New Institute will focus on the well being of children

Anglia Ruskin University is to launch a new research institute for the East of England which will listen to the ‘voices’ of children and young people.

The Childhood and Youth Research Institute is a unique multi-disciplinary initiative that puts the well being of children and young people at the heart of research.

Bringing together the diverse experience and expertise of academics from different disciplines who share an interest in childhood and youth, it cuts across three faculties of the University: the Faculties of Arts, Law and Social Sciences (ALSS), Education (FoE) and Health and Social Care (FHSC).

The new Institute aims to support, encourage and produce innovative research and publications of an internationally recognised standard. By building upon the research strengths and skills of current staff and by recruiting outside expertise the institute will create a community of research fellows, research associates, research degree students and external partners with the ‘critical mass’ to achieve a number of key objectives including a strong focus on the quality and quantity of research outputs  delivered to  an internationally recognised standard; increasing the volume of bids for external research funding; raising the number of external partnerships and developing our knowledge transfer and research consultancy activity in these fields.

The Childhood and Youth Research Institute is led by sociologist and disability researcher Dr Chrissie Rogers (pictured), supported by a new team of three post-doctoral research fellows and a cross discipline steering group. The ambition is to engage with themes that broadly straddle ‘social justice’, including disability, inclusion and special educational needs, intimacy, sexuality/asexuality, marginalised and vulnerable children and young people,  children’s literature and performance, early childhood, crime/deviance, families, formal and informal education, mental and physical health, law, pregnancy and care.

Acutely aware of the need for such a facility, Dr Rogers, who has a 23 year old learning  disabled daughter herself , said: ‘The Childhood and Youth Research Institute will be of huge significance to vulnerable, marginalised and excluded children and young people and their families, both regionally and nationally, who will ultimately benefit from the discoveries made through targeted research.

‘Research will be based on the participation of children and young people who   have voices that want to be heard.  It is these individuals who can improve the way things are done in the future by changing society’s, largely outdated, preconceptions about critical issues surrounding them.

‘Although The Childhood and Youth Research Institute will have its own distinct direction and objectives, the Institute will be able to provide tangible support for the work of the education , health and social care community, and we will be looking to establish new links with various organisations representing children and young people who would like to be involved.’

The Institute is planning a formal launch event in February 2011.

In the meantime, further information can be found by contacting the Director of the Research Institute, Dr Chrissie Rogers on [email protected] or for administrative purposes, Natasha Chandler on  [email protected]

Anglia Ruskin University now has five dedicated research institutes.  They are the Childhood and Youth Research Institute, Cultures of the Digital Economy, Global Sustainability Institute, Institute of International Management Practice and Postgraduate Medical Institute.