol and has experience of researching with a diverse range of children, young people and families. Her research is particularly concerned with identities, narratives and materialities of children and young people's lives and of human and non-human entanglements. She is an interdisciplinary researcher who uses co-productive and creative methods to co-create research with communities. She currently has two funded projects- one working with East London Dance company on a project called 'VR Dance' which is engaging young people at risk of criminalisation in hip hop and immersive technologies to explore risk, resilience and wellbeing. She is also Co-I on the newly funded ESRC Centre for Sociodigital Futures and will be exploring the intersections of digital technologies, futures thinking and care in the context of children and families lives.



-Watson, D.L & Reid, J. (2021) Material Appropriation for Infant Mortality Reduction: troubling the discourse, Journal of Material Culture, 27 (2):
-Garstang, J., Watson, D. L., Pease, A. S., Ellis, C., Blair, P. S. & Fleming, P. J. (2021) Improving engagement with services to prevent Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) in families with children at risk of significant harm: a systematic review of evidence, Child: Care, Health and Development, pp. 1-28.
-Watson, D.L., Morgan, E. & Bull, K. (2021) Child-dog faeces assemblages and children’s engagements in activist art, Children’s Geographies, 19 (6): pp. 735-753. DOI: 10.1080/14733285.2021.1893276
-Watson, D.L., Staples, E., Riches, K. (2020) ‘We need to understand what’s going on because it’s our life’: Using sandboxing to understand children and young people’s everyday conversations about care. Children and Society, 00:1–17.
-Gray, S., Hahn, R., Cater, K., Watson, D.L., Williams, K., Metcalfe, T. & Meineck, C. (2020) Towards A Design For Life: Redesigning For Reminiscence With Looked After Children, CHI (Human-Computer Interaction), 25-30th April 2020, Honolulu, Hawaii, pp.1-14. DOI:



Children and young people's identities and wellbeing; Children who are care experienced; Narrative and material memory; Children and families in low-income circumstances; Care and caring practices/ ethics; Sociodigital futures
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