Phil was seconded from the University of York in 1999 to work on the landmark study of young runaways, ‘Still Running’.

He subsequently transferred to us at The Children's Society and has worked on projects related to disadvantaged teenagers, including research around children in trouble with the law, children in care, and adolescent neglect. 

His research interests include exploring the effectiveness of interventions with young people. He led the early development of the charity’s evaluation programme of direct practice between 2009 and 2012, and piloted the use of self-reported changes in young people’s well-being as a measure of outcomes.

Phil has been involved in both internally and externally commissioned research and evaluation studies, including for the Department for Children, Schools and Families (now the Department for Education), the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation, Comic Relief and The Big Lottery.

Before joining us, Phil worked as a researcher for the universities of Bradford, Leeds and York, and contributed to studies of men’s accounts of perpetrating domestic abuse, the quality of residential child care and young people’s experiences of leaving care.  He also had a spell as a researcher for a local authority’s social services department.

Phil has been a staff member in local authority children’s homes and social work teams, and is a qualified journalist who spent a brief period working on the news desk of an evening paper in a northern city, before realising that his hard-won achievement of 100-words-per-minute for Pitman 2000 shorthand had been in vain as he soon wanted to return to a career in academic research.

List of current projects

  • Thinking about Adolescent Neglect: Programme of new research to explore what ‘neglect’ means for young people aged 11-17, how prevalent it is in England, and the harms it can lead to.
  • Return Home Interviews: research commissioned by the police and the Home Office to look at the current scale and nature of RHI provision in England and Wales for children and young people who are reported missing, and to share learning from promising practice.

Contact Details

The Children's Society
Edward Rudolf House
Margery Street
London WC1X 0JL


Tel: 020 7841 4506 

M: 07810 865932

Selected Publications at The Children’s Society

Raws, P. (2018) Thinking about Adolescent Neglect: A review of recent research focusing on identification, assessment and intervention. London: The Children’s Society

Raws, P. (2018) Thinking about Adolescent Neglect: Briefing for professionals. London: The Children's Society
Raws, P. (2016) Troubled Teens: The links between parenting and adolescent neglect. London: The Children’s Society
Leon, S. & Raws, P. (2016) Boys Don’t Cry: Improving identification and disclosure of sexual exploitation among boys and men trafficked to the UK. London: The Children’s Society
Wayman, S., Raws, P. & Leadbitter, H. (2016) ‘There’s nobody is there – no one who can actually help?’ The challenges of estimating the number of young carers and knowing how to meet their needs. London: The Children’s Society
Franklin, A., Raws, P., & Smeaton, E. (2015) Unprotected, Overprotected:  meeting the needs of young people with learning disabilities who experience, or are at risk of, sexual exploitation. Partnership with Coventry University, The Children’s Society and Paradigm Research
Raws, P. (July, 2015) Neglect of adolescents at home: some new research. in Too old, too young? Theology on the ambiguity of adolescence and the impact of neglect  London: The Children’s Society

Raws, P. (2014) Factors associated with children’s subjective well-being: Parents in The Good Childhood Report 2014 London: The Children’s Society

For more publications by Phil and the research team at The Children’s Society, see our publications library.

Recent/forthcoming activities

‘Understanding and better responding to adolescent neglect’ – Safeguarding Children: Finding solutions for better protection. Open Forum Conference, May 2018. (Presentation).

‘Adolescent Neglect’ – Herefordshire Safeguarding Children Board Annual Conference, May 2018. (Keynote presentation).

‘Thinking about and responding to Adolescent Neglect’ – Lancashire Safeguarding Children Board. December, 2017. (Training seminar).

‘Understanding Adolescent Neglect’ – City and Hackney Safeguarding Children Board Annual Conference, June 2017. (Keynote presentation)

Inspectors training for Joint Targeted Area Inspections on ‘Neglect of older children’ (Ofsted, HMICFRS and others) – May and September 2017.

‘Thinking about and responding to adolescent neglect’ – Yorkshire and Humberside Multi Agency Safeguarding Trainers Conference, May, 2017. (Keynote presentation)

‘Understanding Adolescent Neglect’ – British Psychological Society (BPS) – Division of Educational and Child Psychologists Annual Conference, January, 2017. (Keynote presentation)

‘Troubled Teens?’ – British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (BASPCAN) Conference, October 2016. (Presentation).