You are here

  1. Home
  2. Children's Research Centre
  3. Research



The Children’s Research Centre is an interdisciplinary network of national and international, applied social science researchers with expertise in empowering children and young people to actively engage with research as an enabling and transformative learning experience. Researchers within the Children's Research Centre work in a range of disciplines and all share a passion for working with children and young people using a range of innovative and participatory methods to explore their lived experiences.

Our Centre is respected internationally for its distinctive work regarding: the training and development of researchers; innovative methodologies for collaborative research with children and young people, and inclusive strategies for communicating the views of children and young people (including those whose voices are typically marginalised). The outcomes and legacies of our projects have shaped, and are reshaping, policy, practice and research through respectful and reciprocal partnerships.

Current Research Activity


The children's poster, based on findings from the Coronavirus and my life: What children say project, presents the thoughts, feelings and experiences of children aged 3-12 across four countries.  The report's findings highlight that children completing the Children Heard survey had high levels of awareness about the widespread nature and potential impact of the virus.  They also have questions for decision-makers that are currently going unanswered.  Visit the Children Heard website to find out more about how the poster can be used. The full research report is available below.

YSS Logo

Families First Research Project is a two-year study examining the need for and impact of targeted Families First services to support children, young people and their families with a parent/carer in prison or about to be sentenced. Designed by Dr Victoria Cooper, Professor Jane Payler and Dr Stephanie Bennett in collaboration with YSS lead practitioners who deliver the support, this study draws upon a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods, including surveys and in-depth interviews.

Families First services are part of a multi-agency collaboration in Worcestershire to identify families affected by incarceration of a loved one and to provide a single point of contact and support. The long-term objectives of these services are aimed at maintenance of housing, job and social connections within families, reduction in rates of adult re-offending and to reduce the risk of children and young people entering the youth justice service or being excluded from school.

Families First website
Survey: Families with a Parent in Prison
Dr Victoria Cooper's professional profile
Professor Jane Payler's professional profile
Dr Stephanie Bennet's profile on Open Research Online website(ORO)





"Coronavirus and my life: what children say" book cover

Coronavirus and my life: what children say

Liz Chamberlain and a team of CRC researchers looked at survey responses submitted by children aged 3-12 from four countries to the Children Heard survey Children on the Coronavirus. The report, in collaboration with Children Heard, details the key findings and summarises key themes, which are also represented in picture form in the Coronavirus and My Life poster, which invites children to consider how the themes relate to their own lives.

"Representing children’s rights from discussion through to illustration and interpretation" book cover

Representing children’s rights from discussion through to illustration and interpretation

Our most recent project with Amnesty International UK (AIUK) marks the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The report was launched at the latest CRC seminar - Complexities of Responding to Children and their Rights. Read more about our collaboration with AIUK in the BERA Special Edition.

"HOPE: Young people living through a family health crisis" book cover

HOPE: Young people living through a family health crisis

Victoria Cooper, Jane Payler and Stephanie Bennett were commissioned by Hope Support Services to carry out research with children and young people who were living through a family health crisis. The research findings were launched at the Houses of Parliament, 27th March 2018. Access the report here.

"Geographical Inquiry (2018)" book cover.

Geographical Inquiry (2018)
Victoria Cooper and Trevor Collins worked with the Field Studies Council to develop a range of resources to support young people with carrying out social science research as part of their Geography GCSE, A Level and International Baccalaureate fieldwork.