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Personal profile

Areas of Expertise

Social work theory; developments in post-adoption work; attachment theory; child and family social work; therapeutic relationships.


David Howe is Emeritus Professor of Social Work. After an early career as a child care officer and social worker, in 1976 David Howe began his present career as a university researcher and teacher. Although he formally retired in 2010 he continues to write and lecture nationally and internationally.


Key Research Interests

The problem of child abuse and neglect has been a subject of concern and interest since David Howe's days as a child care officer. A developmental and attachment perspective has informed David Howe's research and writing in this field. David has a strong commitment to translating the findings of research into practice. Working closely with practitioners over many years has helped David Howe to produce evolving models of assessment and intervention. As many abused and neglected children are eventually placed for adoption, David's research interests have also extended into the world of permanent placement. The study of adoption outcomes, including search and reunion experiences in adulthood, has run in parallel with David Howe's child maltreatment research. More recently, an appreciation of children's emotional development has expanded into a more general interest in emotional intelligence and empathy including the part that emotional intelligence plays in the conduct of sound social work practice. Possessed of the belief that there is nothing so practical as a good theory, the role of social work theory runs through most of David Howe's research and writing.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or