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 different contexts in which they live their lives – family, school and community. Their views and experiences are central to the research we do, why we do it and how we approach it.

Our work is underpinned by the following core understandings:

Children and young people have the right to protection, provision and participation (as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child)

Our projects focus on topics broadly linked to:

  • children and young people’s safety, care, protection and wellbeing;
  • children and young people’s participation in activities and decisions that impact on their lives (including research); and
  • the relevance, quality and effectiveness of programs and services designed to improve children and young people’s lives and circumstances.

Research involving children and young people needs to be inclusive, participatory and ethical

Children and young people are not only involved as participants in our research but also collaborate in the design of our studies and advise on our progress. We seek to ensure the human dignity of children and young people is privileged, and their rights and wellbeing are paramount, in all aspects of our research.

Collaboration is central in the design and delivery of robust, relevant research

We collaborate closely with:

  • policymakers and practitioners from a wide range of agencies and organisations providing services to children and young people;
  • researchers with different disciplinary expertise (sociology, psychology, social work, education, law, health, business, tourism etc.); and
  • children and young people with diverse life experience.

 Such collaboration enables us to design and do research that is informed by cutting edge scholarship, best practice and the ‘know-how’ of young people.

Policy and practice must be evidence-based

It is imperative our research is focused on generating knowledge that can inform policy and practice likely to improve children and young people’s lives in different contexts. Impact and engagement are therefore critically important aspects of our work.

Research knowledge must be accessible to those who can best use it

Our research is widely disseminated through academic publications and made available through 'plain-English' research summaries, 'good-practice' guidelines, websites, education programs, professional learning workshops, conferences and various digital forms. We also ensure young people help to co-design relevant summaries of findings for other young people.