About us

We are an inter-disciplinary world-class research centre with a global focus, working to develop new insights into the diverse lives of children, young people and their families. Our staff and doctoral students undertake a wide range of applied and conceptual/ theoretical research, drawing on our relationships with civic society. We both seek to understand the everyday lives of children, young people and their families, and improve the lives of vulnerable children and young people, including those in care or adopted, through our research. Informed and underpinned by a children’s rights approach, we use a range of rigorous and innovative methods to conduct research that informs policy and practice at national and international levels. 

The inter-disciplinary focus of our work is enhanced by our wide range of national and international collaborators and funders. We have long-standing relationships with academic institutions nationally and internationally, as well as a wide range of local, national and international stakeholders which include local government, voluntary organisations, charities and NGOs. Our work is funded from a range of sources including research councils, local and national government departments and charities. We always welcome enquiries from prospective collaborators.   

One of our Centre’s strengths is that our expertise is broad and diverse, located within the fields of social work, sociology, psychology, socio-legal studies, global childhoods and social policy. Our members also lead and contribute to research-informed teaching across a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes within the School for Policy Studies, including childhood studies, social work (qualifying and post-qualifying programmes), social policy, social research methods and criminology.   

Centre life  

We are an inclusive, friendly and welcoming research centre, where staff and postgraduate students are supported in their research, study and professional development. We meet regularly as a Centre group, and have a programme of events throughout the year that includes seminars, writing retreats and socials. We really welcome enquiries from prospective PhD students whose research interests may be a good fit with our ethos and interests. 


See the latest news from the Centre including research findings, publications, project updates and more.

Did you know?

Centre members are using innovative approaches to link administrative data from different data-sets to explore the mental health of children in care over time and their outcomes, and the circumstances and reasons why care orders end?  

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