About the Children and Young People’s Research Database


The purpose of the Children and Young People’s Research Database is to provide the central source in Northern Ireland for research on all aspects of children’s lives.


In Autumn 2004, the Childcare Research Forum in Northern Ireland approached the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) for funding to develop a database and website to collate all research on childcare in Northern Ireland in one place.

The scope of the database was expanded to include research on all aspects of children’s lives, including childcare. Funding for the project was provided by the Children and Young People’s Unit within OFMDFM, given the links with the 10-year Children and Young People’s Strategy, which will highlight the need for high quality research and information to inform future developments. 

A sub-group of the Childcare Research Forum was set-up to take this work forward. Members of the sub-group were:

Pauline Donnan Research Branch, OFMDFM
Eilís McDaniel Children and Young People's Unit, OFMDFM
Norah McCorry Research Branch, OFMDFM
Teresa Devlin NI Commissioner for Children and Young People's Office
Lisa Bunting NSPCC
Elaine McElduff  Children in Northern Ireland
Emma Larkin Institute of Child Care Research, Queen's University Belfast

        with participation from:

Rosemary Kilpatrick Institute of Childcare Research, Queen’s University Belfast
Julie Healy Barnardo's
Sara Boyce Children's Law Centre/Save The Children
Mary Anne Webb NI Commissioner for Children and Young People's Office

The work to develop and maintain the database and website was put out to tender and ARK (a collaboration between Queen’s University Belfast and University of Ulster) were awarded the contract in March 2005. Since then, the maintenance of the database has gone out to public tender on a regular basis, and ARK has been awarded the contract on each occasion. In 2014, this was a collaboration between ARK and the Institute for Child Care Research, Queen's University Belfast.

Search Category Framework

The framework for the research database is based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The Convention was taken into account by the sub-group when determining and agreeing the database search categories.

The search facility comprises 14 main subject headings, for example ‘education’ or ‘child protection’, with a number of sub-categories under each subject. It is also possible to search by ‘Group’ and this represents key groups of children, for example ‘looked after children’ or ‘young carers’.  Finally, it is possible to search by year, author’s surname or title.


ARK is responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of the database.  This includes actively seeking new research on children, writing research summaries, where necessary, and adding new research to the database.  Authors, who contribute to the database, are encouraged to provide their own research summaries using the template on the web-page. A panel comprising key stakeholders will oversee the on-going development and maintenance of the children’s database when it is officially launched.


Your research contributions to the database are very welcome. We strongly urge researchers to contribute to the database website and to inform ARK of any new research they have conducted. This will ensure a comprehensive and timely database that will be of most benefit to users. To contribute please complete this template and submit to ARK.

Criteria for research

The criteria for research to be included in the database are as follows:

  • Year - 2000 onwards
  • Published research - Peer reviewed articles/journals and published reports
  • Document type - Article, Book, Booklet, Briefing, Chapter, Conference Paper, Monograph, Report, Research Paper.
  • Policy reports will not be included.
  • PhD theses will not be included at this stage.
  • Northern Ireland focus - Northern Ireland specific or research including Northern Ireland.
  • Type of research - Qualitative and quantitative research relating to the lives of children and young people up to the age of 18 (21 for young people with a disability or those leaving care).
  • Medical research that is laboratory based or scientific is not included. Health related research with a social care element is included.


The research database was officially launched on 13 December 2005 alongside the launch of the Childcare Research Forum. In addition, the website will be advertised through fliers at relevant conferences and ARK will market it through suitable ARK events, the Universities' internal newspapers, email to academics, presentations to relevant organisations and to university students, mail shots to libraries, relevant organisations, schools and colleges of further education. Links to the website are included on the websites of a wide range of organisations within the children’s sector.

A leaflet providing information on the Children and Young People's Research Database is available to download (in pdf format).

Suggestions for improvement and/or contributions are welcome via email.

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Disclaimer: © ORB 2005 Last Updated on Tuesday, 04-Nov-2014 8:13