Elaine Farmer is Professor of Child and Family Studies at the University of Bristol.  She spent several years as a social worker in the UK and Australia before moving into research and teaching.  She teaches on the qualifying programme in social work and the post-qualifying award in childcare at the university. Her research interests on which she has published widely include foster and residential care, the reunification of separated children with their families, child protection and kinship care. She has undertaken studies in a number of Department of Health and Department for Education research programmes, including on child protection, residential care, family support, adoption and neglect. 

Her most recent study on kinship care was an investigation of informal kiship care, funded by the Big Lottery Fund. Her publications include: Kinship Care: Fostering Effective Family and Friends Placements (Jessica Kingsley 2008); Spotlight on Kinship Care: Using Census micro data to examine the extent and nature of kinship care in the UK at the turn of the twentieth century (University of Bristol 2011) and The poor relations? Children and informal kinship carers speak out (University of Bristol 2013). She is currently working with the NSPCC on a Department for Education-funded project to develop practice guidance on reunification and implement it in three local authorities.