Researcher biography

Paul Harnett is a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology. He worked for six years at the Maudsley Hospital as a clinical psychologist in the fields of child protection and juvenile justice. After moving to Australia he continued to work for several years in these fields before moving into a research position studying early intervention programs for child and adolescent anxiety and depression. Over the past 12 years his work has focused on developing evidence-based assessment models and the Parents Under Pressure (PuP) program ( in collaboration with Professor Sharon Dawe. The assessment model (Capacity to Change, C2C) is aimed at helping practitioners in child protection understand the psychological and organisational factors that influence decisions in child protection. The PuP program aims to reduce child maltreatment in high risk families, including those with problems with substance abuse and mental health issues. The PuP program has been trialed in Australia and is currently undergoing rigorous evaluation in the UK in collaboration with Warwick University funded by the National Society for the Prevention to Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). A major motivating force for his work are the memories of the young children he cared for while working as a care worker in a South London children's home in the late 1980s.