National, European and International Children's Observatories, Documentation Centres and Research Dissemination Units - Oifig Náisiúnta Leanai - Gaeilge
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National, European and International Children’s Observatories, Documentation Centres and Research Dissemination Units


  • Anti-Bullying Centre at Trinity College Dublin
    Research and resource centre for school-based bullying.
  • Centre for Social and Educational Research Dublin Institute of Technology                                     
  • Research on social and educational policies and practices including work patterns and family structure, early childhood care and education, social care/alternative care, diversity and equality issues, juvenile crime and youth justice.
  • Child and Family Research Centre at National University of Ireland Galway
    A joint initiative between the Health Service Executive and the National University of Ireland, Galway. Conducts research in relation to the care and welfare of children and families in Ireland. In October 2008, Professor Pat Dolan, joint founder and Director of the Child and Family Research Centre, was appointed Chair holder of a UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement at NUI, Galway. The UNESCO Chair is involved in research, teaching, practice and policy in the area of children, youth and civic engagement and has established international links and networking in this field of education. Full text of completed research reports and summaries of current research projects are available online.
  • Children’s Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin
    Specialist centre focusing on specific areas of research and evaluation in the lives of children and young people.
  • Family Study Centre, UCD School of Applied Social Science
    Conducts research in a range of policy areas, such as child and family welfare, housing, family policy, social integration, community development, health policy, disability and addiction.
  • National Children’s Resource Centre, Barnardo’s
    Provides information, training and publications on anything to do with children and families.
  •  Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC)

    HBSC is a cross-national research study carried out in partnership with the WHO Regional Office for Europe. The study aims to gain new insight into, and increase our understanding of young people's:health and well-being, health behaviours and the social context of their health and health behaviours. In addition, the findings from the HBSC surveys are used to inform and influence children’s policy and practice at national and international levels.


For those observatories without an English language version the translate feature of Google can be used with the caution that translation is very rudimentary and often may not make sense in English

  • European Network of National Observatories on Childhood ChildONEurope
    Aims to exchange knowledge and information on laws, policies, programmes, statistics, studies, research, best practices regarding childhood and adolescence, methodology and indicators in order to obtain comparability of information and to provide comparative analysis on specific subjects.
  • European Centre for Social Welfare and Research
    A UN-affiliated intergovernmental organization concerned with all aspects of social welfare policy and research. Research areas include Childhood and Youth & Families includes projects, publications and websites. English language abstracts available to German documents.
  • EU Kids Online                                                                                                           The EU Kids Online project examines research carried out in 21 member states into how people, especially children and young people, use new media. The aim is to identify comparable research findings across member states on the basis of which recommendations for child safety, media literacy and awareness can be formulated.
  • The European Knowledge Centre for Youth Policy (EKCYP)
    This virtual European Knowledge Centre for Youth Policy (EKCYP) aims to provide the youth field with a single entry point to access knowledge and information on the realities of youth across Europe. It was developed within the framework of the Youth Research Partnership between the Council of Europe and the European Commission
  • Children’s Rights Information Network
    Disseminates information about the Convention on the Rights of the Child and child rights among NGO’s, UN agencies, and others.
    An EU-funded research project concerned with the agency of young people in the context of social change. While their transitions to adulthood are structured by risk and uncertainty young men and women develop coping strategies which in turn affect social structures. This regards especially work, family and citizenship which are the key topics of UP2YOUTH. However, it depends on the scope of action that state policies provide them whether these strategies contribute both to social integration and for subjectively meaningful biographical perspectives.
  • Austria – Austrian Institute for Family Studies (English language versions)
    Independent organisation for application-oriented, interdisciplinary study to examine the structure and dynamics of families, generations, genders and partnerships at the University of Vienna. Publications are in German, with minority in English. No English language abstracts available for those in German. Also functions as the European Observatory on the Social Situation, Demography and Family.
  • Belgium – Observtoire del’Enfance de la Jeunesse et de l’Aide a la Jeunesse
    No English language version available.
  • Denmark – Danish National Institute of Social Research (English version)
    The publications section contains abstracts and full-text of the Institute’s publications on Children Youth and Families, most in English.
  • Denmark-Danish Centre for Youth research (English page)
    The Danish Centre for Youth Research presently works in five areas from primarily sociological, cultural anthropological, pedagogical and socio-psychological angles. The five areas of interest are: Youth and work, Youth and education, Youth and democracy, Youth and marginalisation, Youth, health and lifestyle..
  • Finland – National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health STAKES (English version)
    An expert agency whose key functions are research, development and statistics. In relation to children STAKES: conducts research on living conditions among children, the prerequisites for children's development, the position of families with children, and family policy; develops working methods to enhance the quality in services for children and families with children, including early childhood education and care, child day care, child welfare and health care. The School Health Promotion Study aims to monitor welfare among older pupils in comprehensive schools and in general upper secondary education; maintains statistics in the topic area. Abstracts and full-text of documents.
  • France – Institut National de la Jeunese et de l’Education Populaire (No English language version available)
    Contains information for researchers, relevant documentation and publications.
  • Germany – Deutches Jungendinstitut (DJI) German Youth Institute (English versions)
    English web pages of the DJI contain selected items from its German language site. Non-university social science research entity. Its focus is on studying the situation of children, youth, women, and families along with the public services provided to support and promote these groups. Contains various publications and policy databases.
  • Holland-Nederlands Jeugdinstituut (The Netherlands Youth Institute)
    The Dutch national institute for compiling, verifying and disseminating knowledge on children and youth matters, such as youth care, parenting support and child education. The Netherlands Youth Institute's main aim is to improve the physical, cognitive, mental and social development of children and young people by improving the quality and effectiveness of the services rendered to them and to their parents or carers.
  • Italy – National Childhood and Adolescence Documentation and Analysis Centre (No English language version available).
    Maintains several databases on various aspects of childhood and adolescence in Italy, including bibliographic, statistical and legislative databases.
  • Spain – Spanish Observatory on Children
    To provide information on the state of the child population, their quality of life and the effect on them of changes currently taking place. Site contains publications, reports, legislative information and statistics.
  • UK Every Child Matters
    Cross-Government responsibilities working with local partners to achieve better outcomes for children and young people. Includes sections on early years and childcare, education, training and employment, health, parents, carers and families, social care, welfare and protection, and youth justice.
  • UK ESRC Society Today
    Website of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), a UK's research funding and training agency addressing economic and social concerns which aimd to provide high quality research on issues of importance to business, the public sector and government
  • UK National Children’s Bureau
    Provides research and policy updates via the ChildData & ChildStats databases, library services, and the provision of news and research summaries.
  • Greece & Portugal have no web sites for their observatories.
  • UK Children in Northern Ireland
    Regional umbrella organisation for the children's voluntary sector in Northern Ireland. Includes Child Policy Information Service containing briefings, research reports, and statistics.
  • UK Children in Scotland
    National agency of organisations and individuals working with children in Scotland. Includes published research, policy briefings and publications.
  • UK Children in Wales
    National umbrella organisation for children’s organisations in Wales. Site includes policy documents and publications.
  • UK Welsh Assembly Government Children and Young People Section
    Information on the work and people involved in care and protection, including Children First, a programme which impacts upon all children in need, including looked after children, children with disabilities and care leavers. Also information related to learning and development, sports, culture, and transport. Children and young people’s voices are heard and represented by the Children’s Commissioner and via Funky Dragon. Latest news and publications.
  • UK Institute of Childcare Research Queens University Belfast
    Conducts original research into child care needs and services. Summaries of reports available online.
  • UK Policy Hub
    Developed by the Government Social Research Unit aims to be a one stop shop for policy related news and developments and to shape the way policy is developed and delivered in the UK. Includes tools for measuring impact, evidence hotlinks, a bulletin and policy archives.
  • UK Research in Practice
    Aims to promote positive outcomes for children and families through the use of research evidence. Site includes policy and research updates, publication, evidence bank and links to research sources. A department of the Dartington Hall Trust run in collaboration with the Association of Directors of Social Services, the University of Sheffield and a network of over 100 participating agencies in the UK.


  • Childwatch International Research Network
    Based in Oslo, Norway, a non-profit, nongovernmental network of institutions engaged in research for children. The Network seeks to strengthen child-centred research to contribute towards real improvement in children's well-being. Resources and Key Institutions sections contain links to many international academic and other research centres and extensive set of links to resources by topic.
  • UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
    Established to strengthen the research capability of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and to support its advocacy for children worldwide. Produces a wide range of publications on children's issues. Site includes library, research and publications areas.
  • US Child Trends
    Child Trends collects and analyzes data; conducts, synthesizes, and disseminates research; designs and evaluates programs; and develops and tests promising approaches to research in the field. Publications section contains research reports and articles. Full text of the Child Indicator newsletter. Information on and summaries of research projects.
    US RAND Corporation Child Policy Gateway
    Major US non-profit research institute providing research and analysis on US and international affairs. Child policy section is organized by topic area, including research projects and publications and includes downloadable, full text documents and links to other resources.