Youth as researchers: Exploring the impact of COVID-19

30 June 2020

A global youth-led research initiative

The Youth As Researchers (YAR) global initiative on COVID-19 connects and engages with young people to conduct research on the impacts of COVID-19 on young people and the responses young people have implemented to tackle these.

UNESCO and the UNESCO Chairs at the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) and Penn State University (PSU) lead a consortium of youth-led or youth-related actors to support the research through training, mentoring, and coordination.

CALL TO YOUTH How are young people being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

14 May 2020

COVID-19 has created an unprecedented health crisis, disrupting the lives of thousands of individuals, as well as their societies. As this pandemic expands, young people have been amongst those mobilizing to shape new forms of solidarity, demonstrating humanism and creativity. Young people are amongst those impacted by the current crisis in terms of mental and physical health, learning and professional development, civic engagement and respect for their rights – on all these fronts young people are also facing important disruptions and changes.

Living and Learning Empathy in Covid-19: A Virtual Global Conversation

27 April 2020

Ironically, even though as individuals, families, communities and countries we have ‘self-isolated’ as a result of the coronavirus, our forced disconnection may in fact lead us to be more aware of each other and connected and like never before. Across civic society we are, and will continue to be, challenged in ways heretofore unseen. Our social empathy for one another may well be the ‘vital secret sauce’ to our survival. In order to thrive, not just survive, the impact of the virus, we will need to create medical, economic and human support scaffolding to make solutions work.

Seed-funding for Learning Enhancement Projects

5 March 2020

Dr Sheila Garrity along with Valerie Kelly in the Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development were successful in applying for seed-funding for Learning Enhancement Projects

Research highlights the important role played by community based advocates for young people

19 February 2020

The Youth Advocate Programme Ireland (YAP Ireland) model is a unique way of providing intensive, focused support to children, young people, and families with a range of needs, based upon the development of a trusting relationship between a supportive, trained, and skilled adult Advocate, the young person, and their family. The YAP Ireland model aims to provide an alternative to the institutionalisation of vulnerable young people, through the operation of integrated, family- and community-based programmes of support services for young people and their families in need or at risk. 

NUI Galway Launch New Book on Mentoring for Young People in Care

12 February 2020

NUI Galway recently launched a new book which brings together theory, research and practice in relation to youth mentoring in a care context. Mentoring for Young People in Care and Leaving Care was written by Bernadine Brady, Pat Dolan and Caroline McGregor from the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway.

Activating Social Empathy Launch - 23 January 2020

23 January 2020

‌‌The Importance of Empathy in Education: Researchers from the UNESCO Centre for Child and Family Research were joined by their patron, Cillian Murphy, to launch a new initiative to introduce empathy education for secondary school students in Ireland. According to UNESCO Chair, Professor Pat Dolan, "Empathy education is urgently needed in schools to curb hate speech aggression and racial and other forms of negative profiling".

Mentoring for Young People in Care and Leaving Care, Seminar & Book Launch, 11th February 2020

22 January 2020

There is considerable evidence that informal social support provided through a high-quality mentoring relationship can help young people in care to sustain positive mental health, cope with stress and fulfill their potential through adolescence and into adulthood. We invite you to join us for a short seminar sharing currentresearch and practice relating to youth mentoring for young people in care.  The seminar is hosted jointly by the UNESCO Child & Family Research Centre at NUI Galway and Foróige’s Big Brothers Big Sisters Programme.‌

MA/Postgraduate Diploma (Family Support Studies) - Applications Now Accepted for September 2020 Enrolment

15 January 2020

Applications are now accepted for September 2020 enrolment - closing date is 26 May 2020.

Applications and Selections - applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System https://nuigalway.elluciancrmrecruit.com/Apply/Account/Login

30th Anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 29th November 2019

29 November 2019

Ombudsman for Children’s Office and UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre launch collaboration, Our Future:  Voices from Transition Year.
The Ombudsman for Children’s Office (OCO) and the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway have joined forces to co-host Our Future:  Voices from Transition Year, an event to mark the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

NUI Galway Conference to Highlight Changes in the Nature of Family and the Experience of Family Life, 13-14 June 2019

13 June 2019

NUI Galway Conference to Highlight Changes in the Nature of Family and the Experience of Family Life
The 9th UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre Biennial conference will focus on the changing nature and meaning of family and its implications for policy and practice. The conference, entitled ‘Changing Families, Changing Policy, Changing Practice: Family Support Now and in the Future’, will take place in the Institute for Lifecourse and Society at NUI Galway from 13-14 June. 

New Research Partnership to Tackle Key Educational and Societal Challenges, 15th May 2019

15 May 2019

Collaboration between the School of Education and UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway to address young people’s education and well-being needs, 15th May 2019.
The School of Education and UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway have announced a new research collaboration which will enable partnership and collaborative expertise to address key priority areas for young people’s education and well-being, in Ireland and internationally.

