Centre for Children and Young People

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Children and young people matter. Understanding their lives, circumstances and the issues that are important to them is central to our research. So too is identifying how such knowledge can improve policy and practice.

At the Centre for Children and Young People, our research focuses on the rights and wellbeing of children and young people (0-25 years) in the key contexts in which they live their lives – family, school and community. Children and young people’s views and experiences are central to the research that we do, why we do it and how it is approached.

Supporting children and young people through adversity

Considerable research undertaken through the Centre for Children and Young People has focused on understanding the ways in which adverse life experiences impact on wellbeing and how such knowledge can be translated into effective policy and programs. Led by Professor Anne Graham, this ongoing research and knowledge exchange activity has resulted in a suite of pyschosocial education programs (based on the very successful flagship program, Seasons for Growth®).

These evidence-informed programs focus on supporting children, young people and adults, in a range of contexts, to learn about how change and loss impacts on their lives and to develop skills for attending to their grief. Multiple evaluations attest to the effectiveness of these interventions in supporting wellbeing and strengthening individual and community resilience.

These studies, along with ongoing evidence reviews about children’s reactions to change and loss in contexts such as separation and divorce, bereavement, natural disasters, out-of-home care, forced migration and terrorism events, continue to inform program developments. These evidence reviews focus strongly on research that captures children’s perspectives on such issues. See examples here and here.

A rapid review of evidence informed major revisions to the Stormbirds program in early 2020, along with associated resources for parents, teachers and program facilitators, in response to requests for support from bushfire affected communities across Australia.

In 2020 an evidence review was undertaken to inform the development of resources to guide parents and teachers in supporting children to adapt to the on-going changes associated with COVID-19 protection measures.