Laura L. Cook is a Lecturer in the School of Social Work. She teaches on the qualifying and CPD programmes within the school. Her research focuses on decision-making and the concept of professional judgement in social work. She is particularly interested in the role of emotion and intuition in social workers’ assessment of risk.

Laura has a first class honours degree in Philosophy and Literature from the University of East Anglia, and an MA in Philosophy and Psychoanalysis from the University of Essex. Laura worked as a lecturer, tutor and journalist before returning to the University of East Anglia to study for her MA in Social Work. After qualifying, Laura worked in a children’s centre before joining the school as a research student in 2012. Laura became a lecturer in 2015. 

All Publications

Biggart, L., Ward, E., Cook, L., Schofield, G.


The team as a secure base: Promoting resilience and competence in child and family social work,

in Children and Youth Services Review


pp. 119-130

Full Text UEA Repository



Cook, L. L.


Making sense of the initial home visit: the role of intuition in child and family social workers' assessments of risk,

in Journal of Social Work Practice


(4: Risk in Social Work)

pp. 431-444

Full Text UEA Repository



Key Research Interests

Professional judgement in social work: making sense of the initial home visit

This qualitative doctoral study investigated UK child and family social workers’ experiences of undertaking initial home visits. Through a psychosocial analysis of narrative interviews (n=18) and focus groups (n=2), the study captured how social workers use their observations and experiences within the family home in order to arrive at a professional judgement.  

More broadly, Laura’s research interests include: psychodynamic interpretations of professional and organisational behaviour, social work decision-making and the role of emotion and intuition in professional judgement.

Laura is a member of the Emotions at Work Research Group at UEA and the Centre for Research on Children and Families.