NUI Galway Study on Empathy, Social Values and Civic Behaviour Among Early Adolescents in Ireland, 23 February 2019

23 February 2019

A new study undertaken by researchers at the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway (UCFRC) assessed the attitudes and values of 700 12 to 16 year old youths in Ireland with regard to empathy, social values and civic behaviour. The study, funded by the Irish Research Council, also explored the degree to which such values and behaviours are promoted across Irish policy and curriculum. The research is among the first in Ireland to focus on the experiences of younger adolescents in relation to empathy and social values.

Feasibility study on conducting longitudinal research on children in care published - 11 February 2019

11 February 2019

A Report into the feasibility of conducting a longitudinal study on children in care or children leaving care within the Irish context has been published by Dr Carmel Devaney and Dr Cliona Rooney of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway. This study was commissioned by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency (Tusla) and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) with the support of the Irish Research Council.

Other News Items

The following news items will expand when you click on their headlines:


Changing Families, Changing Policy, Changing Practice: Family Support Now and in the Future, UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre 9th Biennial International Conference, 29th November 2018

Results of Partnership Working to End the Global Institutionalisation of Children, 22 October 2018

Mayor of the City of Galway, Councillor Niall McNelis & the UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement Professor Pat Dolan cordially invite you to the:“Dear President” Letters Launch, 11 October 2018

UNESCO Chairs in Children and Youth and the Lumos Foundation: Supporting Families – Alternatives to Institutionalisation, 02 October 2018

NUI Galway Study Finds Significant Improvements in Tusla Child and Family Support Services, 12th September 2018

Youth Researchers Present Their Work on the “YES Project”, 10th July 2018

Report Launch "Big Brothers Big Sisters and Garda Youth Diversion Projects:Perspectives on a Preventative Intervention", 5th July 2018

“Reform in Cook County and Juvenile Justice” Ms Toni Preckwinkle, UNESCO International Honorary Biennial Lecture 2018 - Tuesday, 22 May 2018

“Practice Research in Child Welfare Studies” International Summer School, Monday 13th - Tuesday 14th August 2018

Engaging Urban Youth: Community, Citizenship and Democracy Workshop, 2nd February 2018

Youth Empathy Day, 1st February 2018

Roscommon Children and Young People’s Services Committee launch the findings from extensive consultation process with children in the Roscommon Area, 13th March 2018

25th Anniversary of the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme, 31st October 2017

NUI Galway Publish Findings on Tusla’s Early Intervention Meitheal Programme, 28th October 2017

UCFRC Youth Researcher presenting at the 10th UNESCO Youth Forum, Paris, 27th October 2017

The Official Launch of the Routledge Handbook of Global Child Welfare, 24th October 2017

8th Biennial International Conference: Rediscovering Empathy; Values, Relationships and Practice in a Changing World (2017)

Conference to Highlight the Necessity for Compulsory Empathy Education in Preventing Violent Extremism, 6th June 2017

The launch of ‘The Evaluation of the Mol an Óige Common Sense Parenting Programme', Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo, 15th May 2017

Two new research projects at the UCFRC, Funded by the Irish Research Council, Tulsa, the Child and Family Agency and the Department of Children & Youth Affairs, 6th April 2017

Congratulations to Ciara-Beth Ní Ghríofa , UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre Youth Researcher and recent winner of the Abbott “Life to the Fullest” Award at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, 1st February 2017

UNESCO Chair Pat Dolan Contributes to UN World Youth Report, 15 July 2016

Rita Melia of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre awarded prestigious Fulbright Award, 16th June 2016

‘Understanding Family Support’ Publication & Book Launch, 29th June 2016

‘Hoping for a Better Tomorrow’ (Ballyhaunis Report) Launch, 8th June 2016

‘Philosophy and Political Engagement: Reflections in the Public Sphere’, Book Launch, 27th May 2016

Prof. Robert J. Chaskin Guest address, Engaging Urban Youth: Community, Citizenship, and Democracy, 15th April 2016

14th Child and Family Welfare Network Event: Dr. Linda Liebenberg, 10th February 2016

Galway School 2015: 'Child Rights in Practice’: Realising children’s rights through empowering parents and families’, 1st-4th December 2015

President Michael D Higgins gives inaugural lecture at the Launch of the Institute for Lifecourse and Society, NUI Galway 30th November 2015

Prof. Daniel Russel and Dr. Carolyn Cutrona: Current Issues in Social Support Seminar, 24th November 2015

UNESCO Chair and Patron Cillian Murphy feature at International Youth Forum, 9th November 2015

A New Research Partnership between J.K. Rowling’s International Children’s Organisation Lumos and NUI Galway, 2nd July 2015

A Youth Perspective on the Marriage Equality Referendum, 14th May 2015

Statement on Marriage Referendum from Pat Dolan and Cillian Murphy of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, 7th May 2015

Alan Kerins Projects Celebrates 10 Years Anniversary at ILAS, NUI Galway, 10th March 2015

Mairead McGuinness MEP visits ILAS, 20th Febuary 2015

Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova meets UNESCO Chairs in Paris, 29th January 2015

The Irish Branch of BASPCAN Launched, 22nd January 2015