Project Title Particpation for Protection (P4P)
Commencement Date


Research Team

Dr. Cormac Forkan, Dr. Bernadine Brady, Dr. Danielle Kennan and Ms. Nuala Harlowe

Project Summary

The UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre has been selected as a research partner for an exciting new EU funded project, ‘Participation for Protection’ (P4P).  P4P is being led by the Children’s Rights Centre at Queens University, Belfast. Other partner universities include;

  • Ludwig Boltzmann Institut Fur Menschenrechte Forschungsverein, Austria

  • Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and Kenniscentrum Kinderrechten, Belgium

  • Hochschule Rheinmain, Germany

  • Universitatea Babes Bolyai, Romania

  • University of Nottingham, England.

The ultimate aim of P4P is to elevate the views, voices and experiences of children and young people in training for professionals on how to respond to children and young people who experience violence, whilst also enhancing children and young people’s understanding of reporting mechanisms and support structures. Over 1,000 children and young people will participate through youth advisory groups, focus groups and questionnaires. 

 Funded By




Project Title Empathy, Caring and Connection among Early Adolescents: An Empirical Analysis
Commencement Date 2017
Research Team Dr Bernadine Brady (P.I), Professor Pat Dolan, Dr Charlotte Silke, Dr Ciara Boylan.
Project Summary The UNESCO Child & Family Research Centre was awarded €100,000 in funding by the Irish Research Council for a study entitled Empathy, Caring and Connection among Early Adolescents: An Empirical Analysis.  The funding bid was was awarded following a response to an open call from the Irish Research Council for ‘Research to Address Issues of National Societal Importance’. This study aims to generate empirical evidence regarding the values and experiences of Irish youth towards a range of issues which reflect a sense of social and political responsibility towards others, including an analysis of factors (including parental attitudes, school culture and community engagement) that influence the development of social values and empathy.This evidence will inform the development of policy interventions in the area of education and child and youth development.  The study involves mixed methods research with 13-15 year olds in a nationally representative sample of schools. Study findings will be published in December 2018.
 Funded By  



Project Title Engaging Urban Youth: Community, Citizenship and Democracy
Commencement Date 2016
Research Team

Professor Caroline McGregor (PI),  Professor Pat Dolan (Mentor),  Professor Rob Chaskin, University  of Chicago (Researcher),  Dr Bernadine Brady, (Collaborator)

Project Summary

This research is focused on disadvantaged youth in urban environments who often experience marginalization and  disenfranchisement that can lead to disastrous consequences for them, their families, and the wider society. Such disenfranchisement is reinforced by negative media portrayals and punitive policies that treat certain urban youth as threats to be controlled rather than as young people with the agency and potential to contribute effectively to society. At the same time, it is also well known that successfully engaging young men and women in the Institutions, communities, and contexts in which they live and building their capacity as social actors can be a critical factor in their positive development as individuals, enhance their future role as citizens, and promote their current positive contribution to these same contexts and institutions. Effectively engaging disadvantaged urban youth, however, can be challenging, and the factors that contribute to these challenges are complex and multi-layered.



It is expected this research will have a direct impact on the participating stakeholders by providing tangible and accessible research findings that improves understanding and provides some policy and practice guidance. It will also impact significantly in the field of urban youth studies by offering a comparative framework applicable to other urban contexts in Europe and globally.  

Funded By

European Commission logo


 This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under the Marie –Sklodowska Curie Grant Agreement No 661541




Project Title Evaluation of The Development and Mainstreaming Programme for Prevention, Partnership and Family Support
Commencement Date July 2014
Research Team Dr Bernadine Brady / Dr John Canavan / Dr Anne Cassidy / Dr Rosemary Crosse/ Dr Carmel Devaney / Prof. Pat Dolan / Ms. Eileen Flannery / Dr Cormac Forkan / Dr Danielle Kennan / Dr Patrick Malone / Prof. Caroline McGregor/ Ms. Emily O'Donnell / Ms. Iwona O’Donoghue / Dr Leonor Rodriguez / Dr Aileen Shaw / Ms. Edel Tierney.
Project Summary The UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, NUI Galway provides research, evaluation and technical support to the Tusla Development and Mainstreaming Programme for Prevention, Partnership and Family Support (PPFS). This is a new programme of action being undertaken by Tulsa, the Child and Family Agency, as part of its National Service Delivery Framework. The programme seeks to transform child and family services in Ireland by embedding prevention and early intervention into the culture and operation of Tusla. Our research and evaluation study focuses on the implementation and outcomes of Tusla’s work. Its overarching research question is “whether the organisational culture and practice at Tusla and its services are integrated, preventative, evidence-informed and inclusive of children and parents and if so, is this contributing to improved outcomes for children and their families”.

Please visit our Development and Mainstreaming Section here
Funded by

 AP jpegguf

 Publications:   Please click here to see the full list of outputs


Project Title Knowledge Transfer and Dissemination:  Lumos Foundation
Commencement Date July 2015
Research Team Prof. Pat Dolan, Dr Aileen Shaw and Ms Grace O'Shea
Project Summary The UCFRC is a partner in a grant by The Atlantic Philanthropies to the Lumos Foundation in the UK to support the development of a series of knowledge-transfer activities to apply the learning from Ireland’s Prevention and Early Intervention programmes and their advocacy investments for the benefit of practitioners and policymakers in Eastern Europe and the LAC region.  These activities are undertaken to support the Lumos Foundation’s effort to accelerate the process of ending institutionalisation of children globally.  The objective is to harness the skills, knowledge and networks of each partner to establish the crucial evidence and practice base needed to support far-reaching changes in child care and protection systems that will dramatically reduce the numbers of children in institutions, or at risk of institutionalisation, worldwide.

Activities include:

  • Professional exchanges and training programmes: Practitioners, managers and young people involved in The Atlantic Philanthropies funded programmes, will work closely with Lumos teams on the ground in the European and LAC regions to develop bespoke training programmes and study exchange visits for practitioners. This will include:
  • Study exchange visits to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland for key practitioners and policy makers
  • Deployment of practitioners to at least 10 countries across Europe, the LAC region, and potentially beyond, to provide training and exchange of experience
  • Peer to peer exchanges between young people
  • The expansion of Lumos’ ‘virtual study visit’ programme, where services are filmed and used as training materials in order to reach a much wider audience than is feasible in the study exchange programme.
  • Knowledge portal: An on-line knowledge portal will be developed to ensure even greater dissemination of the knowledge and tools developed by The Atlantic Philanthropies programmes in Ireland, as well as learning from this project itself.
  • International experts’ meetings and conferences: Leveraging the opportunities brought by the partners to share expertise beyond the European and LAC regions, the project will include a series of international gatherings of experts and global level policy-makers.

Funded by LUMOS logo