About our research and funders

We use a range of rigorous and innovative quantitative and qualitative methods to conduct research and develop new insights into the diverse lives of children, young people and their families. Collaborative, participative and creative methodologies are central to our research approach, informed and underpinned by children’s rights. Centre members are also using novel quantitative approaches, including linking different government data-sets, to understand the complex lives of children in care. Whether working internationally, nationally or regionally, our research aims to work with local partners to understand the local situation and co-produce research in ways that lead to bi-lateral learning. 

Our current areas of special interest within the UK and internationally include the following: 

  • global childhoods

  • children’s wellbeing 
  • parenting 
  • family lives 
  • family support 
  • children in need 
  • child protection 
  • child sexual exploitation 
  • children in care: 
  • fostering, adoption and kinship care 
  • youth justice 
  • critical approaches to childhood, family lives, social work theory and practice 
  • relationship-based approaches to social work practice.  

Recent sources of funding include: 

  • British Academy 
  • Coram 
  • Global Challenges Research Fund 
  • Economic and Social Research Council 
  • Nuffield Foundation 
  • Nuffield Family Justice Observatory 
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada 
  • Government departments 
  • Local authorities 
  • NGOs, voluntary agencies and trusts. 

Current research projects

Find out more about our research by exploring our Centre’s research projects and postgraduate research. 

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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