The Centre conducts a wide variety of child protection research to address gaps in our understanding of the magnitude of child abuse and neglect and to provide a deeper understanding of the mechanisms underlying effective response and prevention. This includes prevalence studies, systematic reviews, policy research and participatory research, among other approaches.
Our database of current and past research is in development and will be launched end May 2013. If you would like specific information about our work, please get in touch.
Our approach to research
Our core work streams are established in dialogue with key stakeholders including the NSPCC, the University of Edinburgh disciplines and the Centre’s Advisory Committee and draws on the extensive knowledge of others involved in child protection across the UK and internationally.
To achieve our mission and vision we draw on our multi-disciplinary team to undertake research at all levels of need, including a particular focus on children at significant risk of harm and/or with acute or complex needs.
We take a public health approach to child protection and our work is informed by the MRC framework for complex interventions. We are committed to user involvement throughout the research process.
Progress to date
Since our inception, the Centre has undertaken specific studies in areas of identified priority and gaps in child protection research. Additionally, we have examined the direction of child protection reform, trends in policy and the impact of devolution on child protection in the UK.
Collaboration is at the heart of our approach. While maintaining independence, we continue to strengthen our relationship with our founding partner – the NSPCC – and with senior policymakers and academics.
Our work has been presented through publications including a book series, journal articles, reports and key message papers. Additionally, we have hosted a number of four-nation seminars, international exchange visits and we have participated on government working groups and international conferences on child protection. (Our publications database will be launched at the end of May 2013. If you would like information about our research or publications, please get in touch.)
Ambitions and direction of travel
Child protection research is growing internationally, evidenced by investment in national child abuse and neglect prevalence studies, coupled with increasing investment in promising practices to respond to and prevent child maltreatment. This highlights the growing need for child protection researchers who are at the forefront of research internationally.
The Child Protection Research Centre is well placed to contribute to the agenda of understanding the magnitude and consequences of child abuse and neglect; to evaluate and scale up effective response and prevention; and to offer bespoke postgraduate education in child protection research.
 Four Levels of Need Model: Level 1 – all children and young people; Level 2 – children who are vulnerable (may be at risk of school exclusion); Level 3 – children in need (complex needs); Level 4 – children at significant risk and/or with acute needs. (Drawn from Hardiker, P., Exton, K. and Barker, M. (1991) Policies and Practices in Preventive Child Care. Aldershot: Avebury.)