Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth

Knowledge exchange

One of the central commitments of CIRCY is the translation of research findings into policy and practice in the real world. This involves a two-way exchange of knowledge and experience between the researchers and the communities they research.

CIRCY’s work is fundamentally concerned with making a difference to children and young people’s lives, a principle that applies across diverse disciplines through our efforts to build ‘real world’ understandings of lives in time and place. We aim to think beyond the academy, making our research visible and accessible, and engaging with research users – including researched groups – throughout the research process and beyond the lifetime of specific projects.

These are just a few examples of the knowledge exchange activities that CIRCY members have been involved with:

  • In May 2022, Michelle Lefevre and Nathalie Huegler (Social Work and Social Care), along with Carlene Firmin and Delphine Peace from Durham University, were invited by the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory to hold a webinar on ‘Trauma-informed responses to extra-familial risks and harms, and the implications for family courts’. This was attended by around one hundred professionals from across social care, education, health, youth justice, and the legal profession.

  • In March 2022, Gillian Ruch and Michelle Lefevre were each invited to present at the  BASW England 80-20 Conference on 'Inclusive Relationship-Based Practice in a Changing World' held for World Social Work Month, and held online 8 March 2022.This included how to facilitate relationship-based practice with children and families in challenging contexts.

  • In November 2021, Jeri Damman, Nathalie Huegler and Michelle Lefevre were invited to present on  ‘Transitional Safeguarding: Addressing the gap between child and adult safeguarding to address risks beyond the family home’, at the online conference Safeguarding Adolescents and Young Adults, held by Healthcare Conferences UK.

  • Kristi Hickle (Social Work and Social Care) has continued to work with local authorities and charities to develop impact from her research on trauma-informed practice, child sexual exploitation, and trafficking. This has included facilitating trainings for the Local Safeguarding Children Boards in Brighton and Hove and East Sussex, involving professionals across disciplines.

  • Dominic Dean (Research and Enterprise) convened and spoke at a panel on 'Are Children Still the Future?', held as part of the English: Shared Futures conference in Manchester in  July 2022. The panel explored whether, almost 20 years after the publication of Lee Edelman's landmark work of queer theory, No Future, Edelman's idea of the image of the child as a dominant and coercive force in politics still holds in an era of pronounced political hostility to migrant, queer, Trans, and politically active children and youth.

  • María Moscati (Law) co-hosted a webinar in January 2022 with young people from the African Movement of Working Children and Youth, Act2gether - Bolivia and Apocalypse Now - US. The webinar looked at several human rights issues and explored how adults and adult led organisations can better support children and young activists. The video recording of the webinar has been edited, with the help of the young activists, into two short videos that provide insights and advice from the young activists.