Aoife O’Higgins

Director of Research

Aoife is the Director of Research at What Works for Children’s Social Care. She leads the centre’s research portfolio, focusing on evaluations of new and existing interventions. Our research programme is driven by excellence in design and methods, as well as by the stories and experiences of those who receive and deliver social work interventions, including care experienced children and adults, foster and kinship carers, residential care workers, teachers and social workers.

Before joining WWCSC, Aoife was a researcher at the University of Oxford, where she also completed her doctorate. Aoife also worked with children and young people in and on the edge of care for nearly 10 years.

Outside of WWCSC, Aoife is school governor, tries to convince herself that she could be a runner, fantasises about going back to play Roller Derby. Mostly, she plays second fiddle to two small children.


  • read more about Children in Need – Understanding Service Provision in England

    Children in Need – Understanding Service Provision in England

    24 June 2022
    Despite huge numbers of children receiving support from a social worker each year, in research little is known about these children, why they receive support, how it is delivered and what it achieves. Director of Research Aoife O'Higgins considers our latest report and the influence it could have on improving support for these children.