Conference brochure image

Rediscovering Empathy: Values, Relationships and Practice in a Changing World

Hosted by the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at the Institute for Lifecourse and Society, NUI Galway

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Rediscovering Empathy: Conference Brochure

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News: UCFRC Centre Patron, Cillian Murphy, talks about the Importance of Empathy in the Irish Times. Read the full article here

Across the globe, the perceived decline in empathy, care and social solidarity is a cause for concern. Empathy is the ability and/or inclination to understand and experience another’s state or condition and,where appropriate, to respond through supportive actions. Research has shown that empathy in individuals is essential to healthy social and emotional functioning and contributes to the enrichment of civic society. Conversely, where levels of empathy are compromised, studies have found an increased propensity to engage in anti-social behaviour, such as bullying, aggression and offending behaviour. For practitioners, empathy in direct relationship-based working is increasingly recognised as a cornerstone of good practice in work with children, young people and their families, while for society, there is an urgent need for empathy informed policy and action to address structural inequalities and disparities.

The biennial UCFRC conference draws on national and international expertise to explore the concepts of empathy and relationship based working as they relate to policy and practice with children, youth and families.