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Children, young people and families

Children, young people and families

Research about the lives and wellbeing of children, young people and families at WELS is characterised by bold interdisciplinary enquiry and methodological innovation, and contributes to national and global practices, policies and debates.

Our field-leading Children's Research Centre  positions WELS at the forefront of contemporary thinking about children and young people's participation in research, child and young person-led research projects and a variety of initiatives exploring children and young people's experiences, including rights based work, learning and support for families experiencing a serious illness.

In the School of Education, the Childhood, Youth and Sport Research Group contributes to nationally and globally important practices, policies and debates in education, childhoods, youth and sport.  We draw on a wide range of research methodologies, including anthropology, childhood studies, cultural studies, developmental psychology, ethnography and sociology. Our research programmes are developed through partnerships, with schools, health services, youth groups and other users of research, including governments and international NGOs.


Our social research into childhood, young people and families, in the School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, links to key policy and professional practice across the health and social care sector. Our expertise spans gender; fatherhood and men’s experiences of social care and child protection services; ‘different childhoods’; gendered and LGBT+ identities for young people; sexual health and abortion; transitions to adulthood; youth justice; mental health; child health outcomes and children’s geographies.

Finally, our recently established cross-faculty Centre for Children and Young People's Wellbeing explores contemporary children's health and wellbeing in body, mind and media. Here our current work explores children and young people, food and food marketing as well as children and obesity, and children's pain management.