Our Research 

Our core research focus is the wellbeing and rights of children, young people and their families. We are recognised international leaders in the field of Family Support, incorporating research on prevention and early intervention and parenting support. Framed within the operation of the prestigious UNESCO Chair on Children, Youth and Civic Engagement, our focus on Youth incorporates a body of work on mentoring, empathy and youth civic engagement. We respond to research, evaluation and planning needs of state and NGO organisations nationally and internationally across policy fields including child protection and welfare, alternative care, youth work, education, mental health and juvenile justice.  

An experienced research team undertakes independent, robust research and evaluation studies as well as programme planning, and training and facilitation.

Our core objective is the application of research to inform practice and policy and the translation of knowledge into an evidence-informed approach to improving outcomes for children, young people, families and communities.

Across all areas of work, our emphasis is on prevention and early intervention as a strategic orientation for policy and services; participation of children, young people and parents as a fundamental right in services; and inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary working.

The Centre has established strong credibility in supporting policy makers, service managers and practitioners to develop and implement new ideas in their work and has developed close working partnerships with agencies nationally and nationally.

Core Research themes include:

Alternative Care
Child Welfare and Protection
Child Welfare Systems Change
Child, Youth & Parental Participation
Community-Based Youth and Family
Educational Disadvantage
Empathy and Social Values
Family Support
Parenting Support
Youth Civic Engagement
Youth Mental Health & Well-Being
Youth Mentoring
Youth Work

Methodological Expertise

  • Quantitative Methods / Qualitative Methods / Mixed Methods
  • Engaged research / methodologies emphasising voice and participation.
  • Evidence Synthesis & reviews
  • Service Development and Design – Theory Based Planning Approaches
  • Outcome Evaluation – Experimental and Quasi-Experimental
  • Process and Implementation Evaluation
  • Systems Change Studies
  • Development Evaluation

 A full list of our research outputs is available on our publications page.