Conference marks launch of new research centre
Updated on: 20/09/2012
Newman University, Birmingham marked the official opening of its Children, Young People and Families Research Centre by hosting an international conference bringing together leading lights from the fields of education, youth and community, health and social care.
The conference, which was themed ‘Collaborative Researching with Children, Young People and Families in the Age of Austerity’, took place on 18 and 19 September and provided an opportunity for professionals working across the education, youth and community and social care sectors to share best practice and foster cross-disciplinary partnerships.
Mairtin Mac An Ghaill, Professor of Multi-professional Education at Newman University, said: "The work of policy makers, teachers, community and social workers often grabs the headlines when things go wrong and, with resources at a premium, it’s more important than ever that we encourage collaborative relationships across disciplines to ensure vulnerable members of society are protected.
"With Government spending cuts making a significant impact on services for children, young people and families, conferences such as these provide an invaluable opportunity for experts and policy makers to come together to share best practice, discuss difficult issues and ensure we’re making the most effective and efficient use of resources."
Speakers at the conference included Dr Sinead Hanafin, former Head of Research at the Department of Children and Youth Affairs in Ireland; Professor Colin Boreham, Director of the Institute of Sport and Health at University Dublin; Loraine O’Rourke and Laura Ibbetson of The Irish in Birmingham Community Group; John Ord, Reader in Youth Work at University Plymouth; and Wolverhampton-born Patrick Vernon, CEO of The Afiya Trust who received an OBE for his work tackling health inequalities in ethnic-minority communities.
The Children, Young People and Family Research Centre at Newman University was established as a centre of excellence for cross-sector research at regional, national and international levels. Centre staff work with community organisations, schools, children’s services, third-sector organisations and public bodies within the UK and abroad, with evidence gained from its research directly contributing towards improving services, supporting change management processes and challenging dominant representations of family and community life.
For further information on the centre and its work, visit www.newman.ac.uk/research-centres.