Involving children in research - Children’s Research Network Annual Conference

How to engage children creatively in research, involving seldom heard young people in participatory research and designing educational programmes together with families. These were just some of the themes emerging at the sixth annual conference of the Children's Research Network which took place at the end of November.  

The conference was opened by Niall Muldoon, Ombudsman for Children, and keynote speeches considered the theme from research, policy and practice perspectives.  

Workshops focused on the development of skills needed to involve children such as creative methods to engage with children, conducting participatory research in different settings and how to influence policy with participatory research. Roundtable discussions on the second day focused on two areas - improving ethical approval processes for participatory research and archiving evaluation data. Short reports will be published as part of the next edition of the Children’s Research Digest, which will be based on the conference theme.  

The conference comes at the end of a busy year for the network. A series of research skills workshops took place earlier in the year, and there are already plans to run the workshops again next year. The network is administering a grants initiative for researchers interested in conducting further analysis of data from the Prevention and Early Intervention Initiative. Information on how and when to apply is available on the network's website.  

Further information from the conference including presentations will be available from the Children's Research Network website over the coming weeks